Being a part of an apprenticeship program in the construction industry you get the opportunity to earn a paycheck while you learn and gain valuable insight both in the classroom and on job sites. From master trainers to current employees on a job site, you get a well-rounded education in the construction field from many different points of view. While it may start out as just a job to some people, this industry is built for careers, with opportunities for growth and flexibility. Here's some tips to jumpstart your advancement in the industry!
Plan Your Future
When you’re in an apprenticeship, whether you’re just starting out or are part of the way through, you’ll want to begin planning out your future. Understanding your trade and knowing the length of the program you’re in can help you visualize your path to journey worker status. This can also show you what direction you may want to take, whether it be moving into a foreman position or starting your own business. While courses may be costly, you’ll be earning while you learn, so you won’t go into debt like you would be if you were earning a college degree. This allows you to plan financially for your future and save up for big purchases.
Since you are earning while learning when in an apprenticeship, you’re able to stick to payment schedules for any additional big investments you make. For example, you may budget for a vehicle that allows you to travel to and from work. You won’t have to worry about paying the car loan and insurance each month as you will be receiving a paycheck during the program. Apprenticeships also give you the ability to learn a transferable skill that can be used all over the country. Owning a home in your dream city could be the major investment you want to make. Thinking about your current wages and your earning potential as a journey worker, a 30-year fixed mortgage may be the best option for you. The lower payments can be easier to make while you’re still making apprentice wages and can give you the time to build up your savings until you start earning more.
Understand Your Training
Enrolling in your required courses and on-the-job training is necessary to become a journey worker, but taking supplemental courses is how you’ll grow in your career. Taking extra classes, whether it be in-person or online within the construction industry can show your dedication while also making you a more valuable employee to the company you work for. Learning soft skills, such as communication and decisiveness, can help you navigate through your trade and help build relationships with your supervisors, coworkers, and clients. Having these leadership skills in your tool belt can take you from the average apprentice or journey worker, to a supervisor or foreman. While this can be a benefit to the company you work for, this can also be a personal asset if you plan to start your own construction business. Getting ahead of the game with training can get you ahead in your long-term career.
Commit to Safety
Understanding the safety protocols on a worksite can prevent injury as well as a delay on a project. Many safety classes are required in your course schedule, such as OSHA training and CPR, but going above and beyond can ensure you’re prepared for anything that could happen. Basic knowledge of machinery and site safety is necessary for everyone on a project to have in order to keep everything running smoothly and to avoid any accidents. Taking additional courses, such as SST courses can lead you to a path as a site safety coordinator. Holding this responsibility can show dedication to the field and the safety efficiency of a worksite. Keeping up-to-date with current safety trends and laws shows leadership credentials and can help you move up in a company or give you the necessary skills to start your own business.