Construction worker places rebar – Photo Courtesy: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Mark Ray
If building bridges, skyscrapers and beneficial living spaces is your calling, then a career in construction is definitely for you! Careers in construction are quite challenging, but they can also be very rewarding for those who have a knack for it. They are also quite numerous, with various opportunities falling under various sectors of construction.
With so many career options to choose from, how can you tell which one is perfect for you?
Four Basic Questions
To figure out which specific field of construction would suit you best, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
1. What are Your Skills?
Before anything else, try to assess your skills and what you would like to do most in construction.
- Are you skilled at working with your hands?
- Or, are you more detailed-oriented and skilled at planning and supervising?
- Do you like controlling heavy machinery, or are basic tools your â€œweapons of choiceâ€?
Knowing what youâ€™re good at can help you zoom in on which career to choose.
If youâ€™re more of a handyman, then being a tradesman would be perfect for you. If youâ€™re better at planning and supervising, then youâ€™ll be better off managing or designing projects.
2. What Would You Like to Build?
Being in construction doesnâ€™t mean you can build just anything. There are four different sectors of construction and these four involve the building of different structures:
- If youâ€™d like to build homes and residences for community members, then you should enter into new home building and renovation.
- If youâ€™d like building big facilities with huge machinery, then heavy industrial construction is for you.
- If commercial and institutional buildings such as schools, pools, hospitals and stadiums are what youâ€™re all about, then focus your efforts on institutional and commercial construction.
- If youâ€™d like to take on the construction of highways, dams, bridges and other public structures, then youâ€™ll fit perfectly with a job in civil engineering construction.
3. Where Would You Like to Build?
Not all construction jobs involve working outdoors or working in different places for long periods of time. Some trades work solely indoors and many of them do not require extended periods away from home. If youâ€™re seeking new experiences, being outdoors and traveling to different places, then a career in heavy industrial construction may be best for you. Careers in this field often put you outdoors and situate you in various parts of the country for long periods of time.
If youâ€™d prefer to work indoors or find work in just one place, then home building or commercial construction will probably suit you best. Specialised fields such as carpentry, plumbing, drywalling and interior finishing can be done solely indoors if thatâ€™s what you prefer.
4. How Do You See Your Future?
Your long term goals and plans should influence your choice of construction career. If youâ€™re looking for employment advancement – achieving a supervisory or management role in the future – then itâ€™s best that you work with an established construction company. Construction companies like L.U. Simon Builders for instance, have seen the likes of Jim Moschoyiannis get from project manager to company shareholder and director in a few short years.
If this is the kind of progression you want in your career, then start small in a company you can be sure you can stay with. But if youâ€™d like to earn and learn to establish your own business in the future, you can focus on specific trades like masonry, painting, plumbing or electrical work and work with a trade contractor before establishing your own business.
Construction offers not just jobs but satisfying careers that last a lifetime. It isnâ€™t just about manual labor, itâ€™s an industry that requires creativity, skill and know-how as well. Take the first step to a long and fulfilling career by choosing the construction career thatâ€™s just right for you.
Debra WrightÂ blogs about a plethora of topics including employment and opportunities found in large companies. Wright considers L.U. Simon BuildersÂ as one of the largest provider in buildings and constructions.