You’ve likely heard someone say something like, “There’s a lot of opportunity in the building trades right now” (there is, by the way!) or, “She works in the building trades.” If you’ve scratched your head wondering what exactly the building trades are, if and how building trades jobs are different from “construction jobs,” or if the trades and the building trades mean the same thing, you’re certainly not alone!
When it comes to planning our future careers, it's essential to choose paths that not only align with our interests and offer stability, but also promise growth. But in a world that’s constantly changing, it can feel difficult to pinpoint what the “good” options are.
When people think of construction, images of hard hats and heavy machinery often come to mind. However, the world of construction is far more diverse and adventurous than many might imagine.
As fall arrives and the leaves begin to turn vibrant shades of red and gold (in some parts of the country, at least!), we’re reminded of the harvest season. It's a time when the hard work and dedication of planting and nurturing pays off with a bountiful yield.
“Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” We’ve all heard this advice, but it can seem unrealistic and unattainable. After all, how many people you know actually love their job? Likely, very few.
But ask around the building trades, and you’ll find countless people who truly love their jobs!
Why? Here are just 10 of the thousands of reasons:
Have you ever stopped to think about how electricity gets to your home or job? You flip a switch and the lights come on, or you plug in your phone charger and it starts charging. But have you ever thought about what happens behind the scenes to make that possible? That's where lineworkers come in.
Lineworkers are skilled professionals who work on both overhead and underground power lines and electrical systems to ensure that electricity is transmitted safely and efficiently across cities, counties, and states. They are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing the infrastructure that carries electricity from power plants to homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, factories, and all of the other buildings and facilities that make up our communities.
Without lineworkers, we wouldn't have electricity. That means no lights, no refrigeration, no heating or air conditioning, no internet…the list goes on and on. But lineworkers aren't just important for our daily conveniences. Lineworkers play a critical role in keeping our modern society running safely and smoothly.
When a storm or natural disaster strikes, lineworkers are often first on the scene. They know that even a few minutes without electricity can have a huge economic impact on a community and can put lives in serious danger. They work tirelessly in dangerous and extreme conditions, at all hours of the day or night, to restore the power needed to keep hospitals running during a storm, and students cool during the hottest school days.
It’s no wonder that lineworkers are often called the "unsung heroes" of our society! Their work can be hard and dangerous, and requires immense amounts of expertise, skill, and bravery. Yet they willingly and proudly do this work to ensure that we have the electricity we need to power our lives.
Lineworkers also have a critical role in enabling a bright future for our country and communities. As the world becomes more reliant on electricity, lineworkers are responsible for ensuring that the infrastructure can handle the increased demand by learning and working with cutting-edge technologies to make the power grid more efficient and reliable.
The job of a lineworker is not an easy one, but it’s an important and rewarding one. They are essential to our way of life and play a vital role in our society. So, the next time you turn on a light or charge your phone, take a moment to appreciate the lineworkers who make it all possible!
Interested in becoming a lineworker? Learn more about how to get started with an electrical apprenticeship to join the ranks of these brave men and women!
With careers that provide exciting projects, meaningful work, fantastic benefits, great pay, limitless opportunities for growth, and an enviable work-life balance, it’s no wonder that construction tradespeople hear “wow, you’re so lucky!” quite often.
For many people and in many professions, success often does come down to luck - who you know, who you meet, being in the right place at the right time, etc. - but a successful career in the trades has nothing to do with luck.
Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Why is work worth doing such a prize? Over a lifetime, the average person spends roughly 90,000 hours working. In a week, we spend more time at work than we do pursuing hobbies or being with our families. Imagine spending all that time on work that you weren’t passionate about or fulfilled by. Imagine feeling no purpose in the work you do. That would sound more like a life-sentence than a life, and certainly not a prize.
On the other hand, imagine finding a career that means something, not just to you, but to the people around you - a career that serves and betters your community and contributes to the greater good of society. That’s work that has purpose, that you can take pride in.
There’s a common misconception that anyone off the street can pick up a few tools and get to work in construction - even if they have little to no experience or training. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Just because you don’t need a four-year college degree to work in the building trades, doesn’t mean that you don’t need any skills, education, or specialized training. In fact, you need a LOT.
Construction work has the reputation of being physically demanding and hard on your body. While some jobs in the building trades can be physically intense, there are many that don’t require brute strength or really much strength at all. It’s one of the biggest myths of construction work!
In fact, many people choose a career in the building trades because of the physical aspects. In the trades, work is active and engaging. No sitting in one place behind a desk for countless hours on end. In the trades, you’re up, moving, and working with your hands to build something meaningful and lasting. It is physical work, though, and physical work does require different abilities and skills than that of your average desk job.