Like many people in their early twenties, Emily Williams wanted a better future for herself and her family. She’d studied Criminal Justice at Wayne County Community College in Michigan and had worked in the concrete-casting industry, but she struggled financially and wanted something more.
That’s when Emily joined an eight-week construction training program, building on her experience in the Construction Trades. After that, she began the Michigan Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Bricklaying Apprenticeship Program.
One year into the apprenticeship, Emily is making a minimum of $20 per hour and enjoying solid health care and other important benefits, she told the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in a recent article.
“I don’t have a job, I have a career,” Emily told the DOL. “Every day I am excited to get to work and continue to learn my skill and to carry myself as a tradeswoman.
“I feel truly blessed,” she added. “Bricklaying is a great career with a great future and great benefits to help me support my family. I am excited about all that I have learned and hope to learn, and proud of what I am accomplishing each day. There is great satisfaction in knowing your work will literally be standing for years to come.”
In the last four decades, the United States has experienced a drastic shift in how it finances higher education, and those changes are having a detrimental effect on both college graduates’ futures as well as the perception that Americans have about the value of a college education.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in September 2017 revealed that 49 percent of poll respondents believe earning a four-year college degree will lead to a good job and higher lifetime earnings, compared with 47 percent who do not. According to The Wall Street Journal, the two-point margin narrowed from 13 points when the question was asked four years earlier.
A career in the trades offers many things, but one of the best aspects is that the apprenticeship education is almost entirely free and there is no education-related debt once completed, unlike that of a traditional four-year college/university education.
What’s more, apprentices can start a great career, using real-world, hands-on skills that are in high demand. Being able to show that you've got industry experience plus qualifications will give you a huge advantage in your trade. In short, an apprenticeship in the Building Trades is a great way to become an integral part of the construction industry.
Feel free to explore this website and sign up to get updates on how you can start your career in the construction industry.