Construction workers tend to be overlooked, but the construction industry is a complex and exciting aspect of the infrastructure and built environment around us — from humble houses to soaring skyscrapers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of construction workers is projected to grow 4% from 2022 to 2032, recording about 151,400 openings each year.
From the first phases of construction to the final structure’s completion, working in the construction sector can empower you to shape the world and environment around you. Excellent construction relies on innovation, collaboration and the wonder of seeing projects come to life. To develop the necessary skills, understanding if construction is for you is a crucial first step. Below, we’ll look at some ways you can best assess if a job in construction is right for you.
Construction workers are often exposed to physically demanding work. As such, physical capability and some fitness can go a long way. Aside from your physical strength and fitness, assessing other aspects of your health, such as sight and hearing, is also essential. Not being able to hear or see properly in a construction site may lead to accidents or injuries. An Engineering, Construction, and Architectural Management study found that sight problems and poor peripheral vision make construction workers more vulnerable to construction site accidents. Researchers found that some root causes behind several construction accidents are poor sight, vision, and eye diseases.
Getting an eye exam can help ensure that your vision can handle the construction environment, and can be done online or via an app. Of course, it’s also essential to take the necessary measures after getting the results of your eye exam, such as getting prescription glasses or contacts to help you navigate construction sites safely.
Another fun and practical way to determine whether or not construction is for you is by trying out a summer construction job. This is also offered for high school students to help their personal and professional growth and as an alternative to taking up part-time jobs in the service industry. Through the summer, workers can gain hands-on experience outside of the traditional classroom, building specialized skills such as carpentry, masonry, or painting, as well as other technical skills that may not be acquired through academic studies.
A summer construction job can also help develop essential skills that may apply in other fields of work, such as teamwork, collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and time management. As such, developing these skills will provide a competitive edge in the job market — whether or not you choose to pursue construction later on.
Finally, when deciding if a career in construction is right for you, you should consider what you want your career to grow into. There are many different pathways and options in construction, so you can explore further specialized roles and opportunities for career advancement. Construction isn’t a dead-end career; starting a job in construction can give you insights and expertise that can help you progress into upper-level positions.
There is a growing demand for capable leaders in the construction industry. These include becoming a construction foreman, supervisor or even superintendent if you’d like a leadership role. Entrepreneurship is another path you can take in construction by starting your own construction business.
If the above sounds appealing, working in construction may be the perfect career path. Those drawn to overcoming challenges, exercising teamwork, and feeling a sense of accomplishment after completing a project will find that a career in construction can be gratifying. Aside from ensuring you’re physically fit and can develop the necessary skills, the construction field is also a great outlet if you’re especially interested in design, management, or hands-on work.