Q: Why should my child work in construction?

A:

  • Depending on the career path, pay can be on par with the salary of an accountant, engineer, and many other traditional university-degreed positions. Wages range between 30,000-$68,000 annually and can easily reach over $90,000 with specialty skills. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_co.htm#47-0000
  • Like other careers, pay continues to increase with experience.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment opportunities will increase by as much as 11% from 2016-2026. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/home.htm
  • In the present economic environment, a college degree doesn’t promise an occupation upon graduation. In fact, many young people today are pursuing construction AFTER they have earned their university degrees because certified tradespeople have better chances of finding work in their chosen careers.
  • Skilled trades are considered “evergreen professions,” which means they will always be needed. The demand for skilled workers is increasing even during periods of economic decline.
  • They’ll always have work. There’s a talent shortage of skilled tradespeople so there are always jobs available.

Q: What can my child do with construction?

A:

  • The construction industry is vast and diverse and offers a variety of goods and services:
  • Goods– office buildings, schools, hospitals, apartment/condominium buildings, houses, bridges, roads.
  • Services– ranging from site preparation and inspection to building new structures and additions.
  • The industry is divided into 3 major areas:
    • Construction of Buildings– This mainly includes general contractors who are responsible for the coordination and complete construction of industrial, commercial, residential, and other buildings.
    • Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction Contractors– Individuals in this area build roadways, highways, tunnels, bridges, sewers, and more.
    • Specialty Trade Contractors– These are people who specialize in areas related to construction projects. This includes electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, painting, flooring, architecture, planning, and engineering.

Q: Isn’t this industry only for individuals who don’t perform well in school?

A:

  • These are VERY technical jobs– in many cases, projects can be as complicated as engineering.
  • In addition to critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the construction trade requires strong math and science skills.
  • Depending on the career path, new skills and responsibilities will be offered, such as project management, people management, and business management.
  • To become a skilled tradesperson, thousands of hours of training and schooling is required. Passing final exam results in certification and the professional title of a journeyperson.
  • This is a career that will require lifelong learning to hone the craft and to keep up-to-date with the latest technology and equipment.

Q: Isn’t construction a dangerous, low-paying job that will not provide my child with a good quality of life?

A:

  • There are some high-risk jobs in construction, but part of training involves guaranteeing workplace safety standards for everyone on site.
  • Modern equipment today is safer, easier to use and more technical. Tradespeople need to have technical skills to operate today’s modern construction machinery.
  • A career in construction provides the opportunity to be creative, work with their mind and their hands to focus on building something for the long term.
  • Flexibility– working outdoors and indoors, on different projects, and at different sites across the city, county, state, U.S., and around the world.
  • They’ll be doing meaningful, valuable, creative, exciting work that requires craftsmanship and knowledge. If they put in the time and effort, and study they can truly master their craft.