Skills You Need to Succeed in a Construction Career
There’s never been a better time to consider a career in construction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the industry will see faster-than-average job growth over the next decade. It’s expected that there will be 7.5 million construction jobs by 2026, up from 7.2 million in 2018. The median pay for construction careers is higher than the median pay for all industries, $45,820 as of 2017 compared to $37,690.
Although the exact skills you’ll need in a construction career can vary by job type, there are some skills that will help you succeed across the industry. For the most part, you can develop must-have construction skills on the job or as part of a career certificate training program. Check out what you need for success.
While most construction careers require some amount of communication skills, some jobs require them more than others. For example, if you end up becoming a construction manager, you’ll need to be able to communicate instructions and goals to the team you’re supervising. You might also need to communicate with your clients, making sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the scope of the project and the timeline.
Communication skills can include both speaking and writing skills. You might have to send emails to clients or write up reports to share with supervisors. On the job site, you’ll need to know what to say to your team to help them stay motivated and to make sure the project gets completed in a timely fashion.
Physical Strength and Stamina
Whether you decide to become a roofer, HVAC installer or brick mason, most construction careers require some amount of physical strength. You’ll likely need to lift heavy objects, such as cinder blocks and bricks and may need to carry those items for short distances.
A career in construction also requires a fair amount of stamina. You might be on your feet, working for several hours in a row. The tasks you perform are likely to be physically challenging and you might need to perform them over and over again throughout the day. Weather conditions on-the-job might also require stamina. You might have to work in the rain, in the cold or in the heat.
Time Management Skills
Time management is a broad skill category that includes several skills, such as organization, goal-setting, delegation and planning. Anyone who works in construction can benefit from time management skills, but the skills are particularly useful for managers and those who supervise others.
Without time management, it can be difficult to complete projects in construction. You need to be able to outline a timeline and to have an idea of when certain milestones will be reached. Being organized allows you to see what tasks still need to be completed, which ones have been finished and what the best order is for completing tasks.
There might be times on the job when a problem arises that requires you to change course. Being able to adjust and adapt and to think creatively and quickly when problems arise is a critical skill to have for any career in the construction industry.
For example, you might need to brainstorm ways to make up for lost time if bad weather slows down a project. Another example of problem-solving is being able to make the most of materials that might not be the best fit or finding ways to pick up the slack if a team member is sick and can’t come to work.
If you decide to strike out on your own in the construction industry, it pays to have business skills. Business skills include being able to negotiate with clients and employees, knowing how to price your bids appropriately and being able to create budgets and keep track of your finances.
If you’re interested in a career in construction, Orange Technical College can help you develop the skills you need to succeed. We offer a range of career certificates in architecture and construction at our campuses in Central Florida. To learn more about how to enroll and the application process, contact us today.
- Careers in Construction: Building Opportunity, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/article/careers-in-construction.htm
- Construction Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/construction-managers.htm#tab-4