Every field and industry has its misconceptions, but construction work is one of the most misunderstood and stereotyped fields of work. Historically it’s gotten a pretty bad rap, but in reality, a career in the construction trades is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers out there. Let’s take a look at common myths about work in the construction trades and discover the truth:
Myth: Construction Workers are Mostly People Who Couldn’t Get into College
Many people think that construction work is an easy gig to get, and one that is left to those who don’t have other options. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Tradespeople are intelligent, hardworking, creative, and highly skilled. Work in any of the construction trades requires serious smarts in math, science, and physics, and strong analytical and critical thinking skills. Tradespeople dedicate years and thousands of hours to training and education to learn and hone their skills and receive a professional designation in their chosen craft. The path may look different than that of a 4-year degree, but requires no less commitment, dedication, and intelligence.
Myth: Construction Work Is Dangerous
While it’s true that there may be more inherent safety risks on a construction job site than say an office environment, construction an industry dedicated to worker safety, health, and welfare. Rigorous safety rules and regulations are mandated at the federal, state, and local levels to keep workers safe, and inspections of equipment and the job site are done frequently. Not only are employers required by law to comply with these strict safety standards, they are highly incentivized to do so: healthy workers are happy workers, which means less turnover and higher pMyth: Construction Work Is Dangerousrofits. Construction workers are also thoroughly and continually trained on safety practices, and personal equipment is more advanced than ever before.
Myth: Construction Work is a Man’s Job
There’s a longstanding notion that construction work is a man’s work, a notion that women don’t belong on job sites, or that they’re not strong enough or smart enough for jobs in construction. Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth! The skilled construction trades offer numerous benefits and opportunities for men AND women alike: great pay, career stability, job satisfaction, great work-life balance, on-the-job training, hands-on work, and so much more. The trades are working hard to break this bias and better welcome women into the workforce.
Myth: People Work in Construction as a Last Resort
For most tradespeople, construction is very much a chosen vocation, and one they are proud of. For many of them, an office job and the college education that goes with it are unappealing; they’d much rather work with their hands in the outdoors, getting to build and create day in and day out, while boasting little to no debt for pursuing their rewarding and fulfilling career. In fact, men and women that work in the construction trades have some of the highest job satisfaction ratings. A recent report showed that 83% of tradespeople are highly satisfied in their choice of work.
Myth: Construction Work Doesn’t Pay Well
The truth is that many construction workers earn more per hour than university graduates AND they start earning good pay much earlier in life. Some construction career salaries can run in the high-five and low-six figures, depending on location and specialty. What’s more, many trade apprenticeship programs cost little to nothing to attend and even pay for time worked on site. So, while apprentices’ peers are spending 4 years racking up debt that will take years to pay off, apprentices have already started building wealth, and get to put more of each paycheck into the bank than their college-educated peers.
Myth: Construction Work is Grueling
While there’s no denying that construction work is active and physical work, it’s not relentlessly grueling like the stereotype so many people have in their heads. Actually, there are numerous jobs in the construction trades that require little physical labor! Think operating engineers, crane operators, or construction supervisors. Also, continual advancements in technology and equipment have helped alleviate some of the heaviest physical burdens on job sites, reducing the need for brute strength and improving worker safety and well-being.
Myth: Construction Work is a Dead-End Job
Construction is booming. Plain and simple. For the women and men who are pursuing a career in the building trades, the opportunities are bountiful and almost limitless in the years and decades to come. With boomers retiring from the skilled labor workforce and many younger generations choosing 4-year degrees over trade school in hopes of “more opportunity,” the pool of skilled labor is shrinking, while the need is great and only growing. Moreover, our nation’s buildings, bridges and roads are in need of maintenance, which is creating even more demand for skilled workers in the construction trades. There has never been a time so ripe with opportunity and growth for those in the building trades. The sky is truly the limit!
The reality: a career in the construction trades is fulfilling and rewarding. When you’re in the trades, you’re up and moving, working with your hands, creating something real, something lasting. It’s good honest work - work you can be proud of.
Are you ready to pursue a new career that is rewarding, fulfilling, and never boring? One that you actually love? Consider joining the thousands of men and women who are pursuing a career in the building trades. Learn how to get started today.