Between shaping skylines to creating resilient infrastructures fundamental to the function and safety of the general public, a career in construction offers the chance to leave an impact in your community while building a solid foundation for your future. Join a hands-on and creative industry that contributes to community growth and public safety.
Education & Training
How Long Does it Take?
The time it may take to become a construction worker varies depending on the educational path you choose. Most academic programs for construction workers at vocational colleges and trade schools may take 1 to 4 years. In comparison, online distance learning programs offered by accredited providers may only take 9 months to complete, enabling prospective construction workers to seek apprenticeships and employment, earning more sooner.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of a trade school program in construction may vary depending on location and program length. Prospective construction workers may pursue Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees in construction management.
This education may cost between $5,000 and $15,000 a year and require additional hands-on vocational training before acquiring an apprenticeship, making it a significant investment.
On the other hand, prospective construction workers may choose to complete a construction certification and training program, which may cost between $900 and $1,100 for a 9-month course.
What Do You Study?
A program in construction work should address the following:
- Construction Design: Interpreting blueprints and understanding elements of construction relating to shape, style, and design.
- Building Codes, Standards, & Regulations: Zoning codes, construction laws, and safety standards to uphold both in constructing buildings and for labor.
- Construction Techniques: The basics of building structures, framing flooring and stairs, installing insulation, and installing drywall.
- Tools & Materials: The necessary tools and materials required for specific construction tasks and how to use and operate them safely.
- Hands-On Training: Physical experience with the fundamentals of construction.
- Client & Coworker Communication: Essential communication skills to effectively collaborate with clients’ expectations and with coworkers.
Benefits of Taking a Class
Completing a course in construction work enables students to take the first steps toward a fulfilling and profitable career in construction, equipping them with the skills necessary for the job. By completing a construction course, students will learn the information needed for completing any certification exams required by their state or region of operation.
Prospective construction workers will also be educated in correctly and safely installing structures and operating equipment, ensuring that their work is high-quality and safely installed.
Furthermore, completing a course in construction may boost prospective construction workers’ resumes, making them more competitive applicants for apprenticeships and full-time jobs.
Why is Construction a Good Career?
Construction laborers are fundamental to nearly every single architectural endeavor. These individuals do the physical work that is crucial to the completion of both small and large-scale building projects. They perform a wide range of duties, from prepping job sites to managing traffic patterns.Laborers stay busy throughout every aspect of construction. When preparing work sites, they build scaffolds and secure bracing within temporary platforms.
After the job is complete, they sweep up and store any remaining tools or hazardous items.
Construction laborers often assist the following professionals:
- Stonemasons and brickmasons
- Tile and marble setters
- Plumbers and steamfitters
- Painters and stainers
- Plasterers and flooring installers
A Future Proofed Career Option!
There have been fears by some in the industry that robots could one day make their jobs obsolete. This is not the case. Robots cannot duplicate the lifting, maneuvering, and critical thinking abilities needed by construction laborers. If anything, the use of these machines creates a need for new workers in operator and maintenance roles.
Skills acquired while working as a construction laborer can transfer to many other fields. Those who enjoy woodworking may want to pursue a career in carpentry.
These associates make over $46k per year doing a variety of construction projects, from building freeways to installing kitchen cabinets.
Carpenters often receive paid apprenticeship training while on the job, forgoing the need for special schooling.
With onsite training, laborers without construction degrees can learn the skills needed for higher-paying jobs. Many of these occupations include salary options over $80k.
To earn increased hourly wages, consider careers as the following:
- Home Inspectors
- Equipment operators
- Elevator maintenance staff
The average pay rate for construction helpers and laborers falls around $16.75 per hour, totaling about $35k per year. Hourly wages increase as apprentices gain new construction skills. Workers with several years of experience at significant job sites can earn annual salary packages exceeding $60k.
Construction benefits for these workers often include the following options:
- Paid vacation time
- 401(k) retirement plans
- Medical insurance
- Life insurance
- Equipment and food allowances
What Is the Outlook for Construction Careers?
In America there are about 1,449,000 work site laborers. Construction job growth is at 12%, which is faster than the national average across all occupations.
As the level of construction activity rises, so does the demand for those willing to do the necessary physical labor.
Several factors contribute to the industry’s quick expansion.
One of these is the amount of work needed to repair the nation’s aging infrastructure. Restoring roads, water lines, bridges, and electrical equipment takes a great deal of effort from construction laborers and other skilled workers.
As more and more Baby Boomers retire from the industry, open positions should be available well into the future.
There is a shortage of labor in the construction trade. Employers are having trouble filling roles. This is good news for potential workers, as there is plenty of opportunity for industry employment. It’s estimated that almost 80% of contractors have issues finding the number of skilled construction laborers needed at most job sites.