For years, Cleveland Builds has observed and championed the positive results of union construction training. Rich fulfillment and well-paying careers lie in wait for those who choose this path, a too-often overlooked alternative to the time- and money-consuming multi-year degrees. As we and others have dedicated ourselves to building a pipeline of dedicated workers feeding into the industry, a skyscraper of data has accumulated to prove our purpose.

In their study, “Union Apprenticeships: The Bachelor’s Degrees of the Construction Industry,” the Illinois Economic Policy Institute has compiled a decade’s worth of federal data (2010 – 2020) encompassing nearly 100,000 U.S. households. Among other supportive findings, the study concludes that the average union construction salary of about $58,000 sits almost exactly halfway between the average yearly earnings of workers with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, the ILEPI shares that union construction workers generally have private health insurance better than those with associate’s degrees and similar to owners of bachelor’s degrees.

Even if union construction training did require the same time and monetary commitment as a college education, the results of this expansive study prove the paths are comparable in pay and benefits. But the fact is, it usually takes a fraction of the time to prepare for and enter a construction union; in our programs, you can even earn a wage as you learn. Come build an ironclad future—both yours and Cleveland’s—with Cleveland Builds.

Read the full ILEPI study and a summary by Jeff Yoders at Engineering News-Record.