Should You Get a Construction Apprenticeship?

Skilled Tradesperson Who May Have Completed a Construction Apprenticeship

There are few professional fields more exciting than construction. If you’re considering working in construction — and wondering whether it makes sense to get a construction apprenticeship — you’re on a path toward a satisfying and great-paying career.

As a construction professional, you’ll play a vital role in building the structures and environments people depend on. It’s gratifying work, and every day is a little bit different!

However, there’s not always an obvious way to break into the field. Should you get training? An apprenticeship? Should you go back to school?

All of these are different ways to start a construction career. None are necessarily better than the others. The right choice depends on your personal circumstances.

Let’s take a closer look at what a construction apprenticeship is all about. We’ll consider how to prepare for one, how to get one, and what some alternatives are.

How to get a construction apprenticeship

An apprentice is someone who learns a trade from a tradesperson on a job site. Typically, apprentices are employed as low-level workers. Their goal is to develop expertise through hands-on learning.

So, do construction companies hire apprentices? The answer depends on what you mean.

Very few companies have bona fide apprenticeship programs for people who want to learn the trade. For the ones that do, your best bet is to:

  1. Talk to someone at the company who can tell you more about apprenticeship opportunities.
  2. Apply for the apprenticeship
  3. Get hired and start working
  4. Study the trades while working and develop expertise in one or more areas.

But what about the majority of construction companies that don’t have a construction apprenticeship program? How do you start working for them if you don’t have experience?

Well, here’s a little industry secret: everybody’s first construction job is an apprenticeship.

Here’s what we mean by that. In the construction field, it’s common to start off in a low-level laborer position and work your way up over time. As someone new to the construction field, you’ll be able to assist with all kinds of tasks. Over time, you’ll likely gain exposure to several different specialties within construction: things like plumbing, HVAC, framing, electrical work, and heavy equipment operation.

So if you’re looking for a construction apprenticeship, what you should really consider doing instead is looking for entry-level construction jobs that require little or no experience.

Those positions might not be called “apprenticeships,” at least not officially. But they all give you the opportunity to work on a construction site, study different trade specialties, and develop expertise that can grow into a career.

Do you need training before applying for construction apprenticeship jobs?

Usually, yes. You need some kind of training to get a good job with a good company.

Wait a minute, you might be thinking. Isn’t the point of an apprenticeship to provide training on the job?

Yes, but remember that most construction companies can’t accommodate traditional apprenticeships of this sort. Instead, the more common route is to apply for an entry-level job, get hired, and hone your skills while working in that position. While some construction companies offer entry-level jobs to individuals with absolutely no experience, most will not. You’ll need to obtain some baseline training before you apply.

There are two ways to do that: complete a program at a community college or enroll in a dedicated construction training program.

Community or technical college programs can be great if you have the time and money to attend one. Depending on what programs are available at institutions in your area, you may be able to complete a certificate program during a single semester or an associate’s degree over the course of two years. Most technical schools will offer training in HVAC, plumbing, electrical work, and other trades.

If time and money are a barrier to enrolling in college courses, consider a construction training program like Construction Ready. Our 20-day program provides the skills and credentials you need to get your first construction job. It’s also fully funded and costs nothing for you to attend!

97% of Construction Ready graduates already have a job lined up before the end of the 20-day training. The construction field faces a chronic worker shortage, and the companies we’ve partnered with are happy to hire our graduates, who are well trained and prepared for what they’ll find on the job site.

Today’s the day to start your construction career

Whether you decide to pursue a construction apprenticeship, community college program, or a dedicated training program, you’re making the right decision.

The opportunities in construction are practically limitless. It’s common for entry-level workers to quickly work their way into a specialization and earn a good salary by the end of their first year on the job!

If you’re ready to start your career and want to learn more about Construction Ready, get in touch with us today!

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