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Encourage Your Child to Explore Interests and Passions

As a parent, you hold significant influence in nurturing your child's interests and passions. Engage your child in conversations about their interests and encourage them to explore career and technical education (CTE) courses, internships, and guidance counseling services. With your unique understanding of your child, set aside dedicated time to discuss their career aspirations, potential paths, training opportunities, and internships. Ensure that your child takes a variety of CTE courses during their middle and high school years. These courses can help them delve deeper into their passions, discover new interests, and obtain certifications or training for future careers. By providing these opportunities and support, you can empower your child to pursue fulfilling and successful careers that align with their strengths and interests.

the situation


The demand for skilled workers in the construction industry has never been greater, with millions of jobs available nationwide. In Tennessee alone, the shortage of construction workers across all trades exceeds 315,000, presenting an excellent opportunity for students to start their careers and earn an income from day one, without taking on student debt. Additionally, many companies offer training programs and apprenticeships that allow students to earn while they learn.

A career in construction is an excellent choice for your child, providing a great living and plenty of job security. Furthermore, the trades offer a safe work environment, ensuring your child’s well-being while on the job. While starting in an entry-level position, the growth potential in the trades is limitless, with many opportunities for on-the-job learning and training. By pursuing a career in construction, your child can set themselves on the path to success and achieve their career goals.


Skilled Tradesmen
through 2026


Average Starting
after an apprenticeship


of Skilled Tradesmen
are estimated to Retire in the next 15 Years


Debt Compared
to a Traditional
Four Year Education

7 out of 10 jobs

require less than a
four-year degree


Encourage Exploration via CTE Courses

In K-12 schools across the state, students have access to a wide range of career and technical education (CTE) courses, particularly in the trades. Many schools even offer dual enrollment credit, allowing students to earn college credit while still in high school. With such abundant opportunities, there has never been a better time to receive comprehensive training in the trades.

As a parent, it’s essential to encourage your child to explore Tennessee’s community colleges and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), which offer a variety of course offerings and career paths. These institutions provide an excellent platform for students to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen field. By exploring these options, your child can gain valuable experience and credentials, laying the foundation for a successful career.

Resources Abound

When it comes to advocating to your child about a skilled trades career, you aren’t alone.

Encouraging your child to explore different career paths can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It’s important for them to talk to CTE teachers, guidance counselors, and professionals in various trades to gain insight into potential career opportunities. To further broaden their horizons, consider reaching out to a local business and inquire about the possibility of shadowing an employee for a day or participating in a summer internship.

We recommend using our Career Pathways tool to explore potential career options and visualize your child’s pathways to success.


Find Your Career

There are dozens of high-quality, good-paying career paths in the trades that do not require a four-year degree. Explore our website to learn more about pathways to success in the trades.

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