There is no time like the present to start an apprenticeship. Demand continues to grow for trade-related jobs, and unlike many professions these days, construction workers cannot be outsourced. Whether you just graduated from high school and have loved construction since the day you first picked up a hammer or you simply need a drastic change in your current career path, pursing an apprenticeship might be one of the best life decisions you make. Here’s why …
Earn while you learn. There is nothing like getting paid to learn. You earn a paycheck as you receive valuable on-the-job training, mentoring, and access to in-depth classes focused on core skills needed to excel in your trade. The best part? You can forget about student loans.
- High retention rate. A whopping 91% of apprentices retain employment after the program ends.1
- Set yourself up for success. Learn skills that last a lifetime. An apprenticeship creates a foundation for a long-term career—providing training, lessons, and a large network of colleagues that you wouldn’t gain elsewhere.
- Trade pay is comparable to, and often better than, some professional work. Don’t assume you need a two- or four-year college degree to get ahead in the workforce. Research from Georgetown University revealed that 24% of technical certificate holders make more than the average B.A., while 30% of associate’s degree holders earn more than the average four-year college graduate. The same study found this salary benefit lasts 20 years in a career field.2
- Go home each day fulfilled. A career in the building trades involves important, fast-paced work that is physically and mentally challenging. At the end of each day, you feel proud of what you learn and what you build.
Facts aside, it is sometimes easier to rely on real life experiences when it comes to making decisions. Apprentices each have a unique story and come from various backgrounds. Whether in the midst of an apprenticeship or filling the role of Project Executive nearly 40 years after journeying out of the program, the folks in this five-part blog series will tell you they have zero regrets about their decisions. Up first: Apprentice Tyler Richardson.
Tyler Richardson, Apprentice – 2nd Period
Current Project: Lakefront Blocks
Tyler learned basic building concepts at a very early age thanks to his role model and father, GLY Superintendent Terry Richardson. It helped to have two additional building veterans teaching him secrets of the trade: his uncle, GLY Superintendent Joey Mills, and family friend, GLY General Superintendent Rick Woods.
Tyler was quite young when his father recognized his son wanted to follow in his footsteps. Terry taught him to work hard, practice humility, and learn as much as you can … admirable goals for every apprentice.
Naturally, Tyler applied for the apprenticeship program as soon as he was old enough. Though he knew what to expect, he says he was surprised by the high level of unity on the jobsite. If he struggles, someone steps in to help. As an added bonus, he already made many friends who he can depend on outside of work as well.
Tyler wakes up every day excited to come into work—arriving with a positive attitude and ready to learn something new.
1,2 Mark Ouellet, Building a Future: The Benefits of Entering an Apprenticeship Program, Youth Today, (https://youthtoday.org/2017/06/building-a-future-the-benefits-of-entering-an-apprenticeship-program/), June 12, 2017.