When we at SitePro Solutions ask our applicants why they chose to specialize in a construction trade, we hear one response most often: “I wanted a career where I wouldn’t be stuck behind a desk for 40 hours per week.” After all, the 8-5 lifestyle of cubicles and fluorescent lights aren’t for everybody.
Fortunately for people like this, the skilled trades offer diverse work environments that vary from day to day and week to week. These careers also come with plenty of fresh air and physical activity on the job.
If you think working in a skilled construction trade might be the right career path for you, then settle in for some good news.
Skilled Worker Shortage
Arizona, along with most major construction markets across the U.S., is experiencing a skilled worker shortage. Recent research indicates that 95 percent of Arizona contractors are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions. At SitePro Solutions, the most frequent staffing requests we see are for cable techs, electricians, HVAC techs and plumbers.
Industry experts say there are 10,000 unfilled construction jobs in the state, a number that is expected to increase. Unfortunately, when construction companies can’t fill positions quickly enough, a labor shortage can cause costly construction delays. The construction industry is hungry for more skilled workers to keep up with the current pace of development.
What does this short supply in the face of growing demand mean for you? It means that companies are upping the ante to compete for enough craftsmen to finish their projects on time. In a shrinking pool of qualified candidates, you can expect employers to offer higher wages and sweeter benefits packages to attract the right talent.
For instance, average annual salaries for licensed (or journeyman) electricians land in the $55,000s with a substantial increase in salary for master electricians. The average pay for licensed plumbers is nearly $54,000, with master plumbers earning higher than the national average. The median pay for HVAC technicians is in the high $47,000s, which also increases with experience. The projected employment growth rate for each of these professions ranges from 10 to 14 percent over the next ten years.
Licensure and Apprenticeships
Most SitePro clients expect their employees to be licensed in their field and have a minimum of one to two years of work experience. Fortunately, Arizona is home to a number of reputable trade schools that offer classes toward certification for electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and various other construction trades.
An accredited apprenticeship program is a smart way to earn money, gain work experience, and receive an education at the same time. Every state has its own apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with a skills-based education to prepare workers for a trade such as electrical work, carpentry, masonry, or plumbing. Apprentices earn a respectable hourly wage and benefits as they gain an education in a skilled trade.
Apprenticeships have affordable tuition fees that can be paid overtime, without the need for student loans. Graduates of accredited apprenticeship programs leave with a license in a skilled trade, several years of work experience, and ample employment prospects.
While the shrinking workforce has placed a strain on the construction industry, it is a source of abundant opportunities for people seeking to join the skilled trades. Look to reputable training programs to place you on a lucrative career path in construction.
Once you’re ready to get to work, SitePro Solutions will match your skills and career goals with the right career opportunity. To view our current construction job openings, visit our career page.