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So I recently got my general contractors license after years of telling myself i'd never work construction for a career. I am coming to find out that there is great money and satisfaction in construction. It just took my father to retire and his nudge for me to figure that out. So here is my point, for years i was working my butt off for a pretty weak wage. No wonder I wanted out, there are plenty of jobs out there that are nice and comfy behind a desk making 30k a year. Now as I look around at my subcontractors, i realize they are all veterans in the construction industry. Will we see a rise of new tradesmen in the coming years? As of now, it looks a little rough here in Utah. What do you think, am I not seeing the whole picture?


Also for anyone interested in giving me feedback on my website, here is the link.
www.mathewmade.com
 

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It is not unusual for me to be the youngest guy on site at 52.

I know a handful of younger guys, but not many 20 year olds.

It is the culmination of 2 decades of being told you need a college degree to make any money.

Funny thing. There is way more money in the trades than in most starter positions out of college.

And with some experience, there is good money to be made.
Kids just don't want to work for it.




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Id say there is merit to kids not wanting to work, however neither did I until I got a little older then things just clicked. I am 25 and look forward to the many years a head learning to work hard. Thanks for your comment.
 

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If people want houses, roads etc there will have to be.
 

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Sort of, they are booming for the guys that join up, but for some it can take a long time to start turning any profit, and for others, they end up just working for wages for 30 years only to end up broken and tired.

Honestly, if I had to rewind I would either go union, or do the smart thing and get a degree in something like engineering.

Hard work kind of sucks compared to the other options, but at least it remains pretty steady.
 

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Kowboy
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And with some experience, there is good money to be made.
Kids just don't want to work for it.
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Let's put this "kids don't want to work for it" myth to bed once and for all.

Kids have seen their fathers and uncles be the first to be fired and the last to be rehired during recessions. They've seen the dearth of benefits in residential construction and the wage-lowering unfair competition from our government's lack of securing our nation's borders.

The kids aren't lazy or stupid; they're smart for wanting no part. Who wants their daughter to marry a tradesman? No, everyone's little Suzie deserves a doctor or lawyer. The kids want more than jobs, they want a wife someday too.
 

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It’s the weak and the egg heads who put some kind of artificial value on earning money with the least amount of physical effort. Our society cannot be composed of people who sit at a desk for every job. Everyone gets about 80 years of life, maybe, and as long as you provide for your family, being a man’s man in construction can be amazing.
 

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Let's put this "kids don't want to work for it" myth to bed once and for all.

Kids have seen their fathers and uncles be the first to be fired and the last to be rehired during recessions. They've seen the dearth of benefits in residential construction and the wage-lowering unfair competition from our government's lack of securing our nation's borders.

The kids aren't lazy or stupid; they're smart for wanting no part. Who wants their daughter to marry a tradesman? No, everyone's little Suzie deserves a doctor or lawyer. The kids want more than jobs, they want a wife someday too.
Funny I see those two jobs being the ones with no lives and always working.
When I started out I decided that in order to make a career out of this industry I needed to make the same money M-F 9-5 as an office job. Now starting a business was definitely more that that but not on the tools. I am still firm on only on the tools 9-5. I also make it a rule for my trades on my jobs
 

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Let's put this "kids don't want to work for it" myth to bed once and for all.

Kids have seen their fathers and uncles be the first to be fired and the last to be rehired during recessions. They've seen the dearth of benefits in residential construction and the wage-lowering unfair competition from our government's lack of securing our nation's borders.

The kids aren't lazy or stupid; they're smart for wanting no part. Who wants their daughter to marry a tradesman? No, everyone's little Suzie deserves a doctor or lawyer. The kids want more than jobs, they want a wife someday too.
More loser talk. Lots of my friends and I didn't buy the school counselors line of BS and are all doing better than most of our friends who went to college..... but yeah -

We arent lazy and we work for it. Spread your bull chit to someone with 70k in student loans and a 9% interest loan on a chitty corrola living in a chitty apartment working in a chitty office waiting for daddy boss to lay em off.

A good kid can be a journeyman plumber with no debt making more than their college buddies at 22

A meme for Kowboys staff. I gotta go comfort my MIL


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The trades are not dead and never will be. They are an integral part of our economy.

I see more kids opting for the trades as they see that after 3-4 years they are making more than college grads.

When demand is high the trades will pay wages, percs & bennies to attract individuals.

