The Next Generation of Craft Professionals

Deciding what to do after graduation can be a stressful time, especially if a 4-year plan doesn’t quite fit. Exploring a path in the skilled crafts could be the way to a high potential, high demand, and high growth future. Explore the resources below and contact us for more information.

Common Myths

1. Construction jobs are not a career goal

Not true!

Construction and skilled craft professions have definite career goals.

2. Construction workers don’t make a lot of money

Not true!

On average construction and skilled craft professionals make $5,000 more than college grads on their first job.

3. construction isn't a stable job

Not true!

Arizona is projected to need 248,000 construction and skilled craft professionals by Dec. 2024.

Hear about Joey Cordilla's experience!


There are many entry-level positions that interested candidates can enter that provide general job and safety training. Often the requirements for these entry-level jobs requires the candidate to be 18 years of age, a driver’s license, and the ability to perform manual labor such as standing for long periods of time and lifting objects.

Some young adults and entry-level professionals choose to enroll in industry and craft-specific training programs to earn a certificate, which can assist with earning a higher starting wage and the possibility of quicker advancement.

Yes! Most mid-to-large size construction firms provide their employees continual training opportunities and have clear career advancement pathways. The industry recognizes the power of employee development and the benefits that on-the-job development contributes to retention and growth for the business.

Yes! Many craft professionals begin as an entry-level and advance to journeyman, depending on additional earned training and/or certifications.

The natural progression of a skilled craft professional and average annual salary is as follows:

Entry level $35k – $40k | Journeyman Craft Professional $47k – $56k | Crew Leader/Foreman $65k | Site Superintendent $80k | Construction Manager $92k | Senior Management $100k+

It can take months or years to develop the skills necessary to move ahead in each position, however with proper training, ability, and motivation, individuals can advance far in the construction industry.

First, you can talk to your student about their interests and goals. Find out what they are passionate about! You can check out the BYF Arizona Construction Career Path with your student to start researching the many opportunities that exist in the industry.

Another great tool to spark passion and excitement is the BYF Arizona Career Trading Cards webpage. You can search the top 25 In-Demand Arizona Skilled Craft careers and discover pathways and earning potential with your student.

Finally, stay up-to-date on all things BYF Arizona so you can share the latest news and trends with your student. Follow BYF Arizona on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Students that are on an Individualized Education Plan can excel in Career Technical Education (CTE) training and jobs that require specific instructions, collaborative teamwork, and an inclusive work environment. Those that pursue careers in construction come from all walks of life.

Many students excel in entry-level construction positions because they can learn by doing and can apply abstract concepts to concrete learning projects. Research shows that students who take part in CTE programs are often more confident in their skills and tend to vie for competitive wages and more responsible positions.

Completion of a High School diploma or a GED program does demonstrate a student’s ability to achieve a long-term goal but is not necessarily a requirement to start a career in construction.

If your student shows an interest in a craft profession, encourage them to attend career awareness events to learn more and engage with other students with similar passions. These opportunities can provide your student with a broader sense of the industry and even meet some industry professionals that can give good advice on taking the next step toward an exciting career.

Check out the upcoming events at Estrella Mountain Community College, or attend the Arizona Construction Career Days event, coming November 2021!

Encourage your student to attend a career awareness event to connect with like-minded students and meet industry professionals who can help get them on the path to building a career in construction. You can also check out the BYF Arizona website which includes many opportunities to learn about different career paths, explore skilled craft objectives, and discover upcoming events, trainings, and even entry-level job opportunities.


Possible Career Paths

Construction Sectors

Top In Demand Careers

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