CONSTRUCTION TRADES PROGRAM
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Why is construction a good career move?
Construction jobs have always carried an unflattering stigma. For instance, when you hear “construction”, you likely think of things like like manual labor, dirt, boots, hard hats and possibly metal lunch boxes.
However – with 9 million employees globally – construction is the number one vocation of those who choose to enter the workforce instead of pursuing college enrollment. The problem is not a lack of quality of jobs, but it’s the perception of those roles in general that leave them unfilled.
Many people are hesitant to enter the construction industry because they believe it requires extreme physical labor for very little payoff – an untrue myth that’s never truly been debunked.
In reality, construction workers without a college degree can earn a median salary of around $75,000 per year for certain jobs. They can also receive and enjoy medical, dental, and retirement benefits. Construction managers can even make as much as some computer engineers and programmers with an average yearly salary of $95,000.
Construction is one of the only industries where you can excel and progress within a company without needing to be traditionally educated with a four-year degree.
In 2018, the top 10 highest paid-construction jobs that did not require a four-year degree include:
- Elevator Installers & Repairers: $79.7k
- Boiler Makers: $62.1k
- Construction/Building Inspector: $59.7k
- Electricians: $55.1k
- Plumbers/Pipe Fitter: $53.9k
- Iron Worker: $52.7k
- Sheetmetal Worker: $48.5k
- Construction Equipment Operators: $46.9k
- Mason: $44.8k
- Roofers: $39.9k
A labor union is an organization that acts as an intermediary, or liaison, between workers and their employers. The main purpose of a labor union is to give workers the power to negotiate for more favorable working conditions, pay and other benefits through collective bargaining.
Collective bargaining is a process that allows the voices of individual workers to be heard as a group, in order to increase negotiating power. Unionized workers typically elect representatives to bring their concerns to the entire Union’s attention, then come up with resolution to benefit the group.
Other groups who are members of labor unions include but are not limited to:
- Police Officers/Law Enforcement
- Farm Workers
Union workers benefit most from the Union’s collective bargaining power to negotiate with employers on their behalf. Other benefits include:
- Protection from unjust termination – prevents being dismissed from a job without “just cause” as opposed to those who can be fired “at will”.
- Option to strike – allows workers to stop working to protest labor conditions or as a tool during labor/management negotiations.
- Pay negotiation – promotes wage increases on a regular basis and ensures that all workers are earning livable pay.
- Better work conditions – provides the opportunity to negotiate better working conditions without remand as well as other work-related benefits like improved safety measures.
- Training for new skills – union workers receive training opportunities while on the job to improve their skills and increase professional development and job security.