High school graduates have more options than ever these days. For starters, the traditional four-year college route may not be the best option for everyone, and not only because the costs are becoming unbearable.

The rise of new tech has changed the workplace dramatically and what may yet come to pass is difficult to predict. Regardless, what’s certain is that traditional career paths don’t hold much security anymore, as new roles keep popping up due to the changing times.

In that context, it’s only natural for young generations to reconsider their career options. For many of them, the construction industry offers a compelling alternative to stressful office, remote, or hybrid work.

For one thing, the so-called 4th industrial revolution has so far managed only to keep people glued to their screens, unaware of rapid changes taking place outside or what may be going on with industrial and manufacturing trends.

The future doesn’t have to be this dystopian. Construction careers, for example, challenge the conventional norms that success is solely defined by a bachelor's degree.

The Job Market Is Changing

Presently, the job market is undergoing a deep transformation, which is marked by shifts in industry demands and a reevaluation of traditional career pathways. Not least significant is the fact that both employer- and employee expectations are evolving, due to the rapid nature of change.

This can be tricky to navigate, especially for inexperienced high school graduates. Thankfully, the construction industry is as resilient as it gets. To top it off, it is characterized by a steady demand for new workers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a substantial increase in demand for construction-related occupations, emphasizing the need for a workforce equipped with practical skills and hands-on experience.

This changing landscape is partly driven by the recognition that a diverse and skilled workforce is essential for addressing the complex challenges of a rapidly advancing world. Infrastructure development and technological innovation are expanding fast and it’s exactly the construction industry that needs to uphold the initiatives.

As a result, the industry is on the constant lookout for individuals with technical expertise and practical knowledge who can uphold these transformative initiatives.

Construction Careers Are Resilient to Uncertainties

Another benefit of construction jobs is that they remain resilient in the face of uncertainties. The expansion of the gig economy and the rise of freelancing are also affecting the job market significantly. Not to mention that we’re living in a world that’s growing more uncertain by the minute. By extension, most jobs are prone to high risks.

Not so with construction jobs. The industry has had a continuous demand for skilled workers regardless of the change hitting other industries hard. The stability of the construction job market is a good solution for high school graduates seeking long-term career security.

Skilled workers, such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, often have the flexibility to take on various projects. What’s even more exciting is that they can become either independent contractors or employees of a construction business.

In other words, these alternatives allow for more freedom with schedules and work arrangements and, ultimately, the life-work balance.

How to Become a Construction Worker?

There are various apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs available to high school graduates (and other interested parties). They focus on building their practical skills and experience, and typically come in 4 forms:

Hands-on learning (learning by doing)
Structured training (a combination of classroom instruction and supervised on-the-job training)
Industry certification

Pre-apprenticeship programs focus on core skills: basic skill training, soft skill development plans, career path guidance, and job placement assistance, among others.

Other elements necessary for construction workers include construction site safety training, construction logistics training, and practical guidance on getting a contractor license.

Finally, the importance of quality control shouldn’t be overlooked either, as certifications in this field allow for rapid career advancement.

Construction Jobs Offer Competitive Salaries

Last but not least, long past are the days when construction jobs were reserved for the poor. The construction industry is no more being overlooked in favor of more traditional career paths, as it offers competitive salaries in addition to stability and freedom.

Unlike other industries that traditionally experience downturns during economic crises, the construction industry remains steady. Infrastructure projects, residential and commercial developments, and maintenance work are rarely halted once started.

Historically, the construction industry has proven to be quite capable of weathering economic downturns. The nature of the work ensures that skilled workers are always in demand. And the best part is — salaries are competitive due to labor shortage.

Of late, even women have turned to trade jobs, pioneering the shift in the job market. High school graduates may safely focus on the industry and forget about breaking the bank to get to college.

Suffice it to say that skilled trades (e.g., electricians, plumbers, and welders) earn so much that they can rival (sometimes, even surpass) the salaries of university graduates.

The choice seems obvious: be free, earn decently, and enjoy your life! The construction industry is offering exactly that.

Author's Bio: 

Angela Ash is a professional writer focusing on topics related to business, mental health and travel.