As graduates cast aside their caps and gowns and contemplate their futures, quite a few might be eager to enter the workforce. A career in residential construction offers multiple trade options along with on-the-job training.
The construction industry in our state is growing at a high pace, with an expected 315,000 job opportunities in skilled trades through 2026, according to Go Build Tennessee. Skilled trades such as carpentry or plumbing do not require a four-year degree and apprentice opportunities allow students to earn while they learn.
Once training is complete, skilled trades professionals have strong earning potential.
Half of the payroll workers in construction earn more than $54,540, and the top 25% make at least $77,030, the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics and a National Association of Home Builders analysis reveals. The BLS publishes wages for more than 400 occupations in construction.
Here’s a closer look at the median salaries among the highest-paid wages in construction based on the most recent data available (2022):
The median wage for plumbers is $60,070. Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. In general, plumbers are excellent listeners and problem-solvers.
As long as there are complex water systems in and outside of homes, there will be a need for reliable plumbers.
Qualified electricians are always in demand. The median wage for electricians is $59,300.
Electricians have excellent analytical skills, are adept at diagnosing problems and work with a variety of tools and technology.
Laying brick is one of the oldest and most respected trades in the construction industry. Masonry construction uses brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone, concrete block, glass block, stucco and tile.
The median wage for brick masons is $59,130 annually.
Carpenters are needed in all construction areas and are often employed throughout the entire construction process. Thus, it is one of the most secure jobs in the industry.
The best carpenters are critical thinkers who are detail oriented. Skilled carpenters earn $52,400 annually.
Seasoned tradespeople have the opportunity to manage people and projects. First-line supervisors play a key role in making sure projects are completed on time and within budget.
The median wage for an employee in this role is $74,330.
Learn more about skilled trade training programs, apprenticeships and career opportunities at Go Build Tennessee (www.gobuildtennessee.com) and Home Builders Association of Chattanooga (hbagc.net).