How to Get Started in the Construction Industry

Getting Started in Construction

If you are already considering a career in the trades, second-guessing college or ready to jump into an impactful career, today is your day. Fortunately for you and the many men and women in your position, there is a growing demand for craftspeople in the construction industry – which offers high salaries, career growth, and endless opportunities. Here’s how to get started:

Where do you start?

Because the construction industry plays a diverse role across every sector of the economy – healthcare, industrial, architecture, commercial and more – you can find a career as unique as you. You can start by exploring the various skilled trades and identify what suits you best. Are you looking for a higher paying career; variety in your work; customer interaction; a job that lets you build with your hands?

There are all aspects of sheet metal work within the construction industry. Whether you are a creative thinker, team-player, math whiz or problem solver, you can make an impact while growing your career in sheet metal and HVAC.

There are plenty of success stories about construction industry professionals getting their start in sheet metal, and don’t forget that there is booming demand for women in the skilled trades too. Ashley found her calling and is following in her mom’s footsteps to lead the local sheet metal company. For Charissa, working as a foreman transformed her life and helped her provide for her family.

Take advantage of all the industry offers with different sheet metal career paths, no matter your background.

Why sheet metal?

As a specialized trade in construction, the sheet metal industry is one of the highest-paying trades. Men and women can pursue labor (craft) positions as well as management/office level (non-craft) positions across the architectural, industrial, commercial and residential sectors.

    • Craft: Starting as an apprentice and graduating to a journeyperson or exploring the role of an HVAC technician, there are many career paths to pursue. The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) has long partnered with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) to strengthen the industry and provide opportunities across craft career paths. No college degree needed, zero college debt and a lucrative salary make the sheet metal trade an attractive career move.
    • Non-Craft: The industry offers a variety of non-craft positions that include sheet metal salesperson, business development manager, project manager, construction project estimator, finance and HR coordinator, and more. With opportunities that allow you to work in fast-paced settings, the sheet metal industry offers you an opportunity to explore non-craft career paths that match both your interests and skills.

What are the benefits of working in the sheet metal industry?

    • $47K – $230K annual earning potential (from project engineer all the way to executive management) for those pursing non-craft sheet metal roles
    • $275K earnings as an apprentice over a five-year training program for non-craft workers, with a starting annual wage after graduation of $72K to $116K depending on location 
    • Upon graduation from apprenticeship, salaries can range from $72K to $100K+ for a SMACNA/SMART journeyperson depending on where you are located
    • Comprehensive benefits packages and working alongside industry experts

How can you learn more about career opportunities in the sheet metal industry?

Learn more about the construction industryspecializing in sheet metal, and how to get started. Gain some perspective on the opportunities available to you bu viewing career testimonials, or browser our apprenticeship and training information. When you’re ready, click over to Connect to Local Job Resources for even more information.