Stories about the trades that were true 50 years ago are no longer relevant. Others have always been myths, shared by people outside the trades world. Whatever the case, we want to set the record straight for this generation.

Myth: “There aren’t any
good jobs around here.”

Truth: The Northeastern MN construction industry is thriving. It is employing almost 10,000 people and distributes an average wage of $41,755 annually. The opportunities in this industry are only increasing as Minnesota is expected to add over 10,000 new construction jobs in the next decade.

Employment Resources

Myth: “Are the trades
right for me?”

Truth: The trades offer great benefits, the opportunity to learn while you earn, a wide variety of specialized positions (you have lots of job skills to choose from), the ability to stay in NE Minnesota or travel, and they offer a good salary. If you are interested in any of these things, the trades may be right for you!

Myth: “I don’t even know
what the trades are.”

Truth: Skilled trades are occupations that require a special skill, knowledge or ability which can be obtained through a technical program at a community college in two years or less, or through specialized training like apprenticeship. The key characteristic of a skilled trade is the combination of classroom learning with learning on the job. A job in the trades means that you will be doing work that affects people’s lives everyday – making it better & safer.

Myth: “The trades are a
fall back job after you
go to a 4 year college.”

Truth: The trades are one of the best starter jobs out there. Students get to begin their careers 2 to 4 years sooner than those with a 4-year degree. This means that their student loans are very minimal, and they have at least a 2-year head start in their career. They have a VERY high job placement rate and make a starting median salary of $41,000.

Myth: “There’s no prestige
with the trades.”

Truth: How would you feel if you were part of the crew that built Minnesota’s highest bridge or the United States Hockey Hall of Fame? Having a skilled trade offers opportunities to be a part of highly prestigious projects. No matter what trade you are working in, improving people’s everyday lives is something to be proud of.

Myth: “I don’t have the skills
to enter the trades.”

Truth: One of the best things about the trades is the apprenticeship training. With over 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of classroom instruction, you will have plenty of time and opportunity to develop your skills! You do not need any skills to start – you just have to come willing to learn!

Myth: “I just want to work,
not go to school.”

Truth: Learning a trade is always a hands-on experience, with different combinations of classroom training depending on the path you take. The best part is you’re getting paid to learn.

Myth: “I can’t make a
good living in the trades.”

Truth: Construction provides substantially higher wages in the region with an average annual wage of $55,896 — $14,000 more than the average salary in the region. The median wage for construction careers is $27.26/hr vs the $17.25/hour median wage for all NE Minnesota occupations. Many people in the construction industry earn well over $100,000 a year along with excellent benefits.