The skilled trades are one of the most in-demand job classes in the world today and provide an opportunity to create a strong, high-paying career  As shown by the Career Pathway report below, an individual can plug into a career in the ever-growing construction industry in a variety of ways. Many construction jobs can be obtained with a high school diploma.  An individual could also choose to pursue certificates or licensures, an associate degree in architectural design/construction technology or engineering technology, a bachelor’s degree in finance, construction, engineering, or management.

Career Pathway Report

Industry Overview

A fantastic way to achieving a career in the trades is through an apprenticeship, a learn while you earn model that offers tremendous value to the apprentice as well as his or her employer of choice. Apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation in a trade or profession with on-the-job training and accompanying study. Apprenticeships typically result in a certification or journeyman status to practice in a regulated occupation. Training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession.

Apprenticeship positions are available across a number of skill sets in the Jacksonville area, allowing people to begin working in a variety of construction job roles, such as Carpenter, Electrician, HVAC Installer, Ironworker, Plumber, Pipefitter and Sheet Metal Worker.

Construction jobs occurs both in commercial and residential operations.  A job in the construction industry can vary.  From designing a bridge, to estimating the cost of a residential project, to building major thoroughfares such as the First Coast Expressway, there are a multitude of options that will result in a fruitful and fulfilling career.

Construction workers, project managers, laborers, and skilled craftsmen are needed to build infrastructure across the region. These high-demand roles are well-paying.  They define and shape the landscape of the Northeast Florida region through lasting impact.

Review the Career Pathway information below to learn more about careers in Construction.

Look at your skill set. Determine where there are gaps. Decide what it will take to fill those gaps and be willing to do the work that others are not willing to do.

Ashley SzczukowskiMarand Construction, Business Development Manager

Construction is see the progress and know that building a hospital for children will impact the community for years to come.

Erin VirginElectrician Apprentice

As the needs grow in our community, so does the need for our young men and women in our area to learn about and pursue a career in the Construction and Engineering professions.

Janet DuffyDocuments Manager, Eisman & Russo, Inc.

Graduate debt-free with four years of working experience and 2,000 hours of OJT each program year.

Northeast Florida Builder’s Association (NEFBA)

JEA Women In Trade

America needs more skilled trade workers and increasingly women are being groomed to fill that need.

At JEA, Jacksonville’s community-owned utility, an employee resource group called Women in Trade works to ensure JEA can provide reliable electric, water and sewer services to our community. The group’s members frequently speak to young women at Jacksonville high schools and colleges to tout the benefits of choosing a trade career.

“We want young women to know that we will train you and help you learn a trade,” said David Emanuel, JEA’s Chief Human Resource Officer and co-chair of Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Advancement Network. “We offer well-paying jobs with opportunities for advancement. JEA is a great place to work.”

Just ask Carissa Seay, a Wastewater Reuse Treatment E&I technician. Her job is to inspect wastewater facilities in order to verify systems and equipment are working properly, and to make repairs as needed. “If you had told me in high school or college that I would be doing this as a career, I would have laughed,” said Seay, who graduated from Yulee High School and UNF. “Now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Janelle Thomas-Hatch echoes that sentiment. “I believe more women should give non-traditional trade roles a chance,” said Thomas-Hatch, a Jacksonville native with a degree from Flagler College, who has worked at JEA for 13 years. “They can be very rewarding.”

Thomas-Hatch helps control the systems that keep JEA power plants working and ensures the facilities are operational and safe. She is a Safety SHAPE representative, a volunteer position that advocates and champions safety in in the workplace.

Thomas-Hatch and Seay both worked in other fields before pursuing their trade careers. Both first heard about working in trades from men who worked in the field. And both possessed skills, such as adaptability, critical thinking and patience that have helped them succeed in their trade.

“I enjoy the trouble-shooting aspect of my job,” Thomas-Hatch said.

“My job is rewarding because what I do directly impacts the community,” Seay said.

Thomas-Hatch and Seay started their training through the apprenticeship program at the Electrical Training Alliance of Jacksonville. After completing the five-year program, both women earned their professional licenses. At JEA, their professional training continues with JEA’s state-certified training programs.

JEA invests in the community by offering high school and college students a variety of apprenticeships, internships and mentoring programs. These programs provide hands-on experience for students, preparing them to become highly trained professionals in their field.

Thomas-Hatch encourages students interested in trade careers to explore opportunities in career and technical education programs offered at local high schools. Learn more on

“If your school doesn’t offer a program, look for an internship,” said Thomas-Hatch.

Volunteering can also help those interested test the waters to see if they enjoy working in the trades. Seay recommends volunteering for organizations like Habitat for Humanity that work outside and use a variety of tools. Above all, Seay says don’t be intimated.

