By Monica Hart, Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation President
Photos special to Design & Living Magazine
You can make a great living as a professional in the construction trades. You really can! I’ve got two examples for you. Dustin Murray and Darrick Guthmiller followed similar paths to their success.
Dustin earned a degree in carpentry from a local tech school and started his company, Dustin Murray Construction a few years later. He specializes in remodeling, new construction framing and finish work. Dustin enjoys working for himself and being hands-on. Most days, you can find him on the jobsite, taking on whatever challenge awaits: setting trusses, building walls or trimming out a kitchen.
Likewise, Darrick earned two degrees: one in construction technology and one architectural drafting and estimating technology from a local tech school. Today, Darrick manages his company’s office and designs house plans. He spends much of his time at his desk or meeting with clients. He is chief business officer at Kochmann Brothers Homes, Inc., a local custom homebuilding and remodeling company.
My point is that both of these industry professionals are successful, love what they do and have accomplished it with hard work and degrees from technical schools.
It’s being widely reported across the nation that skilled trades people are in dire need, especially in the face of many natural disasters recently. The National Association of Home Builders has seen rising rates of open jobs over the past four years, and there is an inability for builders, remodelers and other trades to fill them. It’s a concerning issue locally as well as employers struggle to find skilled workers.
It’s important for parents, educators and students to consider construction or technical careers. At the very least, look at the potential for salary, job security and cost of education! A four-year, college education, and those related jobs, are not for everyone. We all have different abilities, preferences and personalities, and some of us will do better in a hands-on, active job.
Construction career wages in Minnesota average nearly $58,000 per year, and North Dakota average nearly $54,000 per year. Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters and construction managers are needed to build new structures and update existing buildings. Locally, the construction industry has been stable and steady. It’s a wonderful environment to get into a trade, grow it as a business or career, and leverage it to provide for a satisfying lifestyle, or to support a growing family.
Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation offers scholarships for those interested in the trades and persistently promote our building industry to area youth through several events and programs throughout the year. I encourage you to visit hbcfm.com to learn more.
Monica Hart is current president of Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation. She owns Monica Hart Interior Design, Inc., specializing in design services for new construction and remodels, as well as space planning, finish selections and home refreshers.
HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF FM
Home Builders Care of Fargo-Moorhead Foundation provides a positive outlet for the housing industry to give back to the community, building a framework for the future.