Category Archives: Skilled Trades

6 Benefits of a Career in Construction

Reposted with permission from Build Your Future.
Author: Kelsey Zibell, NCCER Guest Contributor

Construction is all around us. It builds our homes, schools, offices, roads, hospitals, theme parks—everything. It is vital to everyone’s life. Yet, it is one of the most misunderstood industries.

As four-year degrees have been heavily pushed over the years, the amount of students and adults pursuing careers in construction has decreased significantly. This has created a steep skills gap in America.

However, the growing demand for craftspeople has left the industry in an interesting position that benefits newcomers to the industry. With high demand comes high salaries, ample opportunity and room for career growth.

So, you may be asking yourself, exactly what benefits does a career in construction offer? Well, there are so many! But here are the top six benefits to a career in construction:

Get a Head Start

Most construction careers follow an apprenticeship learning model. This means that as soon as you decide you want to pursue a skilled craft, you can begin working with on the job training through an apprenticeship.

With this ‘earn while you learn’ model, you can earn a paycheck while learning the core competencies of your trade.

Some crafts may require associate degrees, industry credentials or certifications. However, these education requirements are often short term and can be completed at the same time as an apprenticeship. Therefore, when pursuing a craft career, you are still going to join the workforce quicker than you would if you pursued a four-year degree.

With short-term education expenses and a fast track into the workforce, craft professionals are able to start making a paycheck while dodging large student loans. Currently, there is $1.5 trillion of student debt in the United States. With the price of an education continuing to climb, it makes sense to pursue a career in construction and start making money right away.

Endless Opportunity

With seven out of every 10 jobs available in the United States requiring less than a four-year degree, the current job market is oversaturated with college graduates. By pursuing a craft career, you will be opening yourself up to more possibilities and opportunities. When you complete a technical degree, apprenticeship or craft training certificate, you are highly marketable in the job market.

Additionally, with a skills gap and upcoming wave of retirees, there will be a demand for 1 million craft professionals by 2023. This is a staggering deficit, but it makes room for a lot of opportunity for new craftspeople.

Want to know what the job demand is in your state? Take a look at BYF’s Craft Labor Map and check out the demand for skilled crafts by state and by specific crafts.

Variety of Careers

There are so many specialties within the construction industry. With a seemingly endless list of craft careers, there is something out there for everyone.

Whether you are creative, mathematically inclined or a natural problem solver, there is a craft career for you.

In addition to different interests, there are different education requirements for different professions. Have your mind set on a college degree, associate degree or technical education program? Take a look at out our trading cards and see what the education requirement is for the different specialties.

Not sure where to start? Take the Craft Pro Quiz and see which construction specialty suits you the best!

Freedom to Travel

With a high demand for craft professionals in every state, there is no limit to where a craft career can take you. Whether you move around on your own or work for a national or global construction company, there are endless ways to travel around. A career in construction presents the unique opportunity to travel throughout the country and get paid while doing so.

Construction happens all around us. It happens in every country, every state and nearly every city. If you are interested in traveling, a craft career is perfect for you. With the opportunity to travel and work across the country or even the world, you can go anywhere you please with a construction skillset.

Additionally, when working in construction, your ‘office’ is always changing and in a variety of exciting places. Whether you are building a home, baseball park or theme park – you get to enjoy the added benefit of a constant change of scenery.

Room for Career Growth

It is estimated that 29% of the construction workforce will retire by 2026. By 2031, this number worsens as 41% of the current workforce is expected to retire. Essentially, almost half of the workforce will need to be replaced in just over a decade.

Though this is a frightening number, it puts newcomers to the industry in a good position.

As boomers leave open opportunities in the skilled crafts, specifically in high up positions like journeyman, superintendent and project manager, there will be a lot of room for career growth.

With the opportunity to continue to move up in the industry, there is no limit to how high a craft professional can go. With experience, expertise and passion – a craftsperson could become an executive, CEO or owner of their own company. In construction, the only thing limiting your career growth is your desire to move up.

High Wages

With such a high demand for craft professionals, companies are willing to spend more to get the skills they need. For those in the construction industry, this means they are getting paid higher salaries than ever before.

When you factor in these high salaries, less debt and the ability to start earning a wage as an apprentice, craft professionals are getting an early start on making enough money to live comfortably.

Each of these benefits alone is enough to make a career in construction worth exploring. But when you look at them together, it is hard to believe they can all come with a single career choice.

Interested in learning a construction craft? Find an NCCER-accredited training center near you.