Construction trades are important because they provide the skills and knowledge necessary to build, maintain, and repair our homes and other structures. They can be very rewarding careers, offering opportunities for creative problem solving, physical activity, and working with one’s hands.

And they offer good job security: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of construction trades workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026—faster than the average for all occupations.

There are many reasons why someone might consider a career in the construction trades. Here are thirteen reasons why an apprenticeship is a great choice for those considering a construction trade.

1) You’ll gain real-world experience.

As an apprentice, you’ll work alongside experienced journeymen, learning the ropes and gaining valuable on-the-job experience.

2) You’ll earn a paycheck while you’re learning.

Unlike going to college, where you may have to take out loans and work part-time jobs to make ends meet, an apprenticeship allows you to earn a paycheck while receiving training.

3) You can get started without having to go to college first.

With an apprenticeship, there’s no need to be concerned about obtaining loans for tuition since there aren’t any. And you won’t need to try to fit classes around your work schedule. You can start working and learning right away.

4) You can tailor your apprenticeship to your interests.

There are many different construction trades, each with its own specialties. Choosing a trade apprenticeship is similar to choosing a major in college – you can focus your training on the area that interests you most. The one you choose will depend on your interests and goals. Some common apprenticeships in the construction trades include electrician, plumber, carpenter, mason, and ironworker. Each trade has its own set of skills and knowledge that you’ll need to learn, so be sure to do your research before you decide which trade is right for you.

5) Apprenticeships lead to good jobs.

Nearly three-quarters of those who complete an apprenticeship earn more than $50,000 a year—and the median earnings for many construction trades workers is even higher. Plus, you’ll have little trouble finding a job once you finish your apprenticeship: the unemployment rate for construction trades workers is quite low.

6) You’ll earn a good salary.

In most cases, apprentices start out earning about half of what a journeyman construction trades worker makes. But as you gain experience and complete your training, your pay will increase. After completing an apprenticeship, you can expect to earn a salary that’s comparable to—or even higher than—what you would make with a four-year degree.

7) You’ll have job security.

Construction trades workers are in high demand, and that demand is only expected to grow in the coming years. By choosing a career in a construction trade, you can be confident that you’ll have plenty of job opportunities—and good job security—for years to come.

8) You can advance your career.

After completing an apprenticeship and working as a journeyman for a few years, you may have the opportunity to become a supervisor or project manager. Or you could start your own construction business. With an apprenticeship under your belt, the sky’s the limit!

9) You’ll get hands-on experience.

As an apprentice, you’ll learn by doing. You’ll work with tools and materials, solve problems, and put your skills to the test on real-world projects.

10) You’ll learn from experienced professionals.

One of the best things about an apprenticeship is that you’ll have the opportunity to learn from experienced journeymen who know the ins and outs of their trade. They can teach you the tricks of the trade and help you avoid making common mistakes.

11) You’ll have the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge.

As an apprentice, you’ll receive both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. You’ll learn the skills you need to succeed in your chosen trade, as well as important safety procedures and job-specific knowledge.

12) Apprenticeships are portable.

If you move to a new city or state, your apprenticeship will usually transfer with you. That means you won’t have to start over from scratch if you decide to relocate.

13) You can get started right away.

Unlike some careers, which require years of schooling and training, you can start an apprenticeship relatively quickly. There’s no need to wait until you graduate from college to start your career in a construction trade. In most cases, all you need is a high school diploma or GED. With an apprenticeship, you can start working and learning today!

Why not give it a try?

If you’re considering a career in construction trades, an apprenticeship is a great way to get started. With real-world experience, the opportunity to earn a paycheck, and no need for college loans, it’s a smart choice for anyone looking to enter this growing field.