November 7, 2023
 | Students

Looking For Change? 8 Careers That Cross Over into Construction

You may be in an industry that feels stagnant or simply yearning for a fresh challenge. Have you ever considered transitioning into construction? Contrary to what you might think, several professions easily cross over. Here are some non-traditional pathways into this dynamic sector:


1. From Designer to Architect

Are you an experienced graphic or industrial designer? If so, you already possess a keen eye for detail, aesthetics and spatial relationships. Think about transferring those design skills to architecture. Immerse yourself in creating blueprints and seeing construction projects come to life.

Depending on your country’s or state’s regulations, you may need to go back to school and get a diploma or certificate to become a registered architect. While this may mean a bigger initial investment, getting an architect license is a solid path to success in the long run.


2. From Teacher to Trainer or Safety Coordinator

Have you spent years in a classroom setting, teaching and mentoring? Construction sites are always in need of safety coordinators and trainers. Your knack for instruction can be essential in ensuring the health and well-being of construction teams.


3. From IT Specialist to Construction Technologist

With the rise of smart buildings and technology-driven construction methods, there’s a growing need for tech-savvy professionals in construction. Harness your IT skills to implement software, manage databases or pioneer innovative tech solutions for modern construction challenges.


4. From Accountant to Construction Estimator

Do you have a background in finance or accounting? Construction projects require detailed financial planning. Consider the role of a construction estimator, where you’ll analyze costs, evaluate vendor bids and ensure projects remain within budget.


5. From HR Professional to Talent Acquisition Specialist

If your background is in human resources, you know how vital it is to hire the right talent. Construction firms frequently search for dedicated human resource professionals to help source and retain the best in the business, from skilled tradespeople to executive leaders.

You can segue into a career in construction with an HR background to get a feel of the industry and work your way to more on-site work or project management tasks.


6. From Environment Specialist to Sustainability Consultant

Are you passionate about the environment and sustainability? There’s a growing demand for experts who can guide sustainable practices. This is because of trends like work from home leaving vacant offices ready for retrofitting and corporate sustainability commitments for branding. Champion green initiatives and help construct a better, more environmentally conscious future.


7. From Marketing Guru to Construction Marketer

Every project needs visibility, and construction is no exception. Utilize your marketing and PR skills to promote construction projects, win bids and build brand awareness for construction firms.


8. From Auto Mechanic to Heavy Equipment Mechanic or Operator

If you’ve felt cabin fever inside auto parts garages, open the doors to the outside world by entering heavy equipment repair and operation. You can translate your diagnostics and parts knowledge into fixing and manipulating these business-critical machines.

The mentality you bring from working with cars is essential for extending the life of the equipment. For example, it will be your job to notice if fluids disappear faster than average based on your experience with how run-time and environmental stressors influence usage.


The Value of a Career in Construction

Construction is one of the most stable industries worldwide. As countries progress, they need more roads constructed and more infrastructure. This also means construction companies will require more employees. Here are some compelling reasons why pursuing a career in construction is a good choice:


Tangible Results

Few professions let you witness the direct results of your efforts in the same way construction does. Imagine driving past a skyscraper, bridge or home, knowing you had a hand in its creation. The satisfaction of seeing a project transition from a blueprint to a building convinces many to switch.


Variety of Opportunities

Construction is not limited to hammers and nails. From project managers, architects and engineers to machinists who improve the lifespan of machinery, the industry offers various roles catering to multiple skills and interests.

Additionally, new roles like construction technologists and green building consultants are emerging as technology advances, proving the field’s adaptability and evolution.


Economic Contribution

The construction industry plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth. It offers numerous job opportunities and influences related sectors such as manufacturing, real estate and transportation. A career in construction means you’re contributing to an industry that has a ripple effect on the broader economy.


Continuous Learning

The dynamic nature of construction ensures there’s always something new to learn. As construction techniques, materials and technologies evolve, professionals in the field have the chance to upgrade their skills and knowledge continuously. This constant evolution ensures that one’s role in construction remains challenging and engaging.


Job Security

There will always be a need for infrastructure, homes, offices and public spaces. While the demand for construction might ebb and flow with economic cycles, the long-term outlook remains robust. Moreover, the industry is poised for further growth with an emphasis on sustainable and resilient infrastructure.


Competitive Compensation

Given the skills, risks and responsibilities associated with construction jobs, many roles within the industry can offer competitive salaries and benefits. Specialized roles, particularly those in high demand, can command particularly lucrative compensation packages. Salaries may soar even higher as 11,000 construction jobs opened in September 2023, mostly left unfilled.


Teamwork and Camaraderie

Working on construction projects often involves close collaboration with a diverse group of professionals. This teamwork fosters a unique sense of camaraderie and mutual respect among team members. Over time, these professional relationships can translate into lifelong friendships.


Things to Consider Before Taking a Construction Job

Shifting to a career in construction can be a transformative decision. Whether you’re drawn by the tangible results of the job or the variety of roles available, there are several things to consider before you switch.


Your Interests and Skills

Begin by evaluating your interests, strengths and skills, and see if they align with construction workforce expectations and demands. Construction is a vast field with roles ranging from hands-on jobs to managerial and technical positions. Determine where you fit best and start searching for job postings to get an idea of what qualifications companies are looking for.

Consider enrolling in relevant courses or certifications. Trade schools, community colleges and even online platforms offer programs related to construction management, building codes and other specialized areas.

Don’t underestimate the value of soft skills. Learn effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership abilities — these are highly prized in the construction industry.


Professional Organizations and Networking

Engage with professionals in the industry. Attend construction conferences, seminars and workshops. Joining professional organizations or associations can also provide networking opportunities.

Seek out mentors in the industry. Their experience, advice and insights can guide you, help you avoid common pitfalls and accelerate your career growth.

Consider starting with an internship or an entry-level position to get a feel for the industry. Experience is invaluable in construction. Even a few months can provide plenty of knowledge and insight.


Current Market Trends

Stay updated with the latest technologies, tools and methods. Familiarize yourself with green construction, supply chain building information modeling and other emerging trends.

Before diving in, research companies or sectors of interest. Understand the market, the demand for specific roles and the potential growth opportunities.

The nature of construction means that projects can vary significantly and unforeseen challenges often arise. Being adaptable and solution-oriented will make you a more viable candidate for construction jobs.


The First Step Is Always the Hardest

A career in construction is more than just a job — it’s an opportunity to shape the future and leave a lasting imprint on the world. While the challenges are undeniable, the rewards make it a path worth considering if you seek a meaningful and fulfilling career.

The construction industry is vast, dynamic and ever-evolving and you don’t always need a construction-specific background to start. Your current skills and experiences, honed in a different industry, can be your golden ticket.

However, like any major career change, it requires research, preparation and dedication. With the right approach and mindset, you can successfully carve out a niche for yourself in this dynamic industry.