Because the industry is so varied and diverse, there is a vast array of career opportunities across the construction sector. Depending on your aptitude and abilities, there is an opportunity to work in a dynamic growing sector and in an environment that both challenges and rewards.
Entry into the construction sector is possible at all levels. General operatives join the industry with no experience but through working with others and on various projects, they gain skills informally.
As the economy improves construction graduates and craftspeople are in big demand. This sector is on the rise again in Ireland so it is the perfect time to be considering a career in the industry.
If you are interested in working in the industry, make use of your Transition Year and look for work experience. Approach local companies to seek their assistance to achieve this or ask your career guidance counsellor what contacts they may have in the industry.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF), is the national and regional representative body for construction industry employers (contractors) in Ireland. The industry in 2016 employs 137,000 people directly and in 2015 had an overall output of €13 Billion.
Aiden Maher holds a degree in Construction Management from UL and has recently completed a part time masters degree in Project Management. Aiden's job involves acting as a co-ordinator between all parties to ensure construction projects run as smoothly as possible.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
Choosing to study Construction Management in college after secondary school which led to some work experience with a construction company who I manged to get a job with after college.
After a couple of years working in the industry I decided to further my education by undertaking a masters in Project Management which has helped me climb the ladder to Project Manager within my company.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
A typical day would start with planning the day’s work ahead for all labour and sub-contractors on site and ensuring that they have the required material and tools to carry out their work.
Next would be to check up on correspondence/ e-mails which must be attended to.
Generally then I would review information that is required to keep progress going on site which would entail requesting or giving information to the design team.
Depending on the size of the project that you are on you could have to attend meetings every day or less frequently depending on scale of project.
Having the required information and research done for each meeting is vital. Creating and maintaining progress reports also falls under my role which is important to keep the project team up to speed on where the project is at any given time.
Each day you would have to allocate time to plan ahead where you would look 2 weeks ahead and beyond.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
What are the main challenges?
The main challenge for me is time management. I have a large number of responsibilities to carry out and due to the varied nature of any given project it can be hard to stick to a plan on a daily basis.
Once you deviate from a plan you must try and catch up some other time which tends to lead to additional hours. I don’t mind this because I prefer to be on top of things rather than lagging behind.
I really like the challenge of staying ahead of the programme and even gaining ground where possible. Each project is different so as a job you are never stuck completing the same tasks day in day out.
There is a lot of problem solving and thinking on your feet is a must. There is a nice balance between office and site works.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I studied metal work up until Junior Cert level however when choosing my options for Leaving Cert it did not work out with other subjects so I had to drop it.
For Leaving Cert I studied all higher level subjects excluding Irish. My option subjects were Geography, Ag Science, French and Music.
I suppose Geography was the closest subject to touch on the topic of Construction. I took French on so as to keep options open on what colleges I could attend. If I had my time back I would have dropped this for construction studies or metal work as I found it hard to gain good marks in the subject.
To close out the question I don’t believe the subjects I chose had a huge influence on my career path.
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
What is your dream job?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
Try gain experience in some area of construction if possible to see if it’s for you. If you’re interested in a 9-5 job this is not for you!
If you like meeting with new people each day and dealing with issues which they may have regarding the project this is a good job for you. If you like to take charge of situations then this is also a good role for you to take on.
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
What is your pet hate at work?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
I have undertaken a part time masters over the last 2 years. As part of my role I must take part in continued professional development (CPD) which ensures that professional personal continue to develop themselves after they have obtained their degree and job.
Construction like many other industries is always evolving and so you have to be willing to learn new techniques to complete your role efficiently and effectively,
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?