Why Do Construction Jobs Pay So Well?

Construction Worker

One of the biggest things people notice in their first construction job is that they’re getting paid a lot more than they did at their last job.

Why is that? How is it that construction jobs pay so much better than, say, retail, warehousing, or hospitality jobs? Isn’t a construction position just another of several jobs for people without college degrees?

The truth is that there are several aspects to construction jobs that make them different — vastly different — from those “other” jobs you may have considered. Let’s run through the primary reasons construction jobs pay better than the other options you might be considering.

1. Not just anybody can get a construction job.

Generally speaking, you don’t need any skills to work at a big box store, fast food restaurant, or the warehouse for an online retailer. Anybody can get those jobs, which is why the pay is low — and why it stays low.

In other words, you don’t need specialized knowledge or abilities to get those jobs. You just have to be willing to show up and do what someone tells you. You, your neighbor, and your best friend are equally qualified to hold those jobs. And you’ll all earn the same wage for your efforts.

Construction jobs aren’t like that. To qualify for a construction job, you need special skills and abilities. In many cases, you’ll need specific industry certifications, which you can earn on the job and/or through completion of a training program. Construction jobs pay well because they require these special sills. They aren’t handing out construction jobs to just anybody!

Of course, you’ve got to start somewhere. Construction is just like other fields in this regard. Your first position at a construction company might pay a similar wage to the last retail job you had; however, you’ll probably be earning a lot more in just a short period of time.

That’s because on-the-job exposure gives you a lot of experience and promotes rapid skills acquisition. Construction companies tend to promote from within, so there’s a good chance you’ll be out-earning your peers in kitchens or retail facilities after a year or less on the job.

2. Training is required.

So, how does someone with no construction experience get a construction job?

It’s a good question! The answer is that people interested in construction jobs need to complete some type of training program. The fact that they’ve gone through special training is one of the reasons construction professionals can compete for a higher wage.

In the past, the only ways to get training were to get a “no experience needed” apprenticeship with a construction company or to earn a certificate or associate’s degree in a construction discipline. Those options are still available, but there are potential issues with both.

For starters, not many construction companies offer apprenticeships or are willing to hire someone with no experience and train them on the job. You’ll have to be lucky enough to find a company in your area that offers a program like that. As for getting a certificate or associate’s degree, doing so may require a lot of time away from your current job — not to mention the thousands of dollars such a credential likely costs.

The good news is that there’s a third option. At Construction Ready, our flagship construction training program helps people of all ages and backgrounds train for good-paying, in-demand construction jobs. The program lasts 20 days and is fully funded, so you pay nothing! Since we include an employer match as part of the program, 97% of our graduates have a construction job right when they graduate.

Our construction training for teenagers also helps high school students prepare for a high-paying construction career, which they can begin right out of high school! These teenagers earn the same credentials as students in our adult program.

3. Construction jobs aren’t easily outsourced or replaced.

You can outsource a warehouse job to a country where it’s cheaper to operate a warehouse. You can’t outsource a construction job to a different country because the construction project is happening right here.

Similarly, you can replace a delivery driver or a retail worker. They don’t have any special skills. On the other hand, you definitely can’t replace a concrete finisher — at least not without a lot of hassle. There simply aren’t very many people with the concrete finisher’s set of skills.

This is another reason construction jobs pay well: it’s difficult to outsource or replace them.

Since construction jobs aren’t easily outsourced, workers can demand (and receive) a higher wage for their work. Employers have to hire workers right here, so they have to pay them what they’re willing to work for. And since construction workers’ skills aren’t easily replaced, employers have to pay them more to ensure they don’t look elsewhere for work.

Ready to train for a construction job? We’d love to help!

Get in touch today to learn more about our fully funded 20-day construction training program! The truth is, you really can get a job where you earn a good wage today and an even better wage in the future. You’ll also do work you’re truly proud of, which is something that’s hard to come by in today’s workplace.

With the special skills and abilities gained through training, you’ll be well on your way to a prosperous construction career!

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