As those of us on the front lines of construction know, the workers in our industry…aren’t getting any younger. WSJ-Young
As those of us on the front lines of construction know, the workers in our industry…aren’t getting any younger. WSJ-Young People Don’t Want to Work Construction
Tech? Full of kids who don’t remember 9/11, much less my favorite childhood TV show, Rescue 911. STEM? Sure, they were lacking qualified candidates for awhile, but every year, we’re getting a new batch of scientists and engineers with names like ‘Skylar’ or ‘Haidyn’. The service industry? Pretty sure my last waiter was still waiting on a visit from the puberty fairy.
But construction? We’re a world of guys with names like ‘Bob’ or ‘Steve’, nary a Bradyntyn or full head of hair in sight.
And that’s not a good thing.
As I say this, I realize I’m only further damning myself–after all, what kid wants to hear Bob and Steve talk about Trans Ams and AC/DC when they can get a free coffee during every shift at Starbucks?
Well my dear kids, the answer is simple: Bob and Steve can afford to restore Trans Ams!
That’s right–at the risk of stating the obvious, construction pays well.
Or, to elaborate further, construction pays well for regular people.
Being a brain surgeon? Great job if you’re cut out to be a brain surgeon. Not such a great option if you’re like I am, and made a D- in high school algebra. Engineering? Again, the median pay is decent, but not exactly the most sensible choice for those of us trying to figure if a 24oz. can of beer offers a better value for the dollar. Investment banking? Great if you can make it to the top, but those 80 hour workweeks are kind of a drawback. Law? Same story.
Show up. Do your job. Make enough that you won’t need a free frappe per shift as compensation. Stick with it long enough to actually know what you’re doing. Make more than any of us backoffice people.
No college needed. No six figure student loans. No requirement that you sacrifice your youth to the altar of 17-hour days in hopes of making it to managing partner. Just…regular hardwork.
Also, FYI, once you get to know them, Bob and Steve are pretty awesome! Bob can probably give you good advice on whether to buy that house that looks awesome but has a leaky roof. Steve grills a mean steak, and even though he’s not a mechanic, he’s usually right about why your car is making that funny sound. Those are the kinds of superpowers that us old people have–our shoes may be sensible, and our jeans may be dorky, but we know lots of useful things that your friend Zaine* won’t learn for another 20 years!
*Are these real names? I don’t know, kids. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m out of touch. But I do know some nice casserole recipes and how to help you pick a reliable car. Because that’s the kind of knowledge God gives you in exchange for your fashion sense and knees that don’t creak when you walk up the stairs.