Advantage of Being in the Construction Trade


By John Lack,

A large part of our journey through life is the profession we choose. I chose construction and, looking back after 37 years in the industry, I have no regrets. Drawing from my own experience, I have put together 8 advantages of choosing a career in the construction trades.

  1. Great income. It is possible to earn a comfortable living without going into debt. While college, trade school, and apprenticeship programs can enhance qualifications, learning on the job alongside skilled trades people can provide valuable experience you can’t find anywhere else. If you work hard, learn everything you can, ask questions, and go the extra mile, you will advance, and the income will likely follow.
  2. Build your own house. A great way to get ahead financially is to build your own home on the side. I would build a house for myself every few years and live in it long enough to avoid the capital gains tax. The first home was a simple ranch, and I performed most of the work to develop equity. When I sold it, I put the equity into the next house I built. By my fourth home, I was mortgage free. This took discipline and a lot of hard work, but it was well worth it.
  3. Start a business. Some trades people end up going into business for themselves once they have developed the skills and confidence needed to start their own company. Many well-established and successful construction businesses started from a trades person stepping out to start his or her own business.
  4. Express creativity. Creativity comes in many forms. There can be a great sense of satisfaction in creating custom woodwork, fabricating something with metal, or trimming an electrical panel with great wiring detail. Creativity can also be expressed through project organization or by developing an empty lot into a beautiful building.  
  5. Stay active. Our bodies are designed to move, walk, bend, and stretch. A job in construction can help you stay more active and physically fit than other occupations. On the other hand, you could run your body into the ground if you are not aware of the hazards. It is important to educate yourself and use proper protective measures.
  6. Help others. Not everyone is handy, and the skills you develop can be a blessing to others. Family and friends may need help with projects around their homes, your community might have a building in need, or your church may need some remodeling. Early in our careers, my coworkers and I would trade time with each other when building our houses. Trading time with trusted people was a great way to get ahead early in life.
  7. Travel to different areas. Some construction opportunities involve traveling. With lodging and expenses paid, it can be an inexpensive way to visit new places. I knew a carpenter who traveled to Dubai for a few years to install commercial hardware on hotel projects. He loved it.
  8. Job security. There will always be construction in the U.S., and it cannot be easily outsourced overseas. If you are good at what you do and want to work, you will find jobs. I have lived through a few times when construction was slow, but skilled workers were able to continue making a good income.

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