The school year may be coming to a close, but construction industry opportunities are opening up for graduating seniors all across Ohio. Students, we know it is tempting to take the summer off before you begin formal career training in the fall. But is enjoying one last hurrah worth setting your career back? We encourage you to keep the inertia going, rather than waste your time — and money — like many of your classmates will be doing as soon as graduation day is over. Read on to see how you can get the most out of your summer break.
Apply for an Entry-Level Job
Believe it or not, there are positions out there that you qualify for right now. Many entry-level construction positions require zero experience to get started. As long as you’re eighteen years old and have a high school diploma, you can begin your construction career today. Not only that, you will also be able to save up for your future all summer long as you earn competitive pay. But what positions are worth applying for? Look for jobs labeled as “laborer” in your local area like:
- Carpentry laborer
- Painting laborer
- General contractor’s laborer
- Commercial construction laborer
When you work as a laborer, you assist more experienced team members to help the crew get the job done. What better way to get real-world experience and prepare for your fall plans than by learning alongside active industry members?
Day to day tasks vary, depending on the specific laborer position. For example, niche roles like carpentry laborers require you to keep the job site in tip-top shape so that full-time carpenters can focus on the task at hand. You may not be actively creating, but you learn the trade as a skilled carpenter’s right hand man. General contractor’s and commercial construction laborer positions, on the other hand, take on a “jack of all trades” role, asking individuals to support the crew in a variety of ways. This gives young workers exposure to all sorts of projects and hands-on training for a range of skills.
Entry-level laborer jobs may not be highly skilled positions, but they are a great opportunity to learn firsthand for a future role as a skilled tradesperson. Whatever you do as a laborer, think of this job as an ongoing interview. A willingness to learn, timeliness and a strong work ethic will go a long way.
Connect with Local Construction Community
Already committed to a summer gig? That’s a great way to pay for everyday expenses. Just be sure to reserve some time to prepare for your future by getting to know your local construction community. You may only be a teenager, but it’s never too soon to make a name for yourself. When you reach out to local employers, you’ll impress them with your initiative and receive the inside scoop on potential career paths that are possible in your community in return.
We know that contacting strangers can be a step outside of your comfort zone, so we have included a few ways you can learn from the experts right in your neighborhood below:
- Request a reverse interview with a skilled tradesperson you look up to.
- Schedule a job shadowing day to watch workers in action.
- Team up with your teachers and fellow classmates to set up your very own career day.
Your education shouldn’t end with graduation. No matter your plans for fall, set your summer up for success with a plan that will set a strong foundation for a career in construction.