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Why should I consider a career in the construction industry?

Lots of great reasons:
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What kind of people is the construction industry looking for?

Highly-motivated, responsible individuals with a desire to learn and work. People who take their future and career seriously and are looking for challenging work with substantial rewards. People who want to build a successful career that allows them to provide for a family, live in a safe community and enjoy the good things in life.

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What kind of salary can I expect in a construction career?

Income potential in the construction industry is unlimited. Craft people can make between $25,000 and $75,000 annually or more. Many craft people advance into Management positions and can earn more than $100,000 annually. Many craft people eventually own their own construction company, and for them ­ the sky is the limit.

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What training/education do I need?

You can begin craft training through your high school construction program. You also need Math, Science and Language Arts/Communication skills. Once you complete high school you can move on to advanced craft training through a technical school or community college. The good news is that while you are learning - you can be earning - by taking advantage of high school School-To-Career programs and evening courses at post-secondary schools. The more training you get, the more marketable you will be.

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What is the career path in the construction industry?

Once you have entered the construction work force and gotten some experience and additional training you can advance to a Supervisor/Foreman position, and then on to a Management position such as Project Manager or Estimator. Many individuals who begin as Craft people can progress to upper level Management positions, such as Vice President or they can own their own construction company. The sky is the limit for skilled individuals who are motivated and responsible.

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Can I work year round?

Yes. Construction is not a seasonal business. In colder climates, systems have been developed to enable construction work to proceed even when the temperature drops and the snow falls. And, remember, the inside of a building has to be built too. The walls have to be framed, drywalled and painted, the electricity and plumbing have to be installed and we can't forget the floors.

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Are there travel/relocation opportunities?

There are all kinds of opportunities! Contractors generally have several construction projects going at the same time. As projects are completed, new ones are begun. Many contractors build in several states and many also build in different countries. And if you are not interested in travel, construction can still be your field. When large industrial facilities are built -power plants, water treatment facilities, dams, for example - highly-skilled craft people are needed at the facility to make sure everything continues to run smoothly.

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How do I start?

Talk to your parents, teachers and guidance counselors. Register in your school's construction program, and work hard to do well. Ask your school to contact a construction association in your area. Contractors pay dues to belong to the association. The association represents the contractors on matters that are important to them. The association can put your school in touch with contractors who are interested in working with you and your school.

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Can I start training in one craft and change to another?

You bet. In fact, studies have shown that the best employee for a construction company is one who is an expert at their craft (i.e. Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry) and has had additional training in three other crafts.

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Will I be safe?

You are as safe as you want to be. It's just like everything you do in life. There are lots of safety rules and equipment to keep you safe in construction -- (hard hats, fall protection equipment, steel-toed boots, etc.) But if you ignore the rules and don't use the equipment, you won't be safe.

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What opportunities are there for females and minorities?

The same opportunities which exist for everybody. The bottom line is that the construction industry needs motivated, responsible and talented individuals. It doesn't matter what gender or ethnic background you represent.

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How many construction business owners started as craft people?

Lots. Estimates are that 30% of apprentices move on to own their own companies. The construction industry presents fantastic business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

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Taken From: http://careers.nccer.org/faq/index.asp