4 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Construction

All over the world, construction projects are in high demand and show no signs of slowing down. The need for additional talent is critical, and the industry is shifting the conversation to continue to build the talent pipeline.

Courses such as auto-tech, drone technology, and woodworking are becoming increasingly popular in public schools, trade schools, and higher education. Educators and students alike are making the connection between STEM education and real-world scenarios the through hands-on learning that accompanies the construction trades.

Deciding to pursue a career in construction is often a decision that can occur at the high school level, especially when students gain exposure to hands-on skills training in a classroom or on a construction site. Workers that enter the trade at a young age find that their confidence in construction grows with experience and mentorship. However, the benefits of pursuing jobs in the construction industry are there for workers of all ages and stages.

These benefits include:

  1. A wide talent gap due to fewer top quality, skilled tradespeople

  2. A growing and evolving industry built for long-term career paths

  3. Desirable compensation packages

  4. The ability to work with a variety of people, projects, and environments

  5. The freedom of not feeling tied to a desk or a cubicle

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Check out four reasons to pursue a career in construction…

1. Ample Job Opportunities

When it comes to construction jobs, skilled trades staffing agencies and employers always have more jobs than they do candidates. While younger workers continue to funnel into four-year colleges, and older workers retire, high-paying trade jobs remain unfilled. This talent shortage is causing alarm in the industry, and for a good reason.  Fewer top-quality, skilled tradespeople can lead to increasing costs, severe delays, and unsafe working conditions.

With an industry that is facing a shortage of 1.5 million workers by the year 2021 and a learning curve of 8-12 years for a worker to acquire the skills and knowledge of a trade professional, educators are forced to take notice.

In response, we are seeing more universities offering programs and degrees that used to be relegated only to trade schools – degree programs like Construction Management, Architectural Technology and Design, and Sustainable Building Systems are opening additional opportunities in construction across the country.

2. Compensation

With a growing and evolving industry, people are continually looking for highly skilled professionals for residential and commercial repairs, housing, and brick and mortar expansion.

Jobs are piling up, and workforce shortages continue to enhance wages in the construction industry. Median pay for entry-level graduates entering the construction industry is $68,000 as compared to about $48,000 for all graduates.

Along with better wages and benefit packages, construction companies are focusing on ways to offer real career paths regardless of trade or role, including on-going training to move up to better positions within the company.

3. Highly Desirable and Transferable Skills

Your career in the construction industry relies heavily on continuous learning.  There will always be new projects and skills to learn, especially with the pace that technology enters the industry.

The good news is that skills acquired through job training are in high-demand and that learning a trade is more affordable than a university degree. The average student loan debt for a recent graduate can hover around $40,000, and students can quickly rack up expenditures of over $100,000 during their enrollment. In contrast, trade school students carry loans averaging about $10,000 with expenditures of approximately $33,000.

Even better, by locking in an internship, workers pursuing the trades can start earning money as soon as they finish high school. This makes for a more lucrative career path for those that need to jump right in the workforce or for those seeking to avoid going into debt to pursue training.

Learning a trade creates transferable skills in multiple positions, industries, and locations and have a positive effect on job security. A construction management degree, for example, can provide tailored insights to the construction industry while providing transferable soft skills and technical skills along the way.  Gaining skills that provide stability and mobility are just a couple of the many desired benefits of aligning your career path in the construction industry.

4. A Rewarding Career in Construction

Our society has played up the critical need for formal education and the idea of what it means to be living the “American Dream” by working in a white-collar corporate job. This narrative is just one piece of the puzzle that has resulted in fewer millennials going down a construction path and learning skilled trades.

It is important to consider what a rewarding career path looks like outside of this scenario.  Your future should make you feel excited, or at the very least, you should find enjoyment in the work you do.

For some, this can mean shunning the corporate suit and tie “dream” and enjoying the ability to leave the cubicle farm and work outside.  It can mean working with your hands and seeing a project to completion. Or, feeling joy when you pass by a building that you helped to build.

Working in construction is one of the most rewarding career paths because of the ability to work with a variety of people, projects, and environments. We will continue to need upgrades to infrastructure, housing, and businesses and the talent gap is begging to be filled.

Skilled trades offer strong income, upward mobility, and a future that can include owning your own business. With shorter pathways to good jobs, and an evolving industry that prioritizes safety, education, and desirable benefits packages it’s clear that companies are recognizing the value of skilled trades, and you should too.

Are there any myths about the construction industry that are holding you back?

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Josh Munns
Joshua Munns grew up in the construction industry differently than most, his Mom, Mary Davis, started a window company as a single mom when he was just 4 years old in 1983. Having a mom who was starting a business in the construction industry at only 23 years old made for some very interesting days. Fast forward 24 years to 2007 I took over the family business just in time for the Recession which hit my business extremely hard. I spent the next 11 years rebuilding the business, rebuilding my workforce and completely reshaping the company. In 2018 I sold the business to focus my energy on my passion, building careers in construction. In 2018 I founded Ground Up Careers to help business owners and employees build careers together. The career does not exist with the employer and the employer does not exist without the career. When employees and employers work together the end result is amazing. By building a strong company culture, offering great benefits and career paths for my employees I was able to build the business back stronger than ever. I did it and I want to help other owners take that step to take their business to the next level. It is an amazing feeling and a great privilege to be able to provide people with great careers.


  • Charlotte Fleet 2 years ago

    I like that you explain how with construction you are able to gain experience and that you are always learning and can transfer those skills to another job. My husband has been looking for things that he doesn’t have to go to school. I think he should look into finding construction jobs in our area.

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