Construction careers can be a viable option for new graduates. Whether you’re looking into a residential or commercial market, the population continues to expand, and new businesses continue to open, giving this type of career the potential for a secure future. Knowing the ins and outs of construction businesses can also be beneficial for a variety of related careers or help you to start your own business. 

1. Consider the Different Trades and Choose Your Interest

Within the construction industry, there are many different trade opportunities. Specialized skills are in demand and essential for helping all the different elements of residential or commercial buildings come together. Trades to consider under the construction umbrella include drywall, electrician, insulation, roofing, carpenter, heavy equipment operator, plumber, HVAC tech, mason, glazier, painter and many others. If you’re just starting out, you may initially find work as a general construction laborer or as a laborer in a specific trade area. 

General programs at community colleges or tech colleges may have programs related to a specific industry or trade. Trade-based programs like construction could help recent grads to build financial stability. 

2. Obtain an Apprenticeship to Hone Your Skills

You may already have certain talents or skills that will help you be successful in a specific construction trade area. However, gaining an apprenticeship is where you’ll really dive into the specifics of a trade and learn all the ins and outs. There are different standards for various trades, and work is inspected in order to ensure it meets codes and requirements. Specific businesses may also have different processes and methods for the way they approach their trade. Some may specialize in doing things a certain way or having a specific quality control process, for example. You may work with a hiring agency, individual businesses, or local trade schools to find an apprenticeship. 

3. Continue to Grow Your Skills at a Reliable Company 

Once you’ve apprenticed, you’ll have a solid set of skills under your belt. You may find regular work with the same company you apprenticed with or make connections among other trades and quickly find a steady job that helps set you up for financial success. Finding a solid company can be important in order to have an employer that values your skills. Since construction trades can sometimes have busier and slower seasons, it’s also important to know what to expect in terms of pay. Know whether you’ll be paid hourly, per job, or with a salary. Hourly and per-job rates can fluctuate depending on how busy the season is, but overtime may be available in busy times which can help strengthen your income. As you grow your skills, you may also be able to get work with additional responsibilities or move up in the company. 

4. Take Additional Courses or Learn About Intersections of Tech and Construction Trades

As you gain your knowledge and skills, take additional specialized coursework or learn how tech can be used in more traditional construction trades and how it can provide more value and opportunities. If you’re interested in sustainable building practices, a career involving solar photovoltaic panels might be a good option. If you have strong organizational skills as well as good construction knowledge, working as a construction project manager may be in the cards. There are also college degrees, such as engineering or construction management, that are related to the construction industry and could be worth considering. 

5. Consider Starting Your Own Construction Business

While working for a good construction company and doing specialized trade work can provide excellent opportunities and financial stability, for some, the option of starting their own business becomes the ultimate goal. A construction business will take knowledge, networking, and skill, but can offer a massive number of benefits and new challenges. Contractor’s licenses are typically necessary to operate your own construction business, and there are varying categories depending on the type of construction you’ll be doing. Know that there are differences when it comes to licensure in different states. North Carolina contractor license requirements, for example, require people to be at least 18 years of age, complete the exam for the specific licensure type, and meet the minimum financial requirement based on the limitation of the license. In SC, people must pass the appropriate exams and have at least two years of work experience for the requested certification. Learning the requirements for your area can help you know what to expect. 

Construction Careers Can Help You Have a Successful Future

For recent graduates who are interested in building, renovating, or trades, a career in construction could be a smart solution. Growing in skills and learning the ins and outs of specific trades can help you get the financial stability you need and grow a career you love. 

For college juniors, checking into how a trade like construction could help build financial stability as well. 

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