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Not just digging ditches...

Updated: Apr 6, 2018

What comes to your mind when you think, "construction?" Is it folks on the side of the road with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth and a look of apathy on their face, is it the image of just digging ditches all day, or do you view this as an extreme last resort job opportunity?? Well let's turn that image upside down and do a 180 degree turn. We are seeing nationally and internationally a construction BOOM in the workforce  and these previous images that you might of held about these careers are so backwards in today's field that you would be hard pressed to find a career field that is able to have individuals enter with sometimes only a high school degree or associates and define their success so quickly! We are seeing almost 3,000 construction job openings in Alabama each year and more than 2 million construction job openings nationwide! The average age of a skilled tradesman is 59...looking to retire soon from the profession which translates into rapid job growth and job security for the future. We are seeing this career field change exponentially overnight with the opportunity it allows for individuals. Men and women can start out in the construction field as a laborer starting about $10.00 an hour, yes you might say that is the same as other jobs someone could get, but through the construction industry this individual after on the job training provided by the companies can in the span of two years move into making $20+ an hour as their skills and responsibility improve and excel. Also, as time progress this man or woman is learning skills that can never be taken away and are only getting scarcer as time progresses. Currently we are seeing the average salary of a skilled tradesman is around $47,000 to the mid $50,000. The difference is that men and women can move into this career in a much shorter time with a lot less debt than first having to get a four year degree. The benefits are that through on the job training individuals can learn where they excel and define the career of their choice.

Please, hear me loud and clear this does not mean that schooling is not needed, but it is important to understand that success does not always look the same for every individual as four years of high school and four years of an undergraduate setting. Continuing education through the construction field can manifest itself in many ways, individuals can seek out apprenticeships, on the job training, and job shadowing. Men and women can go through a technical school while working to hone in on specific skills and certifications such as electrical, welding, etc. Men and women also can choose to follow their education path with a four year degree in Construction Science, Building Construction, or Construction Management just to name of few and have almost a 100% job placement rating! Not to mention the engineering field encompassing (civil, structural, electrical, and more). Many times after spending a few years with a company learning their trade individuals are choosing to add degrees to move into a supervisory or management position, all while the company is paying tuition and their salary (a  win-win situation!)

We were able to take a group of Madison City students to see exhibits ranging from masonry,  plumbing, welding, and more that showcased professionals in the field of construction! As many learned from talking to leaders in their field the importance of professionalism is mandated across the board entering into a construction or skilled trade comes with high expectations and a code of conduct that helps define the success of each organization and business!

A few stats on salary in the Construction field....

  • Welding: Median Salary $56,904 yearly (On the Job training/Two Year Degree)

  • Masonry- Median Salary $53,376 yearly  (On the Job training/Two Year Degree)

  • Plumbing-Median Salary $50,620 yearly (On the Job training/Two Year Degree)

  • Construction Manager- Average Salary  $87,400 yearly (On the Job training, two year/four year)

  • Project Managers- Average Salary $60,00-$110,00 +++ (On the Job training, two year/four year)


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