Skilled trades careers must always begin with training.  Pre-apprenticeship programs are an excellent way to get introduced to the  skilled trades and become more comfortable with the  construction evnironment.  Pre-apprentices are  empowered  to learn  the basics of  construction  in a fast-paced environment that utilizes both the classroom experience as well as shop training.  Introductory topics  such as correct use of  tools and   workplace  safety  are covered. The length of  pre-apprentice training varies by trade, typically hovering around the six-week mark.

Upon completion of a pre-apprenticeship program, individuals can  continue their training through an  apprenticeship program.  An apprentice is a paid worker who is enrolled in a special training program administered by an employer together with a labor organization or trade association. Most apprentices work in construction trades.  Apprenticeships offer many growing job opportunities, as construction-related jobs in Illinois are expected to grow substantially.

Apprenticeships also provide good wages.  Apprentices typically start out earning approximately half of a "journeyman" tradesworker's wage.  The pay scale is gradually increased over the length of the apprenticeship.  Once training is completed the apprentice graduates to journeyman status.  Most apprenticeships take three to five years to complete.  The typical program includes 2,000 hours of on-the-job training plus at least 144 hours per year of classroom instruction.

Click through the various Skilled Trades below to learn more about these careers.  The Administrative, Design, and Management positions in the construction industry may also be accessed below.

Illinois two- and four-year undergraduate engineering and construction management programs may accessed here.