Be an Apprentice

The construction industry counts on apprenticeships to train its highly skilled workforce. The process can pay off handsomely: The construction trades have salaries ranging from $39,084 for a glazier who cuts and fits glass to $86,357 for a boilermaker who welds steel plates for large vessels.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, apprenticeship programs usually provide at least 144 hours of occupation-specific technical instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year over three to five years.

Contact local employers or check out programs at your local technical college. Employers, employer groups, and trade associations sponsor apprenticeships. They often partner with local colleges to deliver the classroom instruction.

Kentucky’s Registered Apprenticeship Model includes hundreds of opportunities for carpenters, electricians, pipefitters, steel workers, and more.  Find a Kentucky apprenticeship .

These trades typically require an apprenticeship:

  • Boilermakers: median wage $86,357
  • Brickmasons and blockmasons: median wage $40,505
  • Carpenters: median wage $44,688
  • Electricians: median wage $53,557
  • Glaziers: median wage $39,084
  • Insulation workers, mechanical: median wage $46,151
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters: median wage $58,069
  • Reinforcing iron and rebar workers: median wage $63,952
  • Sheet metal workers: median wage $46,521.
  • Structural iron and steel workers: median wage $44,832

In Demand

The following trades are expected to see job growth of 5 percent or more from 2018 to 2028. The trades with the most jobs overall are plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, and carpenters. The highest growth rate is expected for structural iron and steel workers.

  • Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters: 5.15 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 7,631 to 8,024 jobs.
  • Sheet metal workers: 5.35 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 1,065 to 1,122 jobs.
  • Carpenters: 5.49 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 10,181 to 10,740 jobs.
  • Structural iron and steel workers: 7.82 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 998 to 1,076 jobs.

Figures from the Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.

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