A job in the construction industry is not only a job that you work on building site, helping to build things up. There are many other kinds of jobs in this industry including the ones that involve the planning and managing both before and after something is constructed. Working in the construction industry can be stressful and challenging. But it is a nice reward for anyone to see what he or she contributes to building up places – including skyscrapers, bridges, and hospitals, to houses, and schools. Not to mention some other practical and tangible gains.
For more information on the construction industry- including the types of jobs, employers and requirements, check out our guide below.
Types of Job in Construction Industry
There are 2 main types of jobs that you can get involved in the industry including the one that requires you to work at the office and the one that you work on the building site.
- Working at the office: mostly, you will deal with designing and planning a project. Managers of a project also work at the office. Main jobs include
- Architects and architectural technologists: When you take these jobs, you are responsible for designing a project (architects) and ensure that it is safe to operate or its technical aspects are of high standards (architectural technologists)
- Building services engineers or mechanical/electrical engineers: They are the people who need to make sure that the design of a building is put into practice just like in papers. They need to ensure the elements of a building, including heating and lighting, functions correctly.
- Building surveyors: For this job, you need to provide technical advice for a property and report a potential damage, if that happens.
- Civil engineers: If you are a civil engineer, you need to ensure that the building site is being built properly. You are also responsible for the safety of the site as well and whether it can hold up.
- Quantity surveyors: They are responsible for planning a project in term of finance factors- including how much it costs to build a site in theory and in reality.
- Working on the building site: You will take part in a more hands-on and practical work. Managers of a project need to manage the building site and see its progress, its safety and its environment as well.
- Site managers: Being a site manager, you need to work in the construction site, making sure everything is taken care of- including the safety of the workplace, the punctuality of the progress and the workers, to name just a few.
- Working in a construction trade or craft: For this position, you would be the person who actually does the construction and building work, including bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, painting, scaffolding, to name just a few.
Types of Projects in Construction
As I mentioned above, you have to design, plan, and build a project. So what exactly is a project? A project can include houses, apartments, skyscrapers, factories, and schools. It can also be railways, bridges, tunnels, and piers, to name just a few.
Projects can be divided into 2 different groups including the new build and the renovation.
For any project, it is important that you can help to make it safe, environmentally friendly, on time, and for some roles, ensure that the project is within budget.
Types of Employers in the Construction Industry
As you can see from above, there are many types of jobs that you can take in the construction industry. So, there would be a wide range of employers as well. There are many businesses with different natures that would contribute to complete a project- from the designing stage to the building stage and the auditing stage. Here are some of the main employers that you would likely work for in the construction industry:
- Designing companies: Architects or landscape architect work in a designing company to help with the designing stage. Civil engineers can also work in these companies to ensure that the designs are practical to be built in reality.
- Consultancy companies: A consultancy company in construction would provide advice to a client about the planning and designing a project including what and how things should be done. Types of construction jobs in consultancy companies include building surveyors and quantity surveyors.
- Contractors: When you work for a contractor, you help with the building stage. You can work in a construction trade and craft or you can be a manager who oversees the overall progress of the construction site.
Would a construction career suit me?
If you love buildings and beautiful constructions, and you want to be a part of the process of creating such things, you might well consider a career in the construction industry.
That is the basic thing that attracts many people to work in the industry. Here are a few other things that can help to determine whether a career in construction is suitable for you or not:
- You need to pay attention to the small details. Planning, designing, and building- all of these steps would require you to pay attention to every detail. If you miss a spot when you plan or build a structure, it would lead to unsafety or malfunction.
- You need to identify problems and solve them well.
- You need to travel quite a lot. Unless you are an architect who works in the office, you need to be able to travel to different sites. (Even if you are an architect, you still need to travel around to boost your creativity flow). Sometimes, you need to be able to relocate as well.
- You love working on different projects- from houses, buildings, to bridges and tunnels, the choice of projects for you is limitless.
- Other skills that you would need including the time management skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, and the ability to work under high pressure.
- There are also other skills for specific jobs in the construction industry as well. For example, if you want to become an architect, you should be creative and know how to draw. If you want to be a civil engineer, you need to have technical knowledge.
There are also all different types of jobs in the construction industry for different kinds of needs and skills as well.
- If you love drawing and being creative, you can become an architect or a landscape architect.
- If you love the technical aspects of the designing process, you can become a building services engineer, a civil engineer, a structural engineer or a geotechnical engineer.
- If you love to be on your feet all day or want an active job, consider the construction crafts or skilled trades. You can also take part in building surveying and site management as well.
- If you want to get into the consultancy field, you can consider becoming a building surveyor or a quantitative surveyor.
- Think about your specific needs and requirements as well. For example, think about whether you want to work in an office or on site. Then check out the types of jobs above to see which one is for you.
How do I get into construction?
Unlike many other industries such as investment and banking, which you need to have a good degree to get into, there are many other ways for you to secure a job in the construction industry.
- You can start your career in the construction industry as early as when you are 16. It would start with you taking an immediate apprenticeship. With this path, you can work as an electrician, a mechanic, a plumber or a bricklayer. Alternatively, you can apply for the advanced apprenticeship where you have a chance to become an instrument filter or civil engineer.
If you don’t want to work immediately, you can also stay in education for vocational qualifications. You can then get into the university or work for an entry-level job with your qualifications.
- Another path you can consider is the sponsored degree program which is similar to the apprenticeship. The main difference is that you have to work for the company who sponsors you while you are studying.
- You can also take part in a course at the university studying about construction. After you graduate, you can apply for a graduate program or a graduate-level job.
I hope that this article above can provide you with as much information as possible about the construction industry, what jobs you can get, and how to get into. The construction industry is open to both school leavers and undergrads through apprenticeships, vocational training, and graduate programs. I also hope that you can determine whether a job in the construction industry is suitable for you and have enough knowledge to prepare for the path that you want to take to secure a job in the industry.