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HOT JOBS PROFILE: Building Trades

electrician_mike_hughes_installing_meter_base199x300.jpgBuilding trades are defined as trades (such as carpentry, bricklaying, plumbing, etc.) that are essential to and chiefly practiced in connection with building construction.

Check out these four career paths:



Construction

Construction is an industry that comprises a wide range of activities involving constructing, altering, and/or repairing structures. Examples include residential construction, bridge erection, roadway paving, excavations, demolitions, and large scale painting jobs.

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Construction Management

$30 – $40/hour (average entry level wage)

"There is a big shortage in welders and a lot of people in the skilled trades. That's the biggest thing we face, just finding the right people, qualified people to do the work." - Weston Bailey, Project Engineer

Daily Tasks

  • Coordinating with contractors and working on buildings from the ground up.
  • Getting estimates and quotes for how much and how long a building will take to build.
  • Evaluating bids and overseeing the project from start to finish.

Career Path

  • Started out at the Michigan Department of Transportation doing concrete quality control.
  • Went to Northern Michigan University for a degree in construction management.
  • Worked as a general contractor before moving back to Northern Michigan.

Applicable Programs in the Area


HVAC

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers—often referred to as HVAC technicians—work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the air quality in many types of buildings. They mostly work in residential homes, schools, hospitals, office buildings, or factories.

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HVAC Mechanic and Installer

$20 – $22/hour (average entry level wage)

“This trade is good for people that hate being in an office, that like to get out and probably get dirty, like to wear jeans to work, and have fun with friends. We have tons of fun out in the field.” - Tim Parker

Daily Tasks

  • Going on service calls to fix duct-work.
  • Completing the fabrication and installation of sheet metal products.
  • Maintaining, testing, and balancing HVAC systems and other sheet metal products.

Career Path

  • Friend referral.
  • Learned the skills needed with on-the-job training.
  • Obtained a sheet metal journeyman’s degree.

Applicable Programs in the Area


Operations

Operations consists of all the activities that contribute directly to a company's main line(s) of business. People in operations work to make sure their employers' businesses run smoothly, effectively, and professionally. This includes everyone from management to assembly line workers, mail-room workers, and the guys loading and unloading trucks in manufacturing and retail company distribution centers. Office managers, purchasing managers, supply chain managers, manufacturing process consultants, brokerage firm back-office employees (who make sure the securities transactions entered into by the firm's traders, salespeople, and brokers are completed in a timely and accurate manner) - all of these are operations professionals.

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Operations

$10 – $15/hour (average entry level wage)

Daily Tasks

  • Loading gravel trains, and haul trucks.
  • Cleaning up the plant, making sure things run smoothly.
  • Operating all different kinds of equipment for the plant.

Career Path

  • Went to college, decided it wasn't for him, so he started working.
  • Then went back to school for his applied science degree to become a machinist.
  • Applied for a job at Carmeuse, and has been there the past 19 years.

Applicable Programs in the Area


Plumbing

Anyone who has faced a busted pipe or broken toilet will tell you that plumbers are heroes. Plumbers install and repair water supply lines, waste disposal systems, and related appliances and fixtures to keep homes and businesses flowing smoothly.

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Plumbing

$23 – $25/hour (average entry level wage)

"All of us guys here have everybody's numbers on speed dial. We're always calling each other: "hey what do you think about this?" You have to be able to want to do it, and it's great. I love it." - Jason Weatherwax

Daily Tasks

  • Everyday is something different, you could be putting in pipes one day, and fixing a leaky faucet the next.
  • Basically doing anything that can be done to plumbing or air.

Career Path

  • Worked in a factory for eight years, and then moved to Northern Michigan.
  • Got a job in plumbing, and learned everything through on-the-job training.

Applicable Programs in the Area

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