If you’re a high school student trying to decide what career path to pursue, consider a future in construction.
Imagine completing your higher education with a certification in a skilled trade, absolutely no student loan debt, and several years of paid work experience already under your belt. Now, add a few competitive job offers into the mix.
Sound too good to be true? Think again. Right now, this is actually what it’s like for people who choose a career in the skilled construction trades.
Skilled Worker Shortage
Arizona, along with the rest of the country, is experiencing a skilled worker shortage. This means there are thousands more construction-related jobs available than there are qualified workers to fill them. In fact, 95 percent of Arizona contractors are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions and lean on Arizona construction staffing agencies to fill those needs.
When the construction demand outweighs the supply of skilled workers like this, employers have to work much harder to recruit, educate, and keep their employees.
To curb the worker shortage, construction companies are reaching out to potential employees before they even leave high school. They do this to persuade more students to choose an apprenticeship or another vocational training program over a traditional four-year university.
Not only are companies seeking to educate a younger audience about the benefits of working in construction, but they are recruiting more women as well. Currently, women make up less than ten percent of the construction industry workforce. To increase that number, companies are making a greater effort to introduce young, female students to the skilled trades.
Build Your Future
The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation has launched an outreach initiative to educate young people about careers in construction: Build Your Future Arizona. One of the main goals of BYF is to encourage people ages 17 to 30 to help support Arizona’s growing economy by learning skilled trades.
BYF has created a helpful online tool to find the average annual salaries of various construction trades in Arizona. Just one click will show you what you can earn in each job.
For instance, did you know that plumbers make nearly $49,000 per year? That salary increases once becoming a master plumber. Electricians earn about $48,000, which also increases with experience. If you work in construction project management, you can earn a salary in the $90,000s.
Start Your Research Now
Don’t wait to consider your options until after graduation – start researching now. If your school hosts college or career fairs on campus, never miss an opportunity to show up and ask questions. There are also plenty of community events geared toward high school students to educate them about the advantages of a career in construction and give them the opportunity to meet representatives of top Arizona construction staffing agencies.
Be sure to save the date for next year’s Arizona Construction Career Days event: Nov. 5-6, 2020. The 2019 event attracted nearly 3,500 students from 130 Arizona schools. More than 60 construction companies showed up to offer students hands-on instruction and facetime with construction industry veterans.
Attending events like these is a great way to get your questions answered by experts in the field, and to help you make smart decisions about your future.
Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships
An accredited apprenticeship program is a smart way to make money, gain work experience, and earn a skilled trade certification at the same time. Every state has its own apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships have affordable fees that can be paid overtime, without requiring student loans.
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) offers free pre-apprenticeship training programs for women, minorities, veterans, and other qualifying individuals. These “Construction Academies” prepare people to enter highway construction trades or apprenticeship programs.
Participants in the ADOT program graduate with commercial driver permits, safety training, and certification to work as “flaggers” on highway projects. Those who have perfect attendance also receive free gear to get started.
Arizona Construction Staffing
Once you’re ready to get to work, the best way to network with a variety of employers is to work with a construction staffing company. SitePro Solutions has strong relationships with the top construction employers in Arizona. We can find you immediate hourly placements and will keep you working consistently from job to job.
When you’re looking to settle in for a permanent, full-time position, the Arizona construction staffing experts at SitePro Solutions will match your skills and career goals with the right opportunity.
To view our current construction job openings, visit SiteProSolutions.com/find-a-job.