3 Reasons Young People Should Enter Construction

It is a common refrain in our society that it is hard for young people to find jobs. There are many reasons for this, from economic uncertainty limiting the creation of new positions to insufficient salaries and benefits for qualified applicants. On the other hand, there are a number of fields which are not typically considered by the average young person, but which have a large need for workers. Foremost among industries experiencing a labor shortage is the field of construction.

Unfortunately, construction jobs no longer seem to appeal to rising generations as they once did. According to Builder Magazine, of the 74% of young Americans who have decided on a preliminary career path, only 3% have expressed an interest in construction and a whopping 63% say they’ll give the industry little or no consideration. By another estimate, for every 5 skilled workers who retire, there is only 1 new worker entering construction.

Why is this the case? We’ve written in the past about the negative stigma surrounding manual labor which creates misconceptions about what it is really like to work in industries like construction. Many young people associate construction with dangerous work or with low pay. However, these assumptions are often false, making education and awareness one of our most consistent recommendations for combating the skilled labor shortage.

So, with the goal of contributing to the re-education of the public (especially those rising generations who are beginning to look for jobs) about the amazing opportunities to be found in construction careers, here are 3 Reasons Young People Should Enter Construction!!

1. Construction Work Is Safer than Ever Before: Millennials were raised by cautious parents who guarded their physical safety above all else. Thus, younger generations are often wary of assumed safety hazards in the construction field. However, construction safety has progressed immensely over the last decade. Not only are construction machines equipped with many more fail-safe systems, but safety training is also far more rigorous.

Moreover, workers’ gear and equipment is always making greater advancements in safety and efficiency. Every company has safety guidelines related to labor and equipment operation. All elements of the job, down to the vests and helmets, are closely inspected and regulated. There are even online resources that provide information on work-boot models available on the market and their distinct safety features.

2. Higher Salaries than Other Fields: It’s no secret that one of the biggest struggles of younger generations is achieving financial security. Having stable income and little debt is a major concern, but it can be difficult for millennials, fresh on the job market, to adapt to an ever-changing economic landscape.

Yet while a plurality of young people assume that construction only pays $50,000/year or much less, building work can actually lead to careers with higher salaries than many other fields. Thus, jobs in construction are not only appealing for their availability, but also because they can lead to lifelong careers that provide well financially for young people and their families.

3. Most of Your Work Involves Technology: Another common misconception that young people have about the construction field is that it’s all overly-difficult, manual labor and zero fun. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Nowadays, on-site work relies heavily on advanced technology and machinery. The trend toward smart and autonomous technology will only continue to grow, transforming construction into an industry where workers have to work closely with groundbreaking technological innovations.

Millennials are well-known for being drawn to emerging technology and construction is an industry where they could be some of the first to test-run and implement brand-new machinery — and get paid to do so!! Of course, there will still be a need for laborers to get down and dirty — and do some hard-work — but today’s builders are also modern and evolved, creating a perfect environment for committed, innovative young people.

At the end of the day, construction is challenging, rewarding, safe, profitable, and entering a revolutionary age of technological advancements. For these reasons, and more, we’d encourage any young person looking for work to consider a career in construction. So to all those job-searching millennials out there, construction is a field that needs workers and – trust us – it’s even better than you may think!!

What do you think? What do you think are the biggest reasons to enter the construction industry?? Let us know in the comments below!!


Vince West is a recent MassBay Engineering Design graduate.

3 Comments on “3 Reasons Young People Should Enter Construction

  1. The problem is construction is physical work! The young people I see on the job site today will not do physical work. I am 53 yrs old and I run circles around the kids on the job site. When I was their age there was no way an old man was going to out work me, it was a pride issue with me. But today they don’t care, They think I am foolish for working as hard as I do and I can’t do what I use to do! Every time you turn around they are on their cell phone or doing something they should not be doing. When you try to coach them along (because you can’t yell anymore, it hurts their feelings) you get them same answer “I don’t make enough to do that work” They want to make top dollar to stand there and play on the phone! I have seen young men walk off the job making $22.00/hr. working 6 – 10 hour days. In my area someone with no experience that is a great wage. They just don’t have the drive to learn and work hard.

    • Lol…I chuckle Wade, as I’m a 56 year old landscaping contractor who “can work circles around” the “millennials” of today. It’s a generational thing…we did no favors by allowing this generation to forget the value of working with their hands!

  2. I agree with Wade G.
    When I was young me and my brothers, who were born into the family Masonry business, started working at 12 yrs old and we impressed some of the older guys because we ran to do our work. Worked out of town at 15 &16 yrs old during the summer, and after school the rest of the year. We were also advanced students at school and went to college at night after working all day, finally quiting college after starting my own business, due to a lack of time. This was all after joining the Seabees as an E-5 due to my experience building buildings before I was 19 yrs. old. It has been very rewarding building useful long lasting structures for others, and having long term relationships with the same , and many new, people for many years. Can’t think of a better lifes work, with artistic outlet, and many other rewards!

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