How to build a career in the Construction Industry
If you were the child building with blocks, Lego sets and more instead of ripping things apart, construction may be the career for you.
With a new report stating that Saudi Arabia’s $250 billion construction market offering the greatest potential for the region’s construction industry, picking construction could open up new vistas in your career. The report states that KSA has almost as much work in the pre-execution phase as the Gulf Cooperation Council’s second (UAE; $184 billion) and third-biggest (Qatar; $69 billion) markets combined. The Monster Employment Index has also revealed that construction and real estate saw an increase of 4% in year-on-year growth, the second successive growth recorded in the sector.
An industry that’s considered recession-proof as there’s always a demand for new buildings, structures, roads, bridges and other infrastructure, here are some tips to build a solid career in construction.
Start by being thorough with your research
Keep an open mind, as there’s a wide range of jobs available in this industry. Construction careers include engineering, excavation managing, masonry, construction carpentry, glazing, demolition, 3D software modelling and construction managing. So consider your strengths and preferences to make your choice. “Think about what you will enjoy doing first – there is a good chance you can pursue that with a career in construction,” says Damon Schünmann, associate editor at Construction News.
Tip: Making a decision is easier if you consider facts like whether you like working with your hands or in a supervisory capacity, if you like to work inside or outside, and how much time and money you can invest in training.
Diversify your skill set
Skills are important in every job and sector, but nowhere more so than in the construction industry where materials and methods are constantly being updated. The ability to learn on the job is extremely important as co-workers and supervisors may not have time to hand hold. In fact, Jessica Porter, editor of Construction Executive, cites diversification as “one of the major factors of growing a construction business”. This will broaden your business opportunities and make you much more marketable.
Tip: As students or even at entry level, volunteering can be a good way to learn new skills. Go to events, sign up for seminars and peruse industry journals to keep learning.
Work on your team skills
The construction industry isn’t conducive to working on your own. This field often needs you to work with multidisciplinary teams and an ability to work with different professions and people is vital. Kostas Papacharalampos, surveyor and professional mentor for London's City University, believes it is “essential” to be an excellent communicator who can work with large teams. If you’re new to the job, trade or crew, it’s extremely important to be “look, learn and listen”. Experienced members on the team may want to be helpful but may not have too much time or patience. Joseph Truini, homebuilder, remodeler and owner of Custom Woodworking by Joseph Truini, believes it is essential to “pay attention when they tell you how to do something”. “If you don’t get it right away, ask immediately. They may be talking too quickly, using language you don’t understand or different terminology from how you were taught. At first you have to be patient and persistent. If you don’t know you have to ask,” he says.
Tip: Work on building a solid reputation. Meeting deadlines and delivering on time, every time will create a reliable reputation and bring you trust and respect – of colleagues and clients.
So you want to work in construction? Take a look at how many different roles are currently available here.