By Jonathan Arnholz, NCCER Social Media Specialist
Skilled craft professionals can prove themselves through their work and their attitude and move up in the ranks.
Growing up, most children have a dream job. Some want to become an astronaut and go to space, while others want to one day be sworn in as President.
Those dream jobs can change and mature as we grow up and get closer to actually choosing a career path. Along with something that seems exciting and enjoyable, things like salary and long-term outlook naturally start to play in. New generations also have unique priorities compared to their predecessors based on cultural shifts and important events.
Based on research, here are some of the most important factors today’s students want a future career to provide:
When you look at the careers that most people typically associate with being a ‘dream job’ like a doctor, lawyer or even an actor, it’s hard to check all of these boxes.
Construction makes connections. By turning concepts into reality, construction creates opportunities. Discover the formula for a successful career in the building crafts.
Construction brings us together. By creating the places we live, work and play, construction builds communities. Discover the game-changing opportunities in the building crafts.
It’s time we reconsider what careers we frame as a ‘dream job.’ Here’s why careers in #construction should be talked about as a top option for students about to enter the workforce. Tweet
Working in the construction industry isn’t usually near the top of the list of popular career options for students. But maybe it should be – because a career as a craft professional provides all of those benefits and more.
It’s time we reconsider what careers we frame as a dream job. Here’s why careers in construction should be talked about as a top option for students about to enter the workforce.
Job satisfaction is always an important part of a career, and for Gen Z it is an especially high priority.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been a large shakeup in the labor market known the ‘Great Resignation.’ Hundreds of thousands of dissatisfied workers are leaving their jobs.
But according to a recent study by Angi, 83% of trades professionals report being satisfied in their choice of work. Many cite their ability to work with their hands and see the fruits of their labor as benefits. Others highlight the chance to change skylines and leave a lasting legacy.
While construction has traditionally been a predominantly male industry, women are making strides.
Being able to make a tangible and positive difference is another core desire for students and young adults when considering a profession. They want to leave the world better than when they started working.
In construction, there are various ways that someone can make an impact in a community and throughout the world. Construction professionals help to build homes, offices, hospitals, schools and other buildings that service people every day. They also help build the roads, power grids and other infrastructure that keep society running.
Newer generations also have an opportunity to lead construction into the future, particularly in sustainability and diversity. Sustainability is becoming a bigger focus with green construction. While construction has traditionally been a predominantly male industry, women are making strides in the industry and that growth of diversity must continue for the industry to thrive.
Many people don’t correlate construction with STEM because the majority of the jobs and career paths in the skilled trades do not require a four-year degree.
But when you break construction down to its different functions and elements, it truly becomes science, tech, engineering and math in action.
For example, many different sciences can be seen in construction, from physics to electrodynamics to metallurgy. Construction technology involves everything from power tools and heavy equipment to more advanced tech like drones and 3D modeling. Engineering is a massive component of project design and execution. Math is used every day for cutting and fitting, weight calculations and material orders.
Professional development and upward mobility are also among the top priorities for Gen Z in a job. They want to find something where they can grow and continuously take steps up the ladder.
Construction is a very merit-oriented industry. Skilled craft professionals can prove themselves through their work and their attitude and move up in the ranks. In just a few years, someone can go from an apprentice to a journeyman, and eventually to jobsite leadership positions such as foreman, project managers or superintendents. They might even become a CEO or start their own business.
With the shortage of construction professionals and the coming retirement of many of the industry’s experienced veterans, there will be many high-ranking positions that will be vacant, and require talented individuals to fill.
The massive demand for craft professionals and the short supply of them drives construction companies to offer competitive salaries and a healthy benefits package to attract new employees.
According to NCCER’s 2018 Construction Craft Salary Survey, the average base salary for almost 30 different crafts exceeded $55,000 annually. When adding in overtime, travel and other potential incentives, it’s possible for skilled workers to earn six figures.
Trade skills also offer financial stability through other means. After the COVID-19 pandemic caused the unemployment rate in the U.S. to soar the highest level on record, the idea of a ‘pandemic-proof’ career has jumped to the forefront. Construction was deemed an ‘essential’ industry in most states and work was allowed to continue while other industries were forced to shut down.
The student debt crisis continues to grow, with more than $1.7 trillion in total debt.
Many students feel forced to go to college to find a successful career. But most careers in construction do not require a degree – rather, training options like apprenticeship provide the necessary skills and education. Not only do these education options cost less than going to a four-year university, but in some cases they can actually pay the trainee, and they earn as they learn.
Want to learn more about why construction can be a ‘dream job?’ Check out the Build Your Future website.