Imagine going to a job every morning where you get to work along with your friends, use your skills to create something brand new, and use your mind and experience to solve complex challenges. A job in construction can be personally beneficial as well as financially lucrative, giving you a well-rounded career with the opportunity for growth. Thanks to a growing industry and a need for more construction workers, the job outlook looks great.
7 Reasons to Work in Construction
Think that a career in construction may be right for you? From the benefits of working with a close-knit team to the potential benefits of improving the community or even traveling, construction jobs come with a lot of perks. Here are seven reasons to consider getting a job in construction:
1. Construction Isn’t Just One Type of Job
When you think of construction, you may picture people in hardhats constructing a building. Within the field of construction are several specialties, though, and you can choose one that’s suited to your skills, interests, or both. For example, carpenters handle cutting and shaping materials to build and install them.
Construction electricians install wiring when a building is first constructed. Masons are the people who build the construction by working with blocks, brick, or marble. You can even be a construction supervisor — which is predicted to be one of the top jobs through the year 2026. The job you choose may depend on the skills you already have or the ones you’re most interested in learning.
2. You’ll Be Part of a Team
In construction, excellence depends on the team more than the individual. If you’re the type of worker who thrives in a team setting and loves collaborative projects, construction will give you what you’re looking for. In addition to working toward the same on-the-job goal, you could build relationships and bond with your co-workers.
Plus, you’ll be working alongside other professionals and you’ll likely learn from one another. When the project is complete, you’ll have a physical representation of your combined efforts.
3. No Two Days Are the Same
If you can’t stand the thought of sitting in an office five days a week, construction is an excellent way to ensure every day is a little bit different – or a lot different. The point of construction projects is to move the project along; as you and the team are making progress, the work you’re doing will also change and evolve. This is also good news for people who like to think on their feet and quickly adapt.
By the end of the day, you could be on to a completely different task than what you started on. For those in management positions, there’s also the added responsibility of staying on top of industry trends and regulatory changes.
4. You’ll Be on a Non-traditional Work Schedule
If a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule has never seemed to fit with your natural, daily rhythms, a job in construction may be a better-fitting alternative. Construction workers tend to start work very early in the morning, maybe even before the sun comes up.
Early birds will love getting up and getting to work when their energy is high. Plus, a major benefit of starting work early is finishing early, too. You’ll be off work well before most other people, which means you can avoid rush hour, run errands when everyone’s still at work and take advantage of a few more hours of daylight.
5. You May Have the Opportunity to Contribute to Society
By researching construction companies before applying for a job, you can find ones that share your values. Several construction companies are using their skilled teams to give back to society. For example, the Boston-based Consigli Construction Company has been involved with the Boston Cares Bed Project, which builds beds for local children in need.
Skanska, one of the largest construction companies in the world, has several “giving back” initiatives, including participation with area food banks and park cleanup.
6. You May Get to Travel
New structures are going up all the time, which means skilled construction workers are needed everywhere. If you’re interested in finding a job that also lets you travel, construction may be a great option. The larger the company or the wider their reach, the more opportunity there will be to travel for work. You may be able to travel around the country or even internationally.
In addition to seeing other parts of the world, you’ll also know that you made an impact beyond your hometown.
7. You’ll Be Motivated to Stay in Shape
Construction work requires a lot of physical stamina and strength. If you’re not the type of person who wants to hit up the gym every day, a construction job can provide the same sort of physical training without the actual weights. You’ll also be motivated to stay healthy and in shape, as you’ll see how much better you perform at work when you’re fit and energetic.
The stronger you are, the safer you’ll be, too, as you’ll avoid issues that come with losing your balance or straining your muscles.
One Important Consideration: Safety
Construction accidents are the leading cause of on-the-job accidents and deaths. If you’re interested in a career in construction or you’re wondering if you want to stay on this career path, it’s important to consider the safety statistics:
- In 2017, there were 4,675 private industry worker fatalities; almost 21 percent of them were in construction. (Note that private industry or private sector refers to non-government jobs.)
- Not including highway collisions, the leading causes of death for workers in the private sector were falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and “being caught.” The caught-in or caught-between category includes deaths due to being compressed by an object or equipment, or being caught, struck, or crushed by a collapsing piece of equipment or structure.
- These “Fatal Four” accidents caused almost 60 percent of construction worker deaths in 2017.
If you’re still interested in a job in construction, the solution may be to take the time to find a reputable company to work for. Companies that follow OSHA guidelines have a better chance of keeping their employees safe. These guidelines include processes for fall protection, hazard communication, and up-to-date electrical methods. Construction companies should also carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, so in the unfortunate case that an injury does happen, you will still be taken care of.
How to Work Your Way up in the Construction Industry
To find the best and highest-paying construction jobs, especially if you want to work your way up the ladder, consider attending a trade school. These schools differ from regular colleges and universities in that the coursework is specific to one career and the programs are usually shorter than a traditional four-year program. In addition to a traditional classroom experience, like lectures, trade schools also offer hands-on training. The program will prepare you to take certification and licensing exams to get a job in your field.
If you want to work your way up in the construction field, you could be handsomely rewarded – construction managers make an average of more than $90k per year. The best-paid managers make as much as six figures. Location may play a role in income – the highest-paying states for construction managers are Alaska, California, Georgia, New Jersey, and New York.
Becoming a construction manager requires more than on-the-job construction knowledge. Most managers have a background in both contracting and construction, but they also possess the necessary leadership skills. For example, they’ll have strengths when it comes to communication, organization, scheduling, and problem-resolution. Managers will also have to be experts in compliance, as part of their job is to review projects to ensure they’re following building and safety regulations.
Even if you’ve never considered a career in construction before, it’s well worth exploring. There are so many aspects to construction jobs that people don’t know about. Instead of assuming you’re not cut out for a construction job, try listing the elements you’d love to get out of a career, then compare them to what different types of construction jobs offer. You may discover that this profession checks all the boxes.