Starting a Career in Construction: Where to Start

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The construction industry is incredibly profitable, with numerous opportunities for starting a career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was estimated that employment in the construction sector increased by 4.4% over the past year, adding almost 170,000 jobs in 2020 alone. This marks a stark contrast from other areas of the economy, which have seen job cuts due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Construction workers can also expect higher wages than other professions requiring similar education and training levels.

On average, construction workers earn about $23 per hour or around $37,000 annually. This is roughly 20% higher than most jobs requiring comparable experience or training. Additionally, some skilled trades within the construction industry can command even higher salaries:

  • Carpenters make an average of $27 per hour.
  • Electricians earn an average salary of nearly $54,000 per year.
  • Plumbers take home an average of $25 per hour, while roofers make an average of $22 per hour.

Furthermore, specific construction industry roles can provide more job security than many other professions. Since there is always a need for new buildings and infrastructure projects across the country and worldwide, it can be easier for construction workers to find steady work compared to many other sectors – especially during economic uncertainty.

However, entering the construction industry will not be easy. People will have to invest time and money into learning the necessary skills to become successful construction workers. Fortunately, it is possible when you take these steps.

Learning Basic Construction Skills

The most crucial step in starting a construction industry career is learning essential skills. Fortunately, several options are available for those seeking to acquire knowledge of the critical building blocks of construction.

One of the most popular ways to learn construction skills is through target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer nofollow”traditional education. Many vocational schools and technical colleges offer certificate programs and associate degrees in construction-related fields such as carpentry, masonry, electrical work, plumbing, and roofing. These courses give students an overview of the necessary tools, materials, and techniques used in the industry. Additionally, these programs also emphasize safety practices that are critical to effective and safe construction practices.

Those who may not have access to or are interested in pursuing formal education can opt for on-the-job training instead. This involves working as a helper on a job site under a mentor experienced in the trade they wish to pursue. Hands-on experience helps build confidence while learning required methods you cannot acquire from books alone.

Get Certifications to Practice Legally

In most states, it is illegal to practice a construction trade without the proper certifications or licenses. Depending on the state and profession, workers may be required to take written tests and demonstrate their proficiency in the business.

For instance, electricians must obtain a license before performing electrical work in some states, such as California. Carpenters are generally required to complete an apprenticeship program before getting licensed. Aspiring tradespeople must understand what credentials they need to practice in their chosen field legally.

Most certifications require you to book the exams. Booking a CITB green card test form will allow you to get a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, which is accepted on all construction sites in the UK.

Seek Out Job Opportunities

Once the necessary knowledge and certifications are acquired, the next step is to look for job opportunities in the construction industry. Aspiring tradespeople can search online job postings or contact local contractors directly to inquire about openings.

Additionally, trade unions may also be able to offer assistance with finding employment. Joining an established union gives workers access to job referral services and other benefits such as health insurance and pension plans. Those interested in pursuing future projects may also want to consider joining professional associations that cater to their chosen field of expertise.

Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Trends

Modern devices in construction

The construction industry constantly evolves, and workers must stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques. Staying abreast of current developments in the field can help workers remain competitive and attractive to employers.

For instance, workers may want to learn about new materials or technology that could make their work more efficient or cost-effective. Additionally, attending conferences and seminars gives aspiring tradespeople a chance to network with established industry professionals who may be willing to offer advice or mentorship.

Final Thoughts

Starting a career in construction is not easy, but with dedication and hard work, it can be a rewarding experience. Gathering the necessary skills and certifications while keeping up to date on industry trends are essential steps to take when embarking on this career path. With the right approach, anyone can become an expert in their chosen construction field.

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