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On the Job Training

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Some careers in Architecture and Construction will allow you to become fully trained in a trade while working on the job; you won’t have to take any additional classes, or get any additional training or certifications.  Keep in mind though that these jobs will likely be the most entry level positions and without improving your skills you may not increase your salary much either.

Know that if you’re unskilled for the most part you’ll likely be working as a helper or laborer; but that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door and meet people in the industry.  In fact, many of the most successful people in construction (and in other careers) started at the bottom in an entry-level position and worked there way up to more responsibilities and higher salaries with additional experience, training and by building their network of people that they’ve come to know (and that come to know them).

Learning on-the-job is a great way to start and is the way you’ll likely begin any career, regardless of whether or not you choose to get more education and training at some point.

Where do I find On-the-Job Training?

Many of the on-the-job training jobs are in the skilled trades, but if you have no skills, or few skills, how do you find these jobs?

Although you can find them through job postings and job boards online, oftentimes the best way is by networking… getting the word out that your looking for a job in whatever career you’re interested in. Who do you tell and spread the word to? Here are a few ideas…

  • Ask friends and family if they know anyone or have any ideas.
  • Post on your social media accounts that you’re looking for job as a (fill in the blank) and does anyone know of openings.
  • Leave your name and contact info with local building materials suppliers.
  • Find the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles for companies you’re interested in and follow them. They might post jobs there.
  • Contact the local trade association or union for the career you’re interested in.
  • Contact the local “Career OneStop” in your area (every state has them).
  • Contact the trades teacher at the local or regional Career and Tech Ed High School in your area.

Many contractors are willing to teach the right people as long as they feel that they’re hiring, and investing their time into, someone who is responsible, hardworking and motivated to learn. If that’s you then you’re a gem and people are looking for you; you just need to find them.

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