As kids, we love constructing buildings and even whole cities from blocks. Construction is a career that takes this idea into real life. Each successful construction project includes many roles and positions that require a range of skills and experience. From plumbers to welders and project managers to contractors, there are many ways to get involved in the industry. If you are wondering whether a career in construction is right for you, read on.
Construction is exciting, fast-paced, and rewarding. If you enjoy creating things and managing various pieces of a puzzle, it could be the perfect job for you. The construction industry is evolving all the time. New materials, techniques, and equipment are being developed and tested, and structures are being built at an unprecedented rate to meet the demands of the global population. Being in construction puts you at the forefront of this growth and innovation.
In the United States, employers cannot find enough qualified workers to fill the skilled labor positions in the construction industry. This is because a large proportion of the construction workforce is close to retirement and there are not enough young people entering the industry. If you want an industry where you will constantly be in demand, can command a high salary, and have plenty of opportunities for career advancement, construction is the right choice.
How Do I Get into Construction?
University – If you want to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher in a construction-related field, you will need to enroll in a university program. There are many great universities in the U.S. that offer programs in construction management, engineering, architecture, project management, and construction technology. An undergraduate degree will open up career opportunities in different fields within the construction industry including design, contracting, development, and construction management. Typically, graduates from four-year degree programs find jobs such as project managers, inspectors, and site supervisors. These jobs are less hands-on and are more about administrating, managing, and supervising construction projects.
Trade School – After completing high school, you can attend a construction trade school to learn the skills needed to become a construction professional. There are numerous trade schools in the U.S. that teach the specialized skills necessary to enter the construction field. Some of the many options include carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, masonry, welding, and many other specialties. Some trade schools offer short-term training programs while others offer diplomas or associate degrees. Most programs include hands-on training and instruction by experienced instructors with real-world construction experience. It is typically cheaper to complete a program at a trade school than to attend a four-year university course.
Apprenticeship Program – Another option to learn the necessary skills to work in construction is to enroll in an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships are offered in fields such as carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. These programs last between three to five years and include classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Some apprenticeships are part-time and can be undertaken in addition to a full-time job. This will enable you to earn while you learn. Apprenticeships are a great way to gain valuable experience under the guidance of experienced professionals. Many employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed an apprenticeship program because these programs train workers to a high standard.
Start Work Immediately – It is also possible to start work in construction straight out of high school. Some companies offer entry-level positions to young people with no previous experience to train them on the job and others may hire inexperienced employees as temporary workers. However, starting as an unskilled employee will put you at a disadvantage in terms of salary when compared to other workers who already have the necessary skills and experience needed to succeed. You may also find it difficult to secure a full-time position due to your lack of qualifications. Hence, this is a good option only if you cannot afford further training and must secure a paying job immediately after leaving high school.
While the construction industry is challenging and interesting, it is not for everyone. If you possess strong organizational skills, good interpersonal skills, and the ability to work well under pressure, a career in construction may be the right choice for you. But if you do not like physically demanding work, long hours, or dealing with unpredictable circumstances, you may wish to consider another career.
You should also keep in mind that it can take several years to become an experienced and skilled construction professional. While highly skilled workers are in demand and can fetch a high salary, the wage for an entry-level worker can be pretty average. You must have reasonable expectations about your income and the time you will need to invest in becoming a construction professional.
If you are still interested in pursuing a career in construction, you should explore the training options available and do your research before deciding which path to take. Speak to people who are familiar with the construction industry to find out what it is like and learn about the job opportunities available in your area. Also consult your parents, teachers, and high school career counselor for advice.
With hard work and the right training path, you could have a bright future as a successful professional working in the construction industry.