Travis and Justin 2By Stacy Bell, Craft Talent Leader for TIC – The Industrial Company A career in industrial construction can start out at either entry level or midlevel depending on if you dive into it right out of high school or technical school. Regardless of where you start, a few key tools will get you pointed in the right direction. The most critical tools are not those that you buy, but those that you possess. For instance, if you want to be successful in any job, you should:
  • Take initiative
  • Follow directions
  • Be punctual
  • Learn new tasks
  • Be respectful
  • WORK SAFE!
Exhibiting these skills is the first tool you need in industrial construction. From there, you can work on purchasing tangible tools once you pick the discipline you want to work in. On average, it costs about $600 to take your career to the next level and become a craft professional. This investment includes:
  • Durable, safety toe work boots – about $130
  • Lockable tool box – about $250 for your first one
  • Set of crescent wrenches – about $75 for your first set
  • 25-foot tape measure – about $30
  • Set of 2- and 4-pound hammers – about $75
  • 4-foot level – about $30
All of the craft professionals I speak to say the same thing: their journey-level mentors recommended they make this investment when they entered the industry. However, they also say that they wished they would have known about these tools earlier on so they could focus on learning all they could when they started working. The last tool you need to be successful in industrial construction is financial preparation. It is important to plan and save for living expenses since this industry involves a lot of travel. When entering the industry you may choose to stay at hotels, rent an apartment or purchase a travel trailer to live in. Being able to offset your first week’s expenses prepares you to be productive on your first day regardless of your job level. A career in industrial construction can lead to six-figure salaries as early as your fifth year. By having the right tools to start out with, you can be on that path. No other industry offers this kind of earning potential and the ability to travel to new places. Most importantly, you can say “I built that.” CICM_180x150_2015 Celebrate Careers in Construction this October! Visit byf.org/events for details!  

Leave a comment

About NCCER

NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.