Now the caveat is, unlike a 30k a year cubicle rat, a successful tradesman will have to show an awesome work ethic, a desire to learn and grow, and have the mindset that at times you have to pitch in to do whatever it takes to gey the job done. In other words that saying "it aint my job" is out the window and not in their vocabulary...

Those that are the first to be laid off and the last rehired...there is a reason for that.
 

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The trades are not dead and never will be. They are an integral part of our economy.

I see more kids opting for the trades as they see that after 3-4 years they are making more than college grads.

When demand is high the trades will pay wages, percs & bennies to attract individuals.

Now the caveat is, unlike a 30k a year cubicle rat, a successful tradesman will have to show an awesome work ethic, a desire to learn and grow, and have the mindset that at times you have to pitch in to do whatever it takes to gey the job done. In other words that saying "it aint my job" is out the window and not in their vocabulary...

Those that are the first to be laid off and the last rehired...there is a reason for that.
That's pretty accurate. I would add that there seems to be more and more specialization in the trades. I had a hardwood floor guy that flat out refused to nail a board to a vertical surface. Had a step down into a family room and I had to put the riser in. Then he very carefully masked it off so none of the floor finish would get on it. It was insane.
My new hardwood floor guy has a crew where each step is done by a different fellow. I felt sorry for the guy that only runs the disk sander. He spends every hour of every day bent over sanding the perimeter of the floor. The thing about that job is you know you're never going to have a good day.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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There's absolutely good money to be made as a tradesman, but you have to be in the upper ranks to really rake it in.

A mediocre worker at a desk job can put in a couple of decades at it and be ahead of the game compared to a mediocre construction worker. over the same time period. Pay raises for office workers tend to be more automatic and less merit-based than in the construction industry, and there are generally more benefits offered by the employer, including medical and retirement plans.

Of course, chances are he doesn't have the skills we do, so winds up spending that extra money to pay us to do what he can't. And paying for that gym membership to get the exercise not available at his desk.

Overall, IMO neither of us should really be sneering at the other. As long as what you do pays the bills and doesn't keep you awake at night, it's all good.
 

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More loser talk. Lots of my friends and I didn't buy the school counselors line of BS and are all doing better than most of our friends who went to college..... but yeah -

We arent lazy and we work for it. Spread your bull chit to someone with 70k in student loans and a 9% interest loan on a chitty corrola living in a chitty apartment working in a chitty office waiting for daddy boss to lay em off.

A good kid can be a journeyman plumber with no debt making more than their college buddies at 22

A meme for Kowboys staff. I gotta go comfort my MIL


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Historically though, a good degree will almost always out earn a trade.

By good degree I mean STEM, or even law school, something that will almost always have demand.

The problem is, especially with my generation, we were told for years that you "need" a degree to be successful, which isn't true at all. You can do just fine working with your hands, but you have to know the guy that spent 8-10 years becoming a doctor is likely to make out a lot better over the course of his lifetime. That's basic supply and demand though.

I think kids are figuring this out now, after watching a couple decades of people owe 10's of thousands of dollars for a business management degree or other worthless piece of paper.

There's nothing wrong at all with hard physical work, but to deny that it leaves you broken more often than not is to be ignorant.

Like I said, if I was going to restart in the trades, I would go union right out of the gate and pad my retirement as much as possible. Work sucks, and I would like to be able to stop doing it some day and work on my own projects while not having to worry about money, but that's unlikely now as I didn't plan like I should have in my 20's.
 

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There's absolutely good money to be made as a tradesman, but you have to be in the upper ranks to really rake it in.

A mediocre worker at a desk job can put in a couple of decades at it and be ahead of the game compared to a mediocre construction worker. over the same time period. Pay raises for office workers tend to be more automatic and less merit-based than in the construction industry, and there are generally more benefits offered by the employer, including medical and retirement plans.

Of course, chances are he doesn't have the skills we do, so winds up spending that extra money to pay us to do what he can't. And paying for that gym membership to get the exercise not available at his desk.

Overall, IMO neither of us should really be sneering at the other. As long as what you do pays the bills and doesn't keep you awake at night, it's all good.
That's a good point too, if everyone was a tradesman, we wouldn't have nearly as much work.

