After Christian graduated from high school, he became a summer helper at a mechanical contracting company learning about and working on plumbing projects. As the summer came to an end, Christian got ready to go to college. Midway through his freshman year, sitting in a required class for graduation, he thought about the fact that he was paying to sit and learn. Working at the mechanical contractor, he was paid to learn. “I didn’t like book learning. I knew I really liked hands on learning and the accomplishment of building something.”
While he was in school, he applied and was accepted to be an apprentice in the local Pipe Trades Registered Apprenticeship program. He is now a 3rd year apprentice. “No two days are the same and the reward is seeing my work, what I built. I like driving around knowing that I’ve worked on many buildings in town.”
“My favorite part of the job is working with copper. When you like what you do, nothing is hard. I love the first time you turn on the heat in a building, and you have this amazing sense of accomplishment.”
Christian has worked on the Cooper Elementary expansion, the Two Harbors Hospital addition, Hermantown High School expansion, and the Rush City Prison. “I prefer to work on new construction, or additions. They are cleaner, and they are easier to work on than 50-year-old pipes. That can be a real test of strength.”
During his first year as an apprentice, 20 year old Christian bought his first new car. “While I’m learning my craft, I am earning a good salary. It’s sad, and all too common to see my friends finishing a four-year degree with massive amounts of debt.”
Christian is halfway through his 5-year apprenticeship program and is getting ready to purchase his first home.