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Local News and Information Archives for 2023-05

Residential Construction Offers High Paying Career Paths

As the caps and gowns are cast aside and graduates contemplate their futures, quite a few may be eager to enter the workforce right away. A career in residential construction is one pathway that offers multiple trade options along with on-the-job training. The construction industry in our state is growing at a high pace, with an expected 315,000 job opportunities in skilled trades through 2026, according to Go Build Tennessee. Skilled trades such as carpentry or plumbing do not require a four-year degree and apprentice opportunities allow students to earn while they learn. Once training is complete, skilled trades professionals have strong earning potential.


According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis, half of the payroll workers in construction earn more than $54,540 and the top 25% make at least $77,030. The BLS publishes wages for more than 400 occupations in construction. Here is a closer look at the median salaries among the highest-paid wages in construction based on the most recent data available (2022). 


Plumbers. The median wage for plumbers was $60,070 in 2022. Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes in residential, commercial and/or industrial buildings. In general, plumbers are excellent listeners and problem-solvers. As long as there are complex water systems in and outside of homes, there will be a need for reliable plumbers.


Electricians. Qualified electricians are always in demand. The median wage for electricians was $59,300. Electricians have excellent analytical skills, are adept at diagnosing problems and work with a variety of tools and technology.


Brick Masons. Laying brick is one of the oldest and most respected trades in the construction industry. Masonry construction uses brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone, concrete block, glass block, stucco, and tile. The median wage for brick masons is $59,130 annually.


Carpenters. Carpenters are needed in all construction areas and are often employed throughout the entire construction process. Thus, it is one of the most secure jobs in the industry. The best carpenters are critical thinkers who are detail oriented. Skilled carpenters earn $52,400 annually.


First-Line Supervisors. Seasoned tradespeople have the opportunity to manage people and projects. First-line supervisors play a key role in making sure projects are completed on time and within budget. The median wage for an employee in this role is $74,330


For more information on skilled trade training programs, apprenticeships, and career opportunities visit Go Build Tennessee or Home Builders Association of Chattanooga.

Increase Your Home's Value with Renovations

Remodeling projects are an excellent way for homeowners to increase functionality and add beauty to their homes. Additionally, if you intend to sell your current home soon, the projects you tackle today can pay off in the future. Depending on the type of remodeling project, improvements can add to your home resale value. However, not all remodeling projects are equal when generating the greatest resale value for homeowners.


Zonda, a housing market research firm, recently released their annual Cost vs. Value Report, which tracks the value ratio over the cost for 23 common remodeling projects. According to Zonda, the value figures are derived from a survey of more than 6,000 real estate agents. As in previous years, exterior projects deliver the best return on investment. Why? Curb appeal has an outsized influence on potential buyers and a home’s exterior that is well-maintained leaves a positive impression.


One essential home exterior feature is an attractive garage door. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners can recoup 102% of the garage door replacement cost. There are numerous types of garage doors to choose from. However, the best place to start is focusing on function and design. Experts recommend purchasing a new garage door that seamlessly fits your existing exterior style.


Jesse Cox, CEO of Access Garage Doors shares, “Year after year, garage doors stay at the top of the list when it comes to return on investment for homeowners. Not only do you recoup your investment, but garage door installation is also one of the quickest remodeling projects to tackle to improve your home’s value. As a local Chattanooga business for over 18 years that has now evolved into headquarters for our national franchise program, we are proud to serve the community that has always supported us in our mission to provide the highest quality in garage door systems, along with repairs and service.”


A garage door isn’t the only entryway feature that reaps rewards. In addition, homeowners recoup 100% of their investment of an entry door replacement. When selecting a front door, you’ll also want to ensure the style and materials complement your overall home aesthetic.


Another exterior project that topped the list was manufactured stone veneer. Homeowners that tackle this remodeling project are estimated to recover 102% of their investment. Manufactured stone veneer exhibits the look of natural stone and is available in various colors and sizes.


A couple of interior projects also generate a generous return on investment. For example, according to the report, homeowners who invest in a minor kitchen remodel will likely recoup more than 71 percent of their investment. This type of remodeling is generally smaller and involves replacing dated materials and fixtures instead of knocking down walls or reconfiguring plumbing and electrical. Similarly, with a mid-range bathroom remodel homeowners can expect to recoup 66% of their investment.


To learn more about remodeling projects that prove their value or to find a local remodeler in Chattanooga, visit our member directory