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Trading Up Careers: Benefits of the Construction Trades

April 15 2008

Trading Up Careers: Benefits of the Construction Trades

Program Highlights Immediate Income and Premier Projects

For Release: April 15, 2008
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group, 505-898-8689
Steve Crespin, MESA Program, 505-341-9033

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Careers in the building and construction trades are currently in high demand throughout New Mexico. MESA (Mechanical Electrical Sheet Metal Alliance) is offering paid apprenticeship training opportunities, as well as many other benefits, in these building construction professions.

For individuals looking for a dynamic career rather than a job, who like to work hands-on and who want to earn great money while learning, building and construction trades are the solution.

Apprenticeship programs provide great benefits, which are all covered by the contractor’s associations. Apprentices are paid, while working alongside a certified journeyman. In addition to practical training, technical training with qualified instructors is included as a part of the apprenticeship experience. The average apprentice starting pay is $13/hour, with regular pay increases after an introductory period of six months. Once this period is complete, apprentices have the chance to tap into awesome benefits that include healthcare and retirement plans. After apprentices reach journeyman status, their pay will have doubled from the starting apprentice pay.

“I joined the apprenticeship program and they paid for me to go to school. They also paid me to work and provided benefits. This was the best of both worlds. Today, I have a degree, a journeyman certificate and a job I really enjoy,” Donovan Whitman, Plumber & Pipefitter Local Union 412.

Most programs last about four years, which includes paid, on-the-job training, pay advancements and continued mastery of skill. The first year focuses on general instruction, safety and mentorship. The second year integrates classroom learning with hands-on application. The third year usually includes increased responsibility on the job, and by the end of the fourth year, journeyman status allows one to read and understand complex blueprints and specifications.

Upon completing the program, apprentices have quickly climbed the career latter and are established within the industry. “After graduating from high school, I went to a local community college and obtained my CDA. Today, I am a corporate administrator with a local commercial construction firm and enjoying what I do and excited about my future,” Bridget Rivera.

Trading Up from a job or high school to a career in the building and construction trades, offers many great career choices. Apprenticeship programs are available in the plumbing and pipefitting, electrical and sheet metal professions. There are also opportunities in areas such as accounting, bookkeeping, human resources and marketing.

About MESA
MESA is composed of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Mexico, Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Local 412, New Mexico Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 49, National Electrical Contractors Association of New Mexico and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 611 launched the program to focus on those currently in high school or those lacking formal apprenticeship training in the construction industry.

MESA is launching a statewide campaign in an effort to promote the building trades, generate more interest in apprentice programs and to promote membership in respective unions. For more information about MESA call (505) 341-9033 or visit

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"Today, I manage multi-million dollar projects with the support of the dedicated, skilled professionals on the job site."


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