The Associated General Contractors of America released a (January, 2020) study showing that the construction industry was looking strong, with the highest growth numbers found in the construction of bridges, highways, schools, hospitals, and water and sewer systems.
Currently, many construction activities have been delayed or canceled owing to economic uncertainty. However, over the remaining forecast period of 2022-2024, it is expected to recover with an annual average growth of 1.1% between 2022 and 2024. Let’s look at available specializations in this industry and the qualifications you need to pursue you career in construction.
There are many specializations within the construction industry – one in which the old saying is true – ‘There is never a dull moment’. Currently, just a few positions in demand include those of Construction Project Manager (a management position that involves hiring, scheduling, and solving problems as they arise), Glazier (specializing in the construction of glass walls), Mason (who creates the foundations of construction projects), and Construction Safety Officer (whose main responsibility is to promote safety measures that lead to a higher staff retention percentage).
The post of Safety Officer is a good example of how varied specializations can be within construction. Their job may involve everything from implementing effective policies and regulations, right through to selecting metal identification tags to issue warnings, track assets, and tag valves and pipes. The tags indicate information such as appropriate hitches, maximum loads, and lifting instructions.
There are many paths that lead to a job in construction – including paid apprenticeships, a college degree (in an area like construction engineering technology), and technician training. It is always a good idea to obtain official certification, so you can easily slide into an area that interests you.
The Philadelphia Technician Training Institute offers courses such as the Concrete, Masonry, & Framing Program, which is highly affordable and can be completed day or night. The course includes hands-on training and lifetime re-education on any facet of education in the same field. It is estimated that the average pay scale for a mason worker stands at around $46,500 annually, but of course, you can make a significantly larger income if you decide to launch a masonry business of your own.
Construction can be a demanding job, and in addition to official qualifications, you will also need to have key skills and abilities that will enable you to perform your job safely and effectively. Just a few include physical strength and endurance, good hand-eye coordination and a quick reaction time, and good reading and mathematics skills. As you will be working as part of a team, knowing how to communicate and work towards common goals is also vital.
This is why, in addition to training for your actual specialization, researching areas such as communication or completing online courses can help you create a more well-rounded CV that will catch the eye of HR professionals. Demonstrating your abilities in business will also be of aid, and indeed, investing in business studies will be more than worthwhile if you decide to launch a construction business of your own.
Many jobs in construction require the use of technologies such as drones, smartphones and apps, and building information modeling software. The latter is used to digitally model planned constructions, creating multiple metadata layers and rendering them. The use of BIM enables teams to work together efficiently, since it allows each team member to add their expertise and work to the same model. Thus, the render can evolve and change as required, improving efficiency and speed.
Other important technologies include 3D printing (for prefab projects), Artificial Intelligence (to execute planning update sequences and task management, and boost productivity), and Virtual
Reality (to ‘step into’ rendered projects to get a feel for what the project will look like in the future).
The construction industry is moving full steam ahead, despite the challenges posed by current events. If you are keen on working in this industry, then obtaining the right qualification will enable you to have an edge over your competitors. You should also aim to enrich your CV by acquiring skills that will be necessary for your job – including the use of technology, communication, and entrepreneurship.