As a student, developing an interest in the trades can start as early as middle school. As a middle or high school student, it's important to explore different career and technical education (CTE) classes to discover your interests and review potential career paths. Talk to your CTE teachers, guidance counselors, parents, and even industry professionals to learn more about different trades and their education requirements. You can also reach out to companies that interest you and ask if you can shadow one of their professionals for a day to gain firsthand experience and insights. Many companies offer training programs and apprenticeships that provide you with opportunities to earn an income while learning the necessary skills of the trade. With dedication and determination, you can narrow down your focus and pursue a fulfilling career in the trades.
The demand for skilled workers in the construction industry has never been greater, with millions of job opportunities waiting to be filled nationwide. In Tennessee alone, the shortage of construction workers across all trades is estimated to be more than 315,000, creating a massive demand for skilled professionals.
If you’re ready to jumpstart your career and start earning a steady income from day one, the trades are the perfect place to begin. With many companies offering their own training programs and apprenticeships, you can gain practical experience while getting paid to work.
What’s more, the trades offer limitless growth potential, allowing you to start in an entry-level position and quickly progress to leadership roles within the company. Whether you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder or start your own successful business, the skills and experience you’ll gain in the trades will open doors to endless opportunities.
With the demand for skilled trades at an all-time high, over half the current labor force estimated to retire in the next 15 years and only 1 new tradesperson entering for every 5 workers retiring – the opportunities within the trades have never been greater.
The trades include opportunities in dozens of industries and career fields. The opportunities are endless. Careers in the trades include concrete finisher, construction site safety technician, craft laborer, drone operator, drywall installer, electrician, framer, general contractor, glazier, heavy equipment operator, home builder, HVAC technician, insulator, ironworker, mason, millwright, mobile crane operator, painter, pipefitter, pipeline technician, plumber, power line worker, project management, rigger, road builder, roofer, scaffold builder, sheet metal worker, surveyor, tower crane operator, welder and many others.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in construction, there are numerous opportunities available to you. One of the best ways to get started is to find an area of interest, whether that be heavy machinery, masonry, painting, or everything in between, and explore different training options. Many businesses offer on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs, and some even cover the cost of trade school tuition. You can also investigate career paths through your local community college, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, or the Construction Trades Academies offered by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Tennessee. With endless opportunities available in the trades, there’s no better time to start your journey towards a fulfilling career in construction.
With more than 315,000 skilled workers needed in TN, there's never been a better time to skill up for a career in the trades.