In America, more people are going straight to a job after graduating high school, and fewer are enrolling in college. Nearly 500,000 undergraduate students chose NOT to enroll in the fall of 2021, a decline that started the previous year during Covid.

Part of that decision is influenced by the fact that minimum wage jobs have upped their pay scale across all industries. But workers need to think long term. Will your Amazon delivery job be enough to support a family ten years from now?

Trade jobs offer a suitable alternative. They don’t require college degrees (which come with a hefty price tag), but they do require specific skills. One such job is carpentry.

As an entry-level carpenter, you can gain on-the-job training. Even if you have no carpentry experience, you can apply for an apprenticeship through a contractor or trade union. Or a professional carpenter can hire you as an assistant where you may learn the skills for the job.

What would your beginning duties be? Measure and cut pieces. Repair existing wood structures or installations. The professional carpenter will teach you to read blueprints and provide experience working under the direction of a general contractor. It is a physical job often done outdoors (home construction, etc.). But it also gives an artistic outlet to people with the vision to create something beautiful and of great value.

Does carpentry pay? I can vouch for this. We recently remodeled our kitchen, and we had custom-built cabinets installed. After the granite countertop, the cabinets came with the next-largest price tag. We showed the carpenter what we wanted on a sketch, then he measured the kitchen, created an Auto CAD drawing, and put the whole thing together. It was quite an impressive feat. Everything fit right where it was supposed to, and the opening left for the oven, dishwasher, and sink were the exact size they needed to be. Two weeks’ worth of work brought him a hefty paycheck.

There are definite skills involved, but starting at an entry-level position allows you to learn as you go under the supervision of a qualified teacher. Qualifications begin with a high school diploma or GED certificate and an aptitude for building and working with your hands. Of course, being good at math helps, but your training will give you a lot of practice with that as well, so don’t let that put you off.

You can also pursue a two-year carpentry certificate at a technical school or take the Home Builders Institute Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) program. In addition, you need to pass OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour health and safety courses to advance in your career.

At Gillman Services, Inc., we want to help you find the job that is right for you. We cover commercial and industrial construction, manufacturing, marine, mining, and renewable energy positions. Contact us today and get started on your new career.