New Year, New Career in Construction
December 16, 2020
The pandemic changed the way people lived and worked this year and many industries laid off employees due to economic constraints. One of the overall bright spots in the economy, however, was the home building and remodeling industry.
Residential construction was deemed an essential business by many state and local governments across the country during COVID-19 business restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, many individuals working in skilled trades remained gainfully employed. In Washington, although construction was shut down, the residential construction industry got back to work nearly five weeks earlier than other industries. If you or someone you know is seeking a career change or a fresh start in the new year, the skilled trades can offer a rewarding career path and a well-paying salary.
The earning potential is strong for both men and women in the industry. On average, women in the United States earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. Women in the construction industry earn 97 cents for every dollar a man earns. Recent studies show women gaining ground in the industry. The number of women employed in the construction industry grew substantially last year, rising to around 1.2 million and surpassing the peak of pre-recession employment levels, according to NAHB.
Not only is the residential construction industry inclusive, but training programs also offer a viable alternative to the four-year college track without the burden of sky-high student loan debt. In the 2018-19 school year, the average amount borrowed by bachelor’s degree recipients who took out loans to pay for college was $28,800, according to the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid 2020 report. The residential construction industry offers a variety of training programs at a fraction of the cost of a four-year degree.
There are many resources available to help individuals get started in a career in the trades. BIAW can connect students to apprentice programs or other job training programs locally.
Working in the trades brings a sense of satisfaction for completing high-quality work that contributes to home building and ultimately helping to fulfill the American Dream. For more information, please visit biaw.com/program/education.