“We love what we do, and we would love to see more women working in the trades,” she said.

Samir Mujtaba

Architecture Design Associate at The Haskell Company

Internships provide students with invaluable real-world experience that supplements their classroom knowledge. They also can lead to exciting job opportunities.

Samir Mujtaba, a Jacksonville native, is an Architecture Design Associate at The Haskell Company, a global, fully integrated, design-build and EPC firm headquartered in Jacksonville. His passion for design and creating innovative solutions to help improve lives emerged while he was a student at Bartram Trail High School and enrolled in Haskell’s High School Intern Program. He says the experience set the foundation for a successful career in architecture.

“The more you learn, the quicker you can advance,” said Mujtaba.

The High School Intern Program at Haskell is unpaid and offers a curriculum for rising high school seniors to gain architectural, engineering and construction exposure. During their six weeks in Haskell’s headquarters, students work on projects, tour job sites, participate in training through Haskell University and give weekly presentations to Haskell team members. The program started in 2018 with six students, including Mujtaba.

“It was clear to me that I wanted to pursue architecture as a career after my first internship experience at Haskell,” said Mujtaba.

Following his second year at the University of South Florida, Mujtaba transitioned into Haskell’s College Internship Program. The college program is a paid internship and students work on active projects. After his second year of college, Mujtaba transferred to the University of Florida and completed two more summer internships at Haskell before earning a bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 2023. Following graduation, Mujtaba was offered full-time employment at Haskell. He is the first full-time hire that participated in the high school internship program.

“In addition to architecture, I learned about business communications, business etiquette and goal setting in my internships,” said Mujtaba.

Both internship programs have grown extensively since their beginnings and continue to expand even more. In 2023, Haskell employed 89 summer college interns and welcomed 14 high school interns. At Haskell, interns work closely with team members and are given assignments that are critical to the company’s daily operations. Student interns gain job experience that better prepares them for potential full-time positions after graduation. Interns are a vital part of Haskell’s efforts to attract the best possible talent to contribute to creating world-class solutions for clients. Among the students participating in the collegiate program, approximately 90% receive an offer to return or transition to a full-time employee.

Mujtaba is well suited for a career as an architect. He is creative, likes to draw and build, enjoys technology, and is eager to learn. He enjoys working independently on multiple projects and as part of a team. While math skills are important, advanced math is not a prerequisite in this career. During his internships, Mujtaba became certified in AutoCad and proficient in Revit programs. His drive and initiative gave him an edge for future employment. Mujtaba is grateful for the experiences and opportunities Haskell has provided and credits his supervisors for providing valuable advice and mentorship.

“My advice to other students is to start as soon as you can and learn as much as you can,” Mujtaba said. “You’ll stand out and be ahead of everyone else around you.”

Jabril Mathis

Construction Ready

Before he ever laid eyes on Jabril Mathis, Tim Mosley had a hunch the young man was a good candidate to fit in at The Haskell Company.

Haskell, an architecture, engineering, construction and consulting firm headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, was seeking to fill positions at the Miller Electric Center job site, where the Jacksonville Jaguars’ training and administrative complex is slated for a summer 2023 opening.

Mosley, the company’s Senior Manager for Field Personnel, says “Jabril really stood out” as he looked through a set of resumes in preparation for a Construction Ready hiring fair in the fall of 2022.

As Mosley recalls, “Our training director had looked at Jabril, too, and he cut to the chase and said, ‘I want to know who you picked; here’s my picks.’ And his first pick was Jabril as well. So we could see there was potential, the two of us seeing something in someone who was willing to learn.”

The interest, it turned out, ran both ways. In fact, before Jabril even set foot in the Construction Ready classroom, he had an eye toward a career at Haskell.

“Going into the program I saw that Haskell was one of the sponsors, and in my mind I was already thinking I would like to work for them,” Jabril says. “I always said I wanted to be in design and building construction, and Construction Ready put me on that path toward getting there. Without Construction Ready I wouldn’t have been able to connect with Haskell the way I wanted to.”

When Jabril showed up at the hiring fair, he confirmed Mosley’s initial impressions.

“Again, he stood out above the rest,” Mosley says. “He had this interest in design, so you could tell he had a little bit of creativity to him and a willingness to learn, not just wanting a job. He spoke well, asked the right questions. We continued the conversation probably 30 or 45 minutes, just because it was so nice to meet someone that has potential.”

Jabril landed the job, and while he came into it with no construction experience, he had already shown he was eager to learn throughout his time in the Construction Ready pre-apprenticeship program.

“I hadn’t been in school in a while, so I liked that I was learning again, especially something that I had a lot of interest in already,” he says. “And there were Lunch and Learns where you hear from different companies. I liked seeing the different ins and outs of what those companies do.”

