What is it like to be a trades worker? First things first, in the construction trades, we work hard to make things that are real. When someone asks us what we do, we say, “I’m a sheet metal worker,” or “I’m an electrical worker.” We never have to say, “I’m an associate marketing coordinator reporting to the assistant vice president of sales.” We make bridges, stadiums, houses, roads, machines, things that are real, things that last.
Second, and really important, is that the money is good, too. Imagine the college millennial with $80,000 in student debt, making $45,000 a year at his entry level office job. He’s doing unpaid overtime, working 50 or 60 hours a week. Compare that with some of the wages for a journeyman working 40 hours a week (2,000 hours a year):
Without student debt, that money goes a lot further. Things like cars, mortgages, vacations are all within reach and we can be proud of how we make our money. We don’t sit in meetings and collect paychecks or move imaginary money around the stock market. We make a good wage for honest skilled work.
We work together to make sure that normal people can live good lives, working jobs they can respect. We’re proud of what we do. It makes a difference, knowing who we are and what’s important. It’s why we can work hard every day and still stand up straight at the end of each and every day.
Do you want to join us? Learn a skill, start a career, make more money? Apprenticeship changes lives every year for thousands of new members. Find out how to get started.