Construction Careers Awareness/BYF

If you have come to this page looking for information and resources about construction careers, you are in the right place! Do you have questions? OK, here are some answers.

Build Your Future is an NCCER initiative that is a collaborative grassroots approach to construction workforce forecasting and development that includes recruitment, training, placement, retention for craft professionals, and those interested in becoming a craft professional.
The best place to go is the “Build Your Future” Website.

National averages are shown on the Build Your Future website. But most young people starting out prefer to stay close to home. The Nebraska Department of Labor has a website showing wages by profession. Remember, these are only averages for the State of Nebraska. ABC member companies will pay considerably more for reliable and productive craft professionals.

High School
On the job training/Apprenticeship/Community College A.A.S

Level 1
Craft Professional/Entry Level

Level 2
Crew Leader/Foreman/Superintendent

Level 3
Senior Management

Level 1 $30K - $60K

Level 2 $60K - 160K

Level 3 160K+

(2013 - 2014)

Becoming a craft professional starts with industry-recognized credentials. Many craft professionals such as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing, to name a few, require an “apprenticeship” that has hands-on learning along with academic experience. So the question is, does the “academic experience” result in an industry-wide recognized credential? Something that places you above the average Joe and allows you the opportunity to gain employment across the country? The NCCER curriculum does just that with a national registry. Plus, this curriculum is taught by instructors who are currently practicing their craft in the field. Another consideration, would you like to be eligible to work in Iowa? Iowa won’t recognize a Nebraska licensee unless he or she has been a “registered apprentice.” Graduates from a Nebraska community college have to re-start their apprenticeship period all over in Iowa, where graduates from a “registered apprenticeship program” in Nebraska can sit for a journeyman exam immediately. Apprentices enrolled in the ABC - Nebraska South Dakota Chapter have access to such registered apprentice credentials.

Whether you started your career education in high school or not, many construction companies offer apprenticeship programs where you can earn money while you learn a craft. At this point, you would be a craft helper or apprentice. Another track is the post-secondary education route, going full-time to a local community college to get your academics over with and then getting hired by a company. You can fulfill the hands-on learning hours that are often required to be able to sit for a journeyman’s license test. For example, in the State of Nebraska, electricians are licensed, and carpenters are not.

Because many people struggle with how to pay for the post-secondary education route the option to go through an apprentice program while working for a company, they find this a preferred route to becoming a craft professional. We call it the “earn while you learn” option. Others choose this route simply because they want to go to work immediately after high school and do not desire to spend two more years in the classroom. Companies typically pay the tuition for the apprentice as long as you make satisfactory grades. You are responsible for buying your books.

When you compare the two routes for becoming a craft professional (education cost and earnings over the four-year apprenticeship period) for an electrician, the apprenticeship route in comparison to the post-secondary, the apprenticeship route results in twice as much earnings going into the pocket of the apprentice. If you want to become an apprentice of an ABC - Nebraska South Dakota Chapter member, we can put you in touch with the right people to make this happen!