October is Careers in Construction Month, which creates the perfect opportunity to highlight the many career paths the construction industry provides for people with a variety of experience, education and expertise. And especially given the estimated 500,000 open construction positions in the United States right now, workforce development and filling the skills gap remains a key priority for ABC and its members.

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Times, Michael D. Bellaman, president and CEO of ABC, emphasized that while a college degree is not required to have a lifelong and successful construction career, the industry also offers many professional opportunities with competitive salaries for college-bound students. Construction management—an undergraduate field of study that comprises the planning, design, safety, quality control and execution of construction projects—boasts countless career prospects for students interested in math, physics, economics, business management, engineering and communication. The major provides excellent employment options for recent graduates, with colleges reporting sold-out job fairs and outstanding job-placement results. The median pay for construction managers—which comprise more than 400,000 of the nation’s 7.8 million industry workers—was $91,370 in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In another op-ed featured on Fox Business, Bellaman stressed that the need for talent in the field is immediate, especially as construction spending reaches record highs. ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, which reflects projects under contract but yet to be executed, was at an all-time high of 9.9 months in the second quarter of 2018. America needs the best and the brightest to build the places where we live, work and play, from airports and universities to skyscrapers and stadiums. By starting college with the end in mind, students can help secure their future by choosing a major with ample job opportunity in today’s market and have a rewarding and fulfilling career in construction.

ABC National has developed outreach materials to help ABC chapters, members and volunteers promote Careers in Construction Month in local markets throughout the month of October. Explore the full range of construction career options at CareersBuildingCommunities.org or connect with career resources at workforce.abc.org.