7 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Career in Construction
Construction jobs are often misconceived as low-paying, uneducated and dirty; but that’s far from the truth. The trade and construction industry is full of opportunity for those willing to put in the work. Not only are there high-paying jobs with tremendous growth potential, a career in construction helps young people earn more income faster while avoiding the debt typically associated with a degree. Furthermore, the more skilled you are, the higher your pay scale will be and the faster your career will climb. And that’s without getting into the opportunities for entrepreneurship.
Specifically in the Okanagan, builders and tradespeople are reaching success for their businesses and their careers. Moreover, with thousands of consumers looking to build and renovate their homes, businesses are experiencing a massive influx of new projects and growth opportunities.
Here are 7 reasons you should work in the trades and construction industry:
1. It’s a fast-growing industry.
Compared to many other career paths, you will learn a variety of skills quickly and grow within one company. For example, you can go from an entry-level position to management much faster than you would in any other industry. In April 2021, total investment in building construction increased 6.3% to $19.9 billion.
In addition, the residential construction industry provides for $81.1 billion in wages that support Canadians and local economies across Canada (Figure 4). Also in 2020, 58% of the total number of jobs in residential construction in Canada were in renovation and repair while 42% can be attributed to new home construction.
Access to trades talent in the Okanagan is one of the biggest issues locally. That means growth potential and higher earning potential for those looking to take on the work.
To look for jobs in the Okanagan, click here to use the CHBA-CO job board.
2. Projects are physically rewarding.
Unlike an office job you can physically see, touch and hold the project that you have been working on. It is very satisfying to see the project start from nothing but a field of dirt to a beautiful million-dollar home. It makes you appreciate all of the small steps in-between. For those bored by desk work, construction is incredibly rewarding.
Jacob Kuiken, the President of Everton Ridge Homes and CHBA-CO member describes how “there’s nothing quite like seeing client’s eyes light up when they realize it’s their house for the first time. It’s a great feeling to know you’ve delivered to their standards and helped them achieve their dreams”.
The trades and construction industry offers a wide array of opportunities to work and learn. Whereas office jobs tend to be predictable, something about being a tradesman pulls you out of everyday life. It puts you in a position where you can make an impact on the people around you. Coupled with also being able to work on projects that directly affect people, rather than just being told what to do by your boss.
3. There is a variety of roles and responsibilities.
In most trades, tradespeople have the opportunity to do many different things throughout the day. You are never stuck doing the same thing. Additionally, because some of the trades skills overlap, there is the possibility of switching trades without such a hassle. With each home design being different from the next, from hillside to infill, there are always new challenges that will keep you on your toes.
For example, school teachers cannot become nurses easily without going back to school for 2 to 4 years. Whereas in construction, because many skills overlap it is easier to upgrade your skills. Particularly, workers in the industry quickly grow from a carpenter to a site manager, to a business owner or CEO.
4. Trade school is less expensive and faster to complete.
Trade school only requires students to be in a classroom for a few weeks or months out of the year. As most of the skills are learned on the job, most students are paid to learn on the job. Notably, the construction industry offers high pay and job security starting as an apprentice.
To compare, at the Okanagan College, the price of tuition and fees for apprentice levels 1 to 4 in Carpentry is $3,820 total. Whereas, years 1 to 4 in a Bachelor of Business Administration is $23,876. Compared to other career paths, this one offers more benefits and no student debt.
5. Very good job security.
During the pandemic, more people were buying homes which made the housing industry in Canada boom. This was especially beneficial to tradespeople as they got more and more work. As a result, this meant that they did not have to worry about having a shortage of projects and income. On the contrary, most builders expanded their businesses so quickly that they struggled to get materials and staff to keep up with demand.
Even post-pandemic it is fair to say that tradespeople will have job security as cities continue to grow and require new builds and repairs. Employment in the construction sector in Canada is forecasted to remain the same until 2027.
Direct employment in the residential construction sector increased by 1% in 2020. Hence, showing the resilience of the sector that was able to continue its operations and increase employment numbers during a particularly challenging year.
6. Wages are high.
The residential construction industry in Canada is thriving. With average salaries of $62,000 per year, it’s easily one of the best-paid careers. If you enjoy physical work and are good at it, there’s a lot of money to be made.
In a 2020 economic performance review, the residential construction industry is the largest single wealth-builder for most families. The industry also provides for $138.1 billion in economic investment.
For example, the average salary for Electricians in BC is $58,497 and $28.51 per hour for Carpenters. To see what wages local businesses in the Okanagan are paying, click here.
7. There are various entrepreneurial opportunities.
Entrepreneurs in the industry have been able to reach success and accomplish their dreams of financial freedom. It was thanks to the high demand for new homes and construction in the past few years. Specifically, Kelowna’s low barriers to entry and competition have made it one of the best cities to open a small business by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
An Okanagan Builder, Jacob Kuiken explains that he started his business in this industry because it allowed him to work his own hours and make a difference in the community.
Considering becoming a skilled tradesperson but not 100% sure?
Contact the CHBA-CO or attend an industry networking event to talk to an industry professional.