Looking to build a career with a great future? Consider construction

Ed Capodanno
Guest Columnist

Ever thought of a good-paying career job without having to go to college? Construction may be the opportunity you are looking for. Associated Builders and Contractors, Delaware Chapter is an association of 500 commercial and industrial contractors in an industry that is the lifeblood of Delaware’s economy and one that for years has driven economic growth in the state and nationally. The industry provides a direct pathway to personal prosperity and the ability to earn a high-quality living without the burden of excessive college debt.

Nationally the average age of a construction worker is 47 and for every five people leaving the industry, just one is entering. At this rate, and over the next three years, the shortage of new workers could stall Delaware’s economic growth that is now restarting.

As an improving economy — supported by a renewed focus on thoughtful economic development — creates new opportunities in Delaware, the need for vocationally trained and certified, skilled workers become even more important.

Let’s take a closer look at the opportunities that are available to new workers entering the industry. It is important to note that the numbers shown below are average annual salaries and do not include overtime, company incentives or benefits.

  • Boilermakers $58,856
  • Carpenters $54,157
  • Electrician $57,741
  • Heavy equipment operator $61,091
  • HVAC $42,026
  • Pipefitter $59,558
  • Plumber $51,830

All these opportunities and more are available to Delaware kids who are willing to make a career commitment to the industry. This is truly a pathway to a good life and the opportunity to begin a career without the burden of excessive college debt.

A quick look at industry statistics, updated quarterly, shows that in Delaware alone there are more than 15,000 positions awaiting workers representing more than 20 trades. The Delaware Department of Labor has identified our industry as the third fastest growing job growth industry over the next five years.

ABC and its members are committed to developing the construction workforce of tomorrow. And remember, construction is one of the few industries where the vast majority of the work must be performed on-site and cannot be off-shored. So, the next time your kid is looking for a career opportunity, take a look at our industry. You won’t be disappointed.


Edward J. Capodanno has served as president of Associated Builders and Contractors, Delaware Chapter and the Construction Education Foundation of Delaware since 1993. Before coming to ABC Delaware, he was the vice president of Marketing and Rehabilitation for Goodwill Industries of Delaware from 1988-1993.

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