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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening!

My service in the U.S. Military is about to come to an end, and I'm looking to get into a trade, Carpentry Framing in particular, and I'm curious as to what is the best way to get started in this field.

I looked at the Local 525's website which is the union for my area, but they don't say much about apprenticeships. Should I start with a Union? Or is it better to start as a general laborer for a company and try to learn through them?

I've also seen a lot of job postings in my area for Tradesmen International. Is this a good company to start with, or would I be better off elsewhere?

There are also a couple of Trade Schools that I can use my G.I. Bill at, but I've read that going to a company with a degree is basically the same as starting without one. Thoughts?

Thank you all in advance for your time! I've learned a lot over the past few weeks by perusing through the forums, and I hope to learn more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My ultimate goal is to work on getting my bachelor's degree so I can eventually move up and be a Construction Site Manager. Probably should've mentioned that in the first post.
 

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ldouce90 said:
My ultimate goal is to work on getting my bachelor's degree so I can eventually move up and be a Construction Site Manager. Probably should've mentioned that in the first post.
Find a construction management program in your area and start going to school. You'll find companies will often favor family members to be site managers, even if they know nothing and you have experience and a college degree. They won't care, they'd rather hire their son, brother in law, friends spouse or whatever. So plan on going into business for yourself. After you get your degree, keep studying, read business books, sales and marketing books. In the meantime framing is a great way to get experience, you get to see a lot and you'll learn some sound carpentry skills.
 

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The community college in southern oregon where I live offers a two year construction management degree where you would take courses ranging from autocad and architecture to basic carpentry and tool use. It can be part time and evenings as well.

As a contractor, I would be stoked to hire someone part-time while they were in the program and then move them to full time when they graduated.

I place importance on having some "book training" not just on the job training ...If for no other reason then knowing they are entering the field with a strong enough desire to learn and career minded enough that they would go to school for it.

Perhaps there is something like this where you live?

just my two cents...good luck!
 

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I just got out of the Army a few years ago and got into remodeling. No matter what you do, use your gi bill. The post 9-11 is just too good to pass up, even if you don't enjoy school. I would try to find somewhere that is willing to train you, even part time, while you go to school. I started with a guy that just went out on his own after 15 years and was looking for someone to help with a single job. I'm now working full time for him and doing a business management bachelors. Its a bit of a time crunch but still more relaxing than the Army. Use your free school and make the most of any opportunity you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The local community college has a construction management program that I'll be doing part time, but I'll have to be working full time to support my family.

Last question: is it better to start as general labor for a company and move up from there, or use a program like Tradesmen International? There don't seem to be a whole lot of guys looking to take on apprentices right now.
 

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Again, I can only speak to my area.

Around here, the boom is back and there is more residential work then good carpenters and laborers to do it. I don't know anything about tradesman international but around here I'd tell you to just stop by job sites that look interesting and sell yourself. Maybe talk to the guys behind the counter at the lumber yard (not big boxes) about potential employers as well.

I'd be looking to get on with a good, established contractor, ask lots of questions, work your butt off and study and/or take classes in the evenings and you'd be well on your way with a couple of years experience. Also, if the guy you end up working for refuses to teach you whys and hows of construction (after you prove you are a hard worker) move on quickly.

I'd get on with a small company as well (just a couple of employees). There is more opportunity to get experience when you're doing jobs that don't need a laborer just cleaning up after a large crew and moving heavy **** all day long.
 
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