Q&A with a Field Foreman
August 17, 2021
When you choose a career in the construction/skilled trades industry, there’s real potential — for growth, for salary increases, for job satisfaction. That’s always been the case. It’s certainly true for Garth Huff, a field foreman at SSC Underground.
We had Huff tell us about his career path, the perks of working at SSC, and his advice for those who are considering a career in construction.
BUILD YOUR FUTURE ARIZONA: Hey Garth. Thanks for chatting with us. To kick things off, why don’t you tell us how you got started in the construction industry?
GARTH HUFF: Honestly, it was sort of by chance. Back then I was working a warehouse job and dating my now-fiancée. Her mom came to me one day knowing I wasn’t happy where I was at professionally and told me her old coworker was looking for new employees. I gave him a call, and he brought me in for an interview. He worked in the construction industry, and even though I had no construction experience, he hired me. It’s been a great fit — I haven’t looked back.
BYFAZ: What do you currently do as a field foreman?
HUFF: It’s a lot of different tasks. That variety is one of the things I really enjoy about my job. One day I can be doing a pre-job meeting, and the next day I can be running a vac truck or overseeing a job. It’s a flexible position — you do whatever is needed to get the job done.
BYFAZ: What kind of growth potential is there as a young professional at SSC Underground?
HUFF: Even if you join SSC with prior experience, there are always more things to learn so you can grow. You can definitely work your way up. If you come in with no experience, you get to learn so much. In this field they’re really willing to train and teach the people who want to grow and learn. You can start at the bottom and eventually run your own vac truck, to running a small crew of vac trucks to running a whole fleet of them.
BYFAZ: What advice do you have for someone who’s starting to explore a career in the skilled crafts, or someone who’s maybe still on the fence about it?
HUFF: It’s so important to just go talk to someone first. If you’re interested in a job like welder or electrician or equipment operator, get out and talk to someone who does the trade for a living. Even though the internet can be a helpful source, don’t just rely on that by itself. Actually talking to someone who does this work day after day will give you a better understanding. Usually, these folks are more than willing to talk, and explain why they enjoy what they do. More than likely, they’ll also tell you what they don’t like about their job; that matters too.
BYFAZ: Lastly, with a new school year around the corner, do you have any advice for high school seniors or recent graduates?
HUFF: I would say, don’t just write off a possible career in the trades/construction. Do some research online about all the different choices, then go talk to someone in a trade that interests you. A career in construction may not always be easy, but nothing is completely easy in life. This kind of work is a good, honest living that allows you to meet lots of different people and create great friends along the way. It’s so satisfying to drive by a building or bridge and know you had a part in building it.
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