Your interest in construction may have started at a very young age, setting up Lincoln Logs or LEGOS on the living room floor. It might have come at a later point in life when you realized that you had a handyman gift while helping your dad pick out a new circular saw… Regardless of how you found your interest in construction, if you want to build a career in the industry, there are a few things you need to know.
For one, construction is a great industry to start a business in. You’d be hard-pressed to find some city in the world that doesn’t have construction going on. Heck, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find a neighborhood that doesn’t have some kind of construction going on.
It could be widening the street, fixing a broken down building, or even adding a second story onto your neighbor’s house.
The construction industry is more than just omnipresent, it’s growing quite well, and this is despite an impending worker shortage.
So if you’re thinking about starting up your own construction company or breaking into the business itself, check out these four tips first. Before long, you might be turning those LEGO dreams into reality.
What You Need to Know to Get Started in the Construction Industry
What to Study
If you’ve got an eye on the construction industry in the future, what should you be focusing on now? While it’s true that there are plenty of people out there who have taken X degree and moved into the industry, you’re going to want to have a leg up on those people because of your educational background.
Those in construction may vary between having an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree. Associate’s degrees are likely to focus on a certain trade. The most popular bachelor’s degree is construction management. And a degree in construction management is definitely going to play a role in the steps to take to prepare for a big construction project.
By studying construction management, you’ll learn a little bit of everything, like business, math, architecture, engineering, and more. It’s certainly one of the more well-rounded degrees.
Master’s degrees vary, ranging from construction management to construction engineering and so on. It’s really best to check which universities have what or something similar.
If you don’t want to study construction, many people opt to study business as it will help them on the “office” side of construction.
Stay Up to Date on Trends
Construction looks very different now than it did five years ago. And in five years’ time? What is it going to look like then?
It’s important when entering an industry that you stay up-to-date on whatever is happening. That means with construction, you should be aware of the ever-growing importance of green habits and the rise of technology.
Many construction companies are turning towards LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. These are construction companies that have undergone a course and learned the best environmental practices, such as water conservation, biomimicry, and proper waste management.
In addition, you should know about the massive changes that technology is bringing to construction. Robotics are playing a much bigger role while augmented and virtual reality is quickly becoming a mainstay for many companies.
Know the Business Side
Let’s say that you’re considering a career change or have decided that you don’t want to go back to school. While construction may seem like nothing more than hammers, nails, and a hard hat there is plenty of business work to be done.
There is always bidding, deadlines, making the budget, management and more when it comes to a construction site. It’s important that you, as a candidate, have at least some business acumen. It’s going to help you move up the ranks as well as understand some of the big agenda items even more.
You should be aware of proper business practices like saving money by renting construction equipment and vehicles, knowing all of the licenses, permits, and insurance regulations, and how to manage others.
All of these are things you’ll need to know based on the size of your project. If you were working on a big construction project, it would be in your best interest to rent a fleet of ¾ ton pickup trucks.
When you first enter the business, you might have dreams of building the tallest buildings around or being part of a renovation process in your old town. It’s great to have dreams, but you should also realize that those dreams may not become your reality immediately.
Remember that everyone has to start somewhere in this business and your first jobs might not be as glamorous as you would like. That’s OK. It will give you time to accrue valuable experience, have real-world knowledge, and grow as an individual. Look to learn new skills and broaden your resume as you add a few more years under your belt.