Individuals across the country are reimagining their career paths following the height of the pandemic. One industry worth exploring is residential construction.
Even as the United States is entering a period of economic easing, all projections show continued strong demand for new housing, making home building a stable and lucrative career choice.
There were 440,000 open construction jobs in May 2022, a recent National Association of Home Builders analysis shows.
Pivoting to a career in construction has many benefits. Consider the following:
The industry is hiring
Since the Great Recession, the U.S. has had a significant shortage of qualified professionals in the construction industry. As a result, homebuilders across the country and here in the Chattanooga area are seeking skilled workers – such as carpenters, framers and roofers – to help them build the American Dream.
A recent NAHB survey found that homebuilders reported widespread shortages of various construction-related occupations. For example, homebuilders said framing crews, carpenters, bricklayers and concrete workers were among the top labor shortages.
Therefore, many builders in our area are seeking qualified professionals to fill those positions.
Nicole Gosciniak, marketing and administrative services coordinator with the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, says the Chattanooga building market has exploded in recent years and many of the association’s members are paying top dollar and benefits to attract and keep good employees.
“Skilled laborers will always be needed. It’s a great time to start a construction career,” she adds.
Compensation is competitive
Many jobs in residential construction pay as much or more than jobs requiring similar experience levels and a college degree. Residential electricians, for example, earn an average of more than $61,000. And these careers begin with no or minimal student loan debt.
Careers in construction are not limited to what some might perceive as traditional roles of plumbers, framers, etc. A variety of management positions are available.
This challenging role requires critical thinking, technical skills, academic knowledge and a flair for leadership. An NAHB analysis reports 12 of the 13 highest-paid roles in construction are management roles.
The highest-paid managers in construction are architectural and engineering managers, with half making more than $135,900 a year. The top 25% on the pay scale earn more than $170,940 annually.
Training is available
There are numerous opportunities to gain experience and training in the skilled trades. The Home Builders Institute, a national leader in career training and the NAHB’s workforce development arm, offers educational programs in 46 states.
Through the organization’s industry-recognized curriculum, which is utilized in nearly 400 programs, HBI trains in various skills, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, building construction technology, HVAC and masonry.
HBI Job Corps programs are located in 118 job centers and offer pre-apprenticeship training in 10 residential construction trades. The training programs are national in scope but implemented locally using proven models that can be customized to meet the workforce needs of communities across the nation.
Those who graduate from the program enjoy a 92% job placement rate.
To learn more about training and job opportunities in the Tennessee Valley, visit the Home Builders of Great Chattanooga’s website at www.HBAGC.net.