A career in construction is more than just hammering nails and laying concrete. Life in the trades is one of the most challenging yet fruitful paths you can take.
As one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, opportunities are popping up from coast to coast. Construction is on the lookout for skilled laborers, contractors, architects, and more!
With nascent technologies in use, the demand for tech-savvy employees has never been higher — you might already be on your way...
If you think you have what it takes to enter this field — keep reading and learn the steps you need to succeed!
Hone Your Skills
You can't take a 5-week online Boot Camp and come out as a fully-fledged contractor.
It takes years of practice and experience to reach the top level. You can probably walk out the door today and get hired as an unskilled worker, but you need schooling to reach the heights of a craftsman.
Many of the highest-paid positions in construction graduate with a 4-year degree; common areas of study include architecture, construction management, and engineering.
Learn From The Best
Once you've absorbed all you can from textbooks and teachers, it's time to get out in the field.
Construction without experience will only end up costing more and leading to disaster.
Practical experience is the only way to learn the valuable skills you need for construction. Plan to spend two or three years learning from the best professionals you can find before heading off on your own.
This is also your time to network; no one makes it in construction without the right friends. Never burn any bridges; you never know who will be your boss on the next project!
If school is not for you, many contractors will start with an apprenticeship then obtain a 2-year Associate's degree in management.
Pick Your Track
While general contractors tend to oversee all the aspects of a project, there are many other paths available to you.
The trades are incredibly numerous. You can learn roofing, plumbing, bricklaying, welding, tiling, carpentry, wiring, refrigeration… the list goes on! And these are just for those who want to work with their hands on a job site.
But hands more suited to a computer are also in demand…
Since the dawn of the 21st Century, 3-D modeling and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) jobs have increased exponentially.
There is no job called ‘construction,’ this career is what you make of it. Thanks to the many options, you probably already have some of the necessary skills to get started!
Get Your License
Once you've narrowed down the road you want to take, it’s time to get officially certified.
Every state has different requirements for licensure, so make sure you check out your local rules and regulations. Keep in mind, a license in one state does not mean you can practice in another.
Standard requirements include a degree, several years of apprenticeship, and passing an exam.
Your license not only permits you to legally practice your craft but also gives your clients more trust in your abilities. This trust allows you to charge more and increase your bottom line.
If you're on the fence about getting your license, just ask yourself one question: would you hire an unlicensed contractor to build your home?
Don't Give Up
Getting the salary of your dream will not happen overnight; it probably won't happen within the first year.
It is important to remember the value of hard work. Successful contractors make six-figure salaries! The more persistent you can be, the better chance you have of getting the lucrative wage you deserve.
If one trade is too difficult or even too easy, consider learning an additional one! The more skills you can add to your arsenal, the higher your chance of success!
The Bottom Line
A life in construction is rewarding, fulfilling, and unique. The path you take might bring you to a job you never imagined you would love.
When it comes time to take your licensing exam, we hope you'll trust us at the Contractor Training Center to walk you through the process. Our teachers have helped contractors in every single state pass their exams!
Plus, we make studying easy and fun. You'll never memorize a flashcard — but you will have one-on-one sessions with our experts.