If you’re thinking about switching careers, or you’re just leaving education and evaluating your options for what you want to do next, then maybe you’ve considered becoming a construction worker.
A career in construction work offers promising career growth alongside a good work-life balance so you can continue to work your way up the ladder whilst still being able to enjoy your life outside of work.
If this is something you’d like to go into, then we’ll be going through some of the key skills that you’ll need to have to become a successful construction worker.
Good Strength & Fitness
Construction work is a physically demanding job, so good strength and stamina are essential if you’re thinking of a career in this sector.
A high percentage of construction jobs will need you to do some heavy lifting every day and you’ll spend a large amount of your day on your feet and carrying things back and forth to the site.
You may not have to be the strongest person in your team, but you’ll still need to have the correct form and ability to be able to do your part with all the heavy lifting without injuring yourself.
If you’re someone whose fitness levels are not very good now but you’re set on a career in construction then start doing some weights at home or in the gym and spend more time on your feet every day either by going for walks around your neighborhood or running at the gym.
Even though a large proportion of construction work is within teams, you’ll still need to hold good self-management skills to be able to carry out the job. You’ll need to be able to do your job even when there are no managers around to watch over you and to tell you what to do.
You’ll need to use your initiative so you can keep working as efficiently as possible on your jobs without constant supervision.
Self-management also covers organization, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re aware of where all your materials and tools are for the job you are doing so you don’t have to waste time looking around for them.
Further up the ranks in construction, you will need to self-manage off the site where you’ll have to organize your emails, keep track of budgets, and also remain in constant communication with clients.
Communication is one of the most important skills for working in construction.
Now you don’t have to be the chatterbox of your group, but the ability to communicate with colleagues, and managers regarding questions, decisions, or any problems that you have is key to an efficient working environment.
If you’re too shy to speak up about a problem or afraid to be the one to reach out first to a friend, then a career in construction may not be for you as you’ll be required to communicate with various people every day.
Maths and literacy skills are also essential for a career in construction.
We’re not saying you’ll have to be someone who took AP classes in high school, but a basic understanding and skills in maths and algebra are needed to help calculate building materials, determine what adjustments are needed, and also keep track of measurements for jobs.
You’ll also be required to document and record notes about any changes that have been made on projects and also be able to read documents and notes from colleagues about any changes or upcoming tasks that need to be completed.
Construction is a constant collaborative effort, so teamwork skills are essential. Construction employees work in teams and also collaborate with other teams to carry out projects.
You’ll need to be able to take instructions with managers, take criticism on the chin and generally work well with other people around you.
The better you and your team work together, the quicker jobs will get done and the easier it will be to get through the working day.
Problem-solving & Critical Thinking Skills
Problem-solving and critical thinking is another important element of construction work and is the difference between a smooth-sailing project and complete mayhem.
As a general construction worker, it won’t be your job to make major decisions that could have a huge impact on a project, but smaller things like deciding what to do if a supplier has delivered the wrong kind of materials to your site will need to be dealt with quickly by the team.
You’ll need to be able to think quickly on your feet and not run and hide behind someone else if a problem occurs.
Building & Engineering Knowledge
There are not normally any serious education requirements needed to become a construction worker, however, some level of building, engineering, or construction knowledge (or interest at least) would be beneficial to help you get a job.
Depending on where you work and what company you’re working for, you may be required to do some training courses or complete qualifications before becoming a construction worker.
You’ll need to have some familiarity with tools and equipment on construction sites, otherwise, you’ll struggle with no prior experience of using any sort of tools.
As time goes on, the technology used in construction is constantly changing and advancing so you’ll need some level of technical skill or the ability to adapt to new technologies.
Construction workers are constantly using new software like augmented and virtual reality to help them do their jobs, so you must take the time to learn about these new technologies before applying them to your work.
Willingness To Learn
If you want to move up the ranks in construction then you’ll need a willingness to learn, which means going up and beyond your required duties and going out of your way learning about new technologies, being proactive on the site, and also asking those in senior positions plenty of questions.
If you don’t like being told what to do or how to improve, then construction may be the wrong career for you as the ability to adapt to an ever-changing industry is an essential skill.
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