If you’re considering a career in construction, you’ll be joining an exciting and lucrative industry. Construction workers are in high demand, and there is a good choice of job roles and projects. For those looking for a more practical and labor-intensive career, construction is the way forward. It’s a diverse industry with loads of training options, and anyone can apply. So, where do you start?
A general construction worker is a skilled professional involved in operating large machinery, putting together building structures, testing equipment, transporting tools, etc.
There are many options for training, and you should compare different providers and talk to people already in the industry to get an idea of the route you would prefer to take.
Many employers will take on unqualified workers and train them under supervision. The advantage of this is that you learn by doing, and employers can teach you how they want you to work. You still need a high school diploma, and they may enroll you in the extra training and cover the cost.
Another route is by enrolling in an apprenticeship program. An apprentice will typically spend 80% of the time on the job and 20% in the classroom. This is a great balance as it allows time for learners to apply what they learn in the construction environment, ideal for Kinesthetic learners and those who struggle to retain information.
Construction is more than just putting buildings together. There are loads of roles to choose from and plenty of opportunities to progress up the career ladder. Starting as an apprentice will give you the foundation skills needed, and you receive certification at the end.
If you are interested in more senior roles, you could get an associate’s degree to prove that you take the trade seriously and you want to progress.
Primary roles in construction include bricklaying, painting, decorating, and woodwork. You can specialize in other areas such as plumbing and carpentry but will require extra training. Carpentry is a great trade and a fantastic opportunity to be creative and get involved in designing. You then have the option to branch out alone and start a business. Research all the materials and machines you would need and make a business plan if you want to create your own company.
If you prefer to work for a large company and enjoy the security and benefits, you could progress to a more senior role such as a Field Construction Manager. FCMs are involved in managing projects from start to finish, planning the budget, scheduling, and checking that employees are well out in the field. The job requires traveling, and Managers can utilize modern technologies such as field service reporting systems which provide a digital option for processes and increases productivity throughout the project.
Construction work, especially in the junior roles, requires physical endurance, so you must be strong and willing to work in a labor-intensive environment. In addition, workers need to have a good head for figures as you will need to calculate the price of materials and convert measurements for pricing.
You should also possess excellent timekeeping as projects are on a strict time scale, so self-discipline is a must. Problem-solving skills are invaluable.
Working in construction is challenging but can lead to more senior roles and be considered a job for life.