How did you get started in the construction industry?
As a teenager, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I didn’t care much for school and I was anxious to be out on my own. So I went looking for a job. I remember walking up to the superintendent on a pretty good size project and asked if they needed any help. He hired me and I started working for minimum wage sweeping the floors. But I was happy to have the job. I worked there for 4 months and was then hired by a carpentry firm and taught how to build. I never looked back.
Tell me about your job? What does an average day look like?
Nearly every day is busy, which is how I like it. The work is pretty fun (most of the time). As with any job it has its ups and downs. Some days can be average when you are just plugging away making sure things are executing on time. Other days can have long hours. I am have grown accustomed to working weekends when the project doesn’t allow for any downtime. But over the course of the year, it mostly balances out.
What do you love most about your work?
The part of the job that I find the most fun is training the next generation. It is hard to put a value on taking your personal experience and education and passing it down. I love watching the new guys, and girls, master something and then be able to teach someone else. Giving someone the tools they need to provide for their families and make a career for themselves is pretty awesome. To me, it is part of leaving a legacy.
What advice do you have for students considering a career in construction?
This is a great career choice. If you decide to pursue the industry, always be prepared, show up on time and be willing to learn. Know that it’s ok not to know everything. Stay engaged and have a passion for what you do and there is no doubt you will succeed.
Education is a great foundation if you have the good fortune to complete high school or even go to college. But even if you don’t, there is still a way. With effort, respect, integrity, and the willingness to BELIEVE in yourself, there are no obstacles that are insurmountable.
I have a favorite saying that sums up my feelings about a career in this industry:
“If you work with your hands then you are just a worker. If you work with your hands and your mind then you can consider yourself a craftsman. But if you work with your hands, your mind and your heart then that makes you an ARTIST!”