Each day on the job site has been a process of continuing education for Jabril. Clearly a thoughtful young man, he came up with an insightful analogy to describe his work.

“Starting off they had me doing just basic things,” Jabril says, “but I like to think that what I’m doing kind of coincides with my own education. Like when I was laying foundations [for the Jaguar facilities], I was also laying a foundation for my career. When I’m setting forms, I’m forming myself, too – I’m learning different things every day.”

Assistant Superintendent Alfredo de la Cruz, Jabril’s direct supervisor, echoes Mosley’s comments about Jabril’s potential.

“He’s been doing really good,” de la Cruz says. “I like his attitude. I see Jabril years from now in a different position. He’s willing to learn, he’s always there to help, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

Jabril’s story is a great example of how Construction Ready’s pre-apprenticeship program can jumpstart a career in a hurry. In his case, a college football career at Florida Atlantic University had not worked out. The Jacksonville native was back in his hometown working in security when he began researching construction careers.

“I found a few different programs and apprenticeships, then I came across Construction Ready,” he remembers. “It was the quickest one – it said you could get hired for a construction job in like 30 days. So I applied and I got a call from someone who said there would be a class coming up in October.”

The training – actually it’s 20 days – provides instruction in basic construction skills, up to eight industry-recognized credentials, and those all-important connections to real employers who are hiring for real jobs. The best matches come when graduates are willing to keep learning, and employers – such as Haskell – are willing to help them do so.

“This company identifies people who have potential, and they will help develop that,” Mosley confirms. “We want to show them that this is a career. I believe Jabril is definitely taking the steps to continue, so we want to advance his education, get him experience on the job sites, and give him a little bit more [responsibility]. So far it’s been working great.”

A bonus for Jabril is that his first on-the-job experience was helping build a facility for the Jaguars, his lifelong favorite team.

“I mean, grew up in a teal-colored room,” he says, referring to the Jaguars’ distinct primary color. “Just being out here is cool to me, because knowing I’m helping build their practice facility, that sticks with me.”

So far it’s working out just as he envisioned: “It was cool that I had [working for Haskell] in mind, and now I’m here.”

Julian Martinez

Electrical Apprentice, NEFBA

Julian Martinez was 16 and in the 10th grade when he decided to drop out of high school. After a few years of working part time and struggling to make ends meet, Martinez knew he needed to make changes in his life.

“I realized how hard life could get without an education or degree, and not having a skill to fall back on,” said Martinez, who was born and raised in Northeast Florida.

At age 19, Martinez enrolled in the GED preparation course at Clay County Adult & Community Education. The organization provides continuing education courses for adult students within Clay and the surrounding counties. For adults without a high school diploma, earning a GED can help in many ways and lead to other career training programs. After completing the preparation course, Martinez took the exam to earn his GED.

“It took willpower to get the course done,” Martinez said. “But once I earned my GED, doors began to open for me.”

Through his contacts at Clay County Adult & Community Education, Martinez learned about opportunities with the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) Apprenticeship Program. The four-year apprenticeship program offers training while students work full time with their employer and attend school to earn a trade license. Carpentry, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing and Sheet Metal are the five trades that are being offered to students who have earned a high school diploma or GED. The program is 100% tuition-free. Martinez enrolled in the Electrical Apprenticeship program in June 2023.

“I am ‘shocked’ at how much I have learned so far in less than a year,” Martinez said with a smile.

The Electrical Apprenticeship program trains individuals to become journeymen electricians with electrical classes and on the job training with electrical businesses sponsoring the program. The employers pay the students for their work and education.

As a NEFBA apprentice, Martinez has been given the opportunity to work hands-on beside highly skilled professionals on both commercial and residential job sites. Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing electrical power, communications, lighting and control systems for homes and businesses. They are proficient trade workers who embrace problem-solving and troubleshooting, and they are able to confidently face new challenges at every job site.

“I approach every job with an open mind, and I am ready to conquer whatever comes my way,” Martinez said.

Martinez is paid an hourly wage while receiving on-the-job training at T&M Electric, Inc. in Orange Park. The training is supplemented with classroom instruction on site two nights a week. After six months in the program, Martinez received his first raise. Throughout the program, apprentices receive industrial credentials. After graduation, they receive a certificate of completion from the Florida Department of Education which makes them eligible for their journeyman certification.

“After the apprentice program ends, I’ll be on my way to becoming a master electrician,” Martinez said.

Earning a GED and enrolling in the NEFBA Apprenticeship Program has been life-changing for Martinez. He encourages everyone interested in learning new skills and a trade to consider an apprenticeship.

“This program is a great opportunity and useful to anyone who wants to be successful,” Martinez said.