Bryan Baeumler: Trading A Law Career To Work With His Hands
Industry Insight Mediaplanet recently asked HGTV star Bryan Baeumler to discuss his career in the skilled trades and get his opinion about what it takes to enter and succeed in this rewarding field.
Mediaplanet You’re the host of HGTV’s Disaster DIY and Leave it to Bryan — what inspired you to launch these shows?
Bryan Baeumler To be honest, I never planned on being on television. Part of my marketing plan for my construction company was to offer free construction labour to a production company for a couple of months in exchange for advertising — it turned out they were looking for someone to host the show, and I guess they picked me! Disaster DIY and LITB were easy to develop — I love helping, teaching people, and sharing tips and tricks that make people’s lives easier and safer around their tools and homes.
MP What inspired you to enter a career in the trades?
BB I’ve always loved tools and machinery for as long as I can remember. I grew up with a Dad that owned a custom aircraft sheet metal shop, so I was exposed to a lot of tools, math, and technical learning at a young age. After school I was on my way to a career in law, but I couldn’t shake my passion for the trades. I ended up going back to trade school and diving in head first. Thanks to my Dad I had a head start with a lot of hands-on skills. And, thanks to my detour through university, I had the skills to start, develop, and grow a business that I love.
MP What is your advice for those who are thinking about pursuing a career in trades?
BB If you love working with your hands, meeting people, and being in an environment where the sky’s the limit — skilled trades are for you. Get up early, be the first one on site, ask questions, work hard, and stay late. Expect to start at the bottom and work your way up. Everyone at the top has pushed a broom and picked up offcuts, it builds better leaders and more successful entrepreneurs. Find a great mentor and absorb as much information as you can from them. Pick a specialty, get licensed, and take business courses. The sales, marketing, human resources, and business management skills will come in handy one day.
“One of the greatest assets a skilled tradesperson has is their ability to generate revenue with sweat..."
MP What are some of the benefits of taking an apprenticeship program?
BB Some trades will require you to apprentice and accrue hours working with and learning from experienced journeymen. It’s a great opportunity not only to learn, but to meet people in the industry, create a career for yourself, and develop a reputation for being a hard worker, good listener, and fast learner.
MP What are your thoughts on job security and opportunities within the trades?
BB There’s unbelievable opportunities out there in the skilled trades industry. We’re facing a massive shortage of skilled labour in the very near future — a growing and aging infrastructure means there will always be work for those willing to work hard. Our economy and society depends on our infrastructure and those that are able to build and maintain it. One of the greatest assets a skilled tradesperson has is their ability to generate revenue with sweat, and it’s one of the few industries where you really do get what you put into it.