Top 10 Reasons to Work in the Building and Remodeling Trades

by: Karah Hawkinson, Social Media Coordinator

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I hope this finds you and yours well and healthy. We appreciate all the necessary workers out there, including the tradespeople, builders, and remodelers who are helping our homes stay safe and warm. Be careful out there.

There are lots of reasons to love a career in the building and remodeling trades. Here are our top ten.

10. Less college debt: The average four-year degree costs over $30,000 per year (tuition, fees, room and board), or $120,000 by the time you earn a BA. Vocational or technical training costs about a quarter of the amount, and can be completed in one or two years (depending on the program) instead of four.

9. Tradespeople can’t be outsourced: Companies are always looking to save money. One way they do that is by hiring workers in other countries who will do the same job for a lower wage. Jobs in the building and remodeling trades can’t be outsourced because they’re hands-on, on-location jobs.

8. Fresh air and exercise: Do you like being outdoors? Have trouble sitting still? Jobs in the building industry are very physical. No need to hit the gym if you’ve been moving on the jobsite all day!

7. Own your own business: The trades allow for a variety of employment types, including apprenticeships, hourly labor, and independent contracting. If you want to be your own boss, building is a great field!

6. Every day/Every project is different: Do you enjoy solving problems, and rising to new challenges? Do you like variety in your work? No two building projects are the same, which keeps you on your toes and lets you show off your talents!

5. Contribute to your community: Every business, every home, every organization in your community was built by someone, remodeled by someone, and maintained by someone. Builders and remodelers are the backbone of our communities, and people rely on them to keep things running smoothly!

4. Develop useful skills for your own home: Every homeowner knows that when you have a house, you have a project. Builders and remodelers have the skills to build sweat equity in their own homes, and provide for their families with both their income and their skills around the house. Even if they don’t do a particular job, chances are that they have a friend/coworker who does!

3. There are LOTS of career paths in the field: From drawing architectural plans to pouring concrete, from drywall to roofing, plumbing to HVAC work, there is a universe of different jobs that one can do in the building industry. Each of them requires a unique skill set, and each of them is vitally important!

2. Be part of a growing industry: Before the Coronavirus crisis, all the news about the building industry was labor shortage, labor shortage, labor shortage. Though we don’t know what will happen to the economy after the pandemic, trends show that before the pandemic single-family home building projects were on the rise. I know three different architectural firms, and even during the quarantine shutdown, all of them have been busy drawing new plans for this summer’s projects.

1. Construction and remodeling jobs pay well: There’s a huge pay range in the construction industry – from laborers with no education or experience (median: $38,000/year) to general contractors (average: $91,000). Of course, a lot depends on where you live, how much experience you have, etc. but when you combine a solid income with a lack of education debt and the other benefits, it’s a great career!