How to get an apprenticeship in the construction and building industry and start your career

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The construction and building industry is one of the most profitable industries in existence, and many who have risen to the very top of the industry have started out as apprentices. That is precisely why applying for an apprenticeship could be seen as the best step to take on the path of progress in your new career. But with that said, it’s important to note that though an apprenticeship will definitely be exciting, it takes a lot of hard work.

The application process

If you’ve decided to start your apprenticeship as soon as possible, the best course of action would be to check what options are on the table at the moment and choose the one that fits your needs. Of course, you will ask yourself how do you apply for an apprenticeship and we’ve got you covered. While some educational institutions offer the option of applying for an apprenticeship through them, it’s more likely that you would have to apply either with a company directly or through a construction and building trade union. Be sure to check the rules and guidelines regulating this type of contract in your area so you know exactly what to do. Once you apply, you will likely be taken through a screening process, which would include an interview and an aptitude test, before you can officially start your apprenticeship.

Starting out

Once you’ve passed the screening process and been accepted into the fold as an apprentice, you will be assigned a journeyperson mentor, an expert in the field under whose tutelage you can gain valuable knowledge and skills. Along with this, you will also likely be provided with a series of training courses designed to make you fully prepared for work as soon as you finish your apprenticeship. This way, you can gain practical, hands-on knowledge, advice from an authority, learn and earn. An apprenticeship usually lasts anywhere from one to four years, but the effort is well worth it.

The benefits

As an apprentice, you will not only have a competitive salary but also have access to health and dental insurance and possibly tuition if you’re taking courses at a university. After completing your apprenticeship, you should be fully prepared to land a job or start your own business thanks to the connections and networks that an apprenticeship can provide you access to. However, even with all these benefits, the number one priority of any apprentice should be learning and development, especially through the hands-on experience an apprenticeship provides.

Choose your career path

Unlike so many other industries, the building and construction industry lets you choose one of the many paths to becoming a specialist in your chosen field. While there can be more apprenticeship positions to apply for at any given time, they can be broadly categorised into these types:

1. General Construction Apprenticeship: This program covers a variety of vocations in the building industry, such as carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and electrical work.

2. Residential Construction Apprenticeship: The emphasis in this sector is on the construction of residential structures.

3. Apprenticeship in Commercial Construction: This program focuses on creating commercial structures including office towers and shopping centres.

4. Industrial Construction Apprenticeship: An apprenticeship in industrial construction aims at providing the best possible education in the building of commercial structures like factories and power plants.

5. Civil engineering apprenticeship: This apprenticeship deals with building public projects like roads and bridges.

6. Green Construction Apprenticeship: This apprenticeship focuses on environmentally friendly building practices and sustainable construction techniques.

Future opportunities

While apprenticeships have been an essential element in the industry for quite some time, and have become a long-lasting tradition, we should also ask ourselves what the future brings with the fundamental changes taking place in the industry. Luckily, these changes are mostly positive; for example, there has been an emphasis on safety and quality, and any apprenticeship should include the acquisition and application of these principles. Another factor is the increasing impact technology has had across all other sectors, allowing for the use of drones in surveying job sites and 3D printers in the creation of prototypical construction materials. Finally, with the trend of increasing globalization, apprenticeships are going to be essential in the execution of international projects, requiring not only the skills essential for construction but also the ability to speak multiple languages and understand and respect different cultural backgrounds. 

If you’re looking to start your career in the construction and building industry, there really isn’t a better option than an apprenticeship, especially with the rising demand for skilled workers, and all the benefits included in the apprenticeship.