One of the broadest and fastest growing industries around, building and construction careers are in high demand.
With dedicated pathways to become a builder, you can also specialise in many types of jobs in construction, including:
- Chip boarding
- Bricklaying or tiling.
Depending on your career ambitions, your existing skills, and your natural talents, there could be multiple career pathways for you to choose from.
No matter which of the many careers in the construction industry you choose, you’ll soon realise that every role in building and construction is integral to the industry.
Many trades are dependent on each other, which is clearest on building sites – certain jobs must be completed before the next team moves in.
We will never stop creating and adapting new buildings, and there will always be a need for professionals when demolishing, extending or renovating.
As the industry continues to expand to meet new demands, you can play a central part. Technological evolution is further cause to be involved, as environmentally-friendly construction methods are developed and refined at a faster rate than ever before.
Regardless of whether you find yourself in residential, commercial or industrial sectors, your skills are essential to the everyday operation of the world we live in.
The process for launching construction careers is simple, but it is worth doing your research to ensure you get the best out of the early stages in your career.
1. Identify Your Opportunities
Firstly, identify your end goal – if you can.
Part of identifying opportunities includes taking those you might not normally have considered, but those that provide experience or insight or access to a network that you may not otherwise have.
If you know you want to have a construction career more generally, but not the specific area, use your own network – your friends and family – to see if they know anyone that could give you some insight.
As well as their own day-to-day activities, they’ll be able to give you an indication of the stresses, soft skills, working environments and industry issues you will face and work around.
Additionally, they will be able to give you insight to the trades they work closely with, and whether one of these will be more suited to you.
From here, you’ll have a better understanding of industry expectations and how your innate skills and interests correlate with a proposed career path.
Depending on the types of jobs in construction you think you might enjoy, use your connections to identify your next steps and how they learned the trade, and where they source staff or upskill themselves.
This will be a better source of understanding for your next steps and planning your training than anyone else.
If you have decided on a specific career direction, ask your family member or friend to put you in touch with others in the industry about their path, and which institutes or training organisations they recommend for career starters.
2. Learn from a Mentor
Once you have started a course or decided on an apprenticeship, make a point of maintaining your relationships with friends or family in your professional network.
If they are experienced and interested in your success, they may agree or offer to mentor you at the start of your construction career.
As you will be starting in the most junior of positions within a trade or business, it is important to understand when your superiors are following the law, and when they are not.
This is difficult to understand when you have limited experience, so having a mentor to guide you through an unusual circumstance or request will ensure your wellbeing is prioritised.
They will also be available to advise you on whether the skills you are learning are relevant, appropriate for your stage of learning, and will allow you to develop and contribute to industry down the line.
By aligning yourself with a mentor who you trust and respect, you’ll give yourself the best chance of making the most of your time and propelling your career forward.
Ideally, they’ll be able to secure you training, or put you in touch with a colleague or professional they trust, so that the chances of a better learning experience are higher.
3. Take on an Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships remain the standard when it comes to starting a career in the construction industry.
Regularly offered as part of trades courses, they can be the best insight available into your future career.
You’ll be working onsite alongside qualified tradespeople and will gain an insight into daily life, regulations to adhere to, and common problems and solutions.
You’ll also be trained in using power tools, and develop skills in communication, teamwork, time management and how to manage internal politics of all businesses
If you are unsure of where to find an apprenticeship, you can do so through a course, or alternatively through a government website.
3. Further Study to Boost Your Career
If you are thinking of a higher salary in the long-term, or want the flexibility of fewer working hours, or even options to work from home, consider further study.
With various courses available, you can either undertake a a building and construction course online with fewer units to boost your CV, or perhaps even a Certificate IV in Building and Construction.
University level study is an additional option if you want to extend your knowledge in business or construction management.
With experience and qualifications behind you, you’ll not only be more comfortable charging more for your services, but you’ll be able to manage your expectations of what a fair salary looks like for yourself and potential employees, and what a fair cost means for your clients.
The more you specialise in industry, the more valuable you become.
At this point, the types of jobs in construction you’ll be undertaking will be more unique, and further study can support access to clients requiring a finer approach. Your expertise, particularly for a growing industry niche, will mean that you can charge even more for a specialist product.
If unsure about further study, consider testing the waters with a building and construction course online. This way, you can manage the study load at your own pace, and get a taste for the value longer, more time intensive courses may provide.
By investing in all of these tips, you’ll be ready to start your career in the construction industry and help it grow from day one.