Transition into Skilled Crafts from Another Industry

Transition into Skilled Crafts from Another Industry

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March 15, 2021

If you’re currently working in a different industry but find yourself curious about construction, don’t hesitate! There’s no “right” road into this fulfilling career path, and there’s a growing number of professionals who transition in from a wide range of other kinds of work. The opportunities are vast, and many employers offer paid training, so don’t worry about specialized schooling or certification, you don’t need any of that in order to get started.

First, remember that you have transferrable skills when you come from another industry. The skilled trades require versatile and diverse employees who can work with others and communicate effectively. These soft skills are arguably as important as the technical expertise you learn on the job.

Let’s dig deeper. For example, a restaurant server might think that there isn’t a lot of similarity between working as a carpenter on a job site and working a brunch shift in a restaurant. This mindset overlooks the fact that a server in a popular restaurant must constantly multitask – manage a station of tables, memorize orders and keep cool while under stress. Add in the physical demands of being on your feet all day and you start to see how this experience can highly benefit someone in the skilled crafts.

Maybe you think experience in another field won’t benefit you in a brand new (to you) profession like construction. This simply isn’t true. Employers in construction value work experience from other industries. This coupled with the outsized demand for skilled crafts employees works to your benefit. If you are a more seasoned professional, know that you’re not going to be starting from square one.

Let’s also touch briefly on wage differences in other industries, especially in entry-level positions. Many jobs pay less and have limited upward mobility, or it may take years for your career to progress to wages that can, for example, sustain a family. Jobs in the skilled crafts pay well on entry and you can create your own path to growth and high earning salaries. With hard work, the potential for success can happen relatively quickly.

In these uncertain times, you may question whether your current job has long-term viability. Or you may have a role that doesn’t seem to have a lot of growth or earning potential. Work in the growing skilled crafts field will make you marketable, in-demand and indispensable to a team. Jobs in construction have increased by 66% in the past decade, while wages have increased by more than 12% in the past 8 years[1]. Construction employers in Phoenix posted more than 21,000 open jobs online from August 2019 to August 2020[2] alone! With this kind of demand, the opportunities for success are for those bold enough to make a move.

There are no real barriers to entry in this exciting field. Take the first step in exploring a potential new career just by creating a job seeker profile on the careers.byfaz.org site. Many companies right now want to hire for a variety of roles, including apprenticeships and entry-level jobs that will build on the experience you already possess. You can also sign up for job alerts so you stay aware of any role that might be the best fit for you. 


[1] Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation Workforce Report 2020, https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.106/app.3c5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/GPCF_WorkforceReport2020.pdf

[2] Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation Workforce Report 2020, https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.106/app.3c5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/GPCF_WorkforceReport2020.pdf