Homebuilding Jobs Offer Excellent Benefits and an Opportunity to Make a Difference
As students head back to school, social media explodes with the traditional first day of school photos. Students stand at their front door holding colorful boards with their name, grade, teacher and often, career dreams. From the time they’re little, most kids are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Kids dream while parents subtly encourage practical decisions. Parents, teachers and friends talk about college and its benefits. But too few address the prospects of attending a trade school.
Vocational schools, also known as trade or technical education schools, train students in specific skills. These programs are shorter than the traditional four-year college degree. They’re often more hands-on, have lower-priced tuition and are highly focused programs. Learning a trade is an excellent option for every student.
This type of postsecondary education offers countless benefits. The shorter education time frame allows students to graduate and enter the workforce quickly. It’s much more affordable than attending college. Students often graduate with little to no student debt. Not only is this type of postsecondary education more affordable but graduates often secure high-paying careers.
Hourly wages for skilled tradespeople are typically well above minimum wage. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration experts earn $35 per hour; carpenters earn $35 per hour; electricians earn $39 per hour; sheet metal workers earn $41 per hour; and plumbers earn $42 per hour. These are just the average salaries in Alaska based on data from 2022.
Nationwide, the National Association of Home Builders reports the average carpenter earns $55,000 per year; masonry earns $60,000 per year; plumbers earn $63,000 per year; welders earn $48,000 per year; and drywall and ceiling tile installers earn $52,000 per year. These are nationwide averages. Skilled tradespeople have the potential to earn six-figure salaries.
Skilled tradespeople are also in high demand, especially in the residential construction industry. While an ever-changing world is putting some careers in jeopardy, most of the trades are not only safe, they’re growing. Additionally, there are too few people choosing this career path. That makes for labor shortages and frustrations in industries like construction. However, for people who pursue these jobs, it means there are always openings and opportunities. These jobs aren’t just for men either. More women are choosing careers in construction, recognizing the many benefits.
Choosing this career path shouldn’t just be based on many practical reasons. Students can still be that little kid holding a sign based on a dream. Many of the trades offer the opportunity to learn a rewarding skill. It’s a chance to work with your hands and create. You get the opportunity to help people. In the homebuilding industry, you’re creating a safe space for the community. You’re building the American Dream of homeownership.
The Anchorage Home Builders Association Care Endowment wants to help Alaskans seeking further education and training in the residential construction industry. We offer Care Endowment Scholarships. They’re available year-round, with quarterly awards.
For more information on these scholarships visit ahba.net or call (907) 522-3605.