National Skilled Trades day is celebrated annually on the first Wednesday of May. At Brandt, we would like to take the time to recognize our employees in the skilled trades and the many opportunities the construction industry has to offer potential candidates.
In the construction industry, there are more jobs than there are workers. This trend will continue to grow over the next couple of decades, as baby boomers retire faster than jobs can be filled.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 70% of construction companies have reported having trouble finding qualified workers to fill crucial positions.
While high school students are highly encouraged to attend universities and obtain a four-year degree, well-paying trades jobs are sitting vacant. To be specific, 30 million skilled-trades positions are available throughout the United States. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, these positions have an average salary of $55,000 and do not require a four-year college degree.
High school students who decide to take the road less traveled and pursue a career in the skilled trades can begin earning an income while they are in trades school. Many companies, including Brandt, offer apprentice programs that enable employees to work while they are in trade school.
Apprentice Brett Vandermark is currently enrolled in Brandt’s Electrical Apprentice Program. “I chose to go into the program because I wanted a job that would lead to a good future and would help me support my family,” Brett said. “I went into the trade because I know the world will always need electricians, and I will always have a job.”
With benefits like this, what prevents individuals from entering the construction industry? The biggest denominator facing the trades is stigma. After years of encouraging young adults to attend universities, many people still feel that college graduates will land higher paying jobs. Although this argument can be true, the gap between the two is decreasing. When adjusted for inflation, college graduates saw a median income lower in 2015, compared to 2010.
“There are a lot of negative connotations and stereotypes that push people away from construction,” Hattie Morse, Brandt Trades Recruiter, said. “I show students how the integration of technology into the construction industry is rapidly changing the means and methods that have been used for ages. It excites them to see how Brandt utilizes many technological advancements each day, including those that Brandt has developed itself.”
The old stereotypes for the construction industry are simply not true and the environment is rapidly changing every day. Many individuals find the trades a great place to build a lifelong career.
“I don’t sell a job; I sell a career,” Hattie said. “I talk to students about how six of our company vice presidents started out exactly where they are today, in the field and without pursuing a college degree, which shows them that career advancement is very possible at Brandt.”
The Average Wage for Trades in Texas Cities infographic shows the average pay for an apprentice as they work on receiving their journeyman license. The construction industry offers a great opportunity to earn money immediately out of high school, while college students during this time are making little to no money on top of incurring debt. At Brandt, we support apprentice programs throughout the state and encourage future skilled trades workers to take the opportunity to earn while they learn.
“We want our employees to THRIVE throughout their career with us,” Hattie said.
For more information about Brandt’s career opportunities, email email@example.com.