Also, you should still work out in addition to work, I'm pretty sure squats and deadlifts are one of the biggest things helping keep me upright now, 40 is coming for me fast and I'm thinking it's going to just hurt more each week from here on out.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Also, you should still work out in addition to work, I'm pretty sure squats and deadlifts are one of the biggest things helping keep me upright now, 40 is coming for me fast and I'm thinking it's going to just hurt more each week from here on out.
I'd say that depends on just what it is you do day in and day out. I do everything from framing to electric and plumbing. It's been many many moons since I did any "artificial" exercise, but at 70 I can still put in a pretty good day. A little genetic luck probably factors into that as well.
 

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It doesn't matter which trade or career you enter... you're going to get out of it what you put it into... that's a timeless fact...

What's missing on both fronts, is life and management skills... from learning that it's not what you make but what you keep that matters, and that your goals need to line up to maximize that... kids look at their parents in a nice home, etc. and think that's what I want not appreciating it took time to get there... they want it all NOW... so they get themselves into huge amounts of debt trying to get it NOW... from cars, to $1000 phones (but it's ONLY $30/month for three years), bigger house than they need at the early stage of life, name the item as the list goes on and on... every one of the wealth stealing purchases are easily justified because... we want it and it has to be one of the socially acceptable versions...

Then they have a life event that puts them even farther behind and before you know it they're working two jobs just to make ends meet or in the trades, taking any job that can give them a paycheck no matter how small... usually has the effect of souring them towards whatever work they do and start looking for "the thing" that's going to solve all their problems without realization that's just making them take a different form without addressing the underlying issues... human nature... we just want to make whatever is causing us angst go away...

Those who COMMIT to whatever career or trade they enter and become the "go-to" person (whether employee or business owner) eventually start realizing that they're the own worst enemy and after that light bulb goes off they work to get out of their own way and coincidentally things start clicking for them leading to the long term success they were after...

Life will ALWAYS throw something in to test you along the way...

IMO, in today's envionment, the trades are getting ready for a rebirth as a career option (the more people in the country, the more that things needs to built and fixed), but my concern is that the dearth between those stay on the entry level struggling along and those who treat it like the career it is will grow...
 

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Let's put this "kids don't want to work for it" myth to bed once and for all.

Kids have seen their fathers and uncles be the first to be fired and the last to be rehired during recessions. They've seen the dearth of benefits in residential construction and the wage-lowering unfair competition from our government's lack of securing our nation's borders.

The kids aren't lazy or stupid; they're smart for wanting no part. Who wants their daughter to marry a tradesman? No, everyone's little Suzie deserves a doctor or lawyer. The kids want more than jobs, they want a wife someday too.
I agree. Sorry for the negativity. The work is great, the people relationships are mostly great, tools are fun, its way more gratifying than processing paper at a desk but the money doesnt match the hassle. Not like it used to.

Theres still money in it but not on yearly average, too many people in the market pool with naive buyers going to the internet to stand out. The high and lows are worse than ever and security has become a greater priority to entitled youth. So its go big or go home. Its harder for 1 guy to recover a good income and overhead relevant to a project.

I do alright despite my refusal to advertise better than I give credit too but Im not content. I hear a ton of older guys retiring tell me that economies are always up and down but back in the 80's 10-15/hr was good enough to survive through a winter if it was slow. Cost of living is too high.

We talked about all of this on here before and the high market areas can be rewarding if you can turn out a quality work but you need a way in through the door. This never happens for some chicken or the egg thing.
 

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Their talking about unionizing AMAZON you could have a scenario where a box handler will have benefits, time paid off and low responsibility monkey work and a decent check.

Compare this to a guy paying for his own equipment, insured out the azz, managing own taxes, no discount healthcare, responsible for everything they touch a couple of years after a day they touch something, connected to thousands of dollars of product in order to work all for not a single day paid off and no security.......
In fact you could be profitable and good half the month or year and then something falls apart with weather or product and it averages into you only end up meeting the overhead.

Hard truth Not good for the trades
 

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Let's put this "kids don't want to work for it" myth to bed once and for all.
I would generally agree with him. Work in some upper bracket houses development this days. No one single tradesman live there. Out of electrician, plumbing and HVAC it is not best solution in life. Yeah I know home builders two brothers that have 50M at account each ---
--- But here is trick. If you are in medical profession or pharmacy everyone had big house good car and good looking wife. Not so much in construction, beside plumbing, electr and Hvac. If you are employee carpenter entire life you will not finish well. It is true, you like it or not. Carpentry, shettroc, painting and such is not good first choice in life.
 
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