The construction industry, apart from being one of the oldest and most respected ones in the world, is also one of the most necessary ones as well. Housing and overcrowding is still a problem in many countries, while the new technologies have allowed ways to build things more efficiently and ecologically, which means that the older buildings must be torn down, for something new and better to rise. Over 10 million people are estimated to work in the construction industry – do you see yourself as one of them in the future?
Construction worker – the main guy
I know what you’re going to say: how is the construction worker the main guy? Pretty easy. This generic term covers a lot of options, such as installing anything from carpets to elevators to drywalls. You could be a stone mason or an air-condition worker or a cement paver. The list is quite long – and you are the basic building block of this industry. If you are not looking to spend a lot of time in schools, this is where you begin. A certification program can get your started, after which you can look for apprenticeship or additional training and you are good to go. Get those high-rises rising higher with your own two hands!
Construction manager – the boss guy
If you’ve gathered enough experience working in construction, you might consider your next step – the position of construction manager. Of course, you will need to develop your skills and specialize, but the position is attainable. Supervising other workers and all aspects of construction, coordinating with architects and engineers – you will be in the midst of what’s happening, with ears in the land of design and hands on the ground, where things are going down. You might want to look for options to go higher on the ladder – for which you would need at least a bachelor’s degree.
Materials manager – the building blocks guy
When you need someone to research your vendors and prices, find what’s needed and where to get it and provide solutions to be less wasteful, who you’re gonna call? That’s right, the materials manager. This all-rounder needs to keep up with the times and technologies and always in touch with the latest and greatest in building technology. This is why education is a constant, if you are aiming to be one – you never stop learning. Apart from a bachelors degree, taking up things like the IQA training courses might be necessary to keep abreast of the latest developments.
Building inspector – the tough guy
And tough they all need to be! It is not an easy thing to sing off on a building being ready to be used by the general public. They are there to make sure everything is done according to safety regulations and building codes and any other requirements that might be included. Sometimes they work in a group, rather than alone. In order to become one you would definitely require at least a high school diploma, however, a lot of your training will be on the job. A university degree might help if you are looking for more complex projects in the future.
Civil Engineer – the in-command guy
Civil engineers are there to undertake feasibility studies, do site investigations, as well as serve as a liaison between the professionals and clients on the one hand and architects and subcontractors on the other. They also make sure that the project fulfills sustainability and environmental protection conditions. When it comes to becoming one – it is a wide variety of option. A degree in civil engineering is definitely a good way to get ready for this job, however, there are options even for those who have left the school early. Remember that the job will put your scientific, mathematical and IT skills to the test, as well as the way you handle entire projects, with your communication skills definitely high on the list.
Architect – the idea guy
This is a tough one. It is probably the single most important person on any building project, which means it is a position that requires a lot from you. Designing the entire building, planning for everything and coordinating with practically everyone else on the project is a given. The requirements are also high. A degree in architecture is a coveted one, usually a five-year program, with classes such as architectural theory, structural design and building systems. Internships take up to three years and even after that you still need a license to be an architect. On the plus side, it is generally a very well-paid position that brings a certain prestige with it as well.
Now that you have seen the most important jobs in the building industry from top to bottom, you might have a clearer picture as to what working in construction means. If you are interested in any of them, you have to be ready for learning both the theory and practice, with some of the lower-tier positions requiring you to be hands on, while the higher-tier positions require knowledge and years of studying. Keep in mind, the rewards for reaching the top are handsome.