Building & Construction is focused on the development and construction of anything from roads, railways and stadiums to homes and apartments. Working in Building & Construction involves a lot of practical tasks, coordination and planning, manual labour and cooperative team work. Working in this sector may equate to early mornings and working outdoors, but for many the ever changing aspect of construction excites and the challenges this creates offers a rewarding career opportunity.
Construction projects range from relatively simple undertakings such as building extensions to family homes up to immensely complex projects such as tunnel digging operations for underground metro lines which necessitate attention to detail, quality assurance and compliance with legislation. Consequently, there is an immense variety of career paths in the sector, incorporating both office and site work opportunities.
You may be attracted to jobs involving the planning and organising of the entire project. Architects design the building, planners map out the stages that will take the project from plan to completion and construction engineers plot the implementation of the project, taking decisions on what materials will be used, how the site will be developed and what equipment will be utilised.
The complex nature of construction projects demands a high degree of scheduling and coordination of persons, materials and equipment across various tasks meaning that in more senior construction roles organisation and managerial skills become increasingly important. On the other hand, architects and engineers are based in offices, researching, planning and mapping the shape of projects and guiding them to completion.
To achieve the high level of quality required in the construction industry it is important to produce highly skilled personnel who are trained to adapt to new technologies. The industry is becoming increasingly management and skills oriented, so many people working in construction will have acquired technical certifications or have third level qualifications, some Certifications such as Safe Pass (a one day safety awareness programmeare) are required to work in any capacity on a building site.
General operatives or labourers on construction sites typically spend the majority of their day on a given site, working with tools, plant and equipment to support craftspersons, engineers in bringing a design to fruition. This is the kind of work that first pops to mind when most people think of construction, so if you’re looking for an entry route to construction this area may be your starting point.
These on-site jobs are becoming more specialised, with labourers taking on specific roles in which they have developed their skills through experience and training. Examples include steel workers, pipe layers, scaffolders, heavy goods vehicle drivers, machine operatives, asphalt layers and demolition workers.
Training for construction craft workers is sometimes offered ‘on the job’ but an approved, certified course is becoming the norm. This means taking an open attitude to upskilling and education is key to advancing your career. This upskilling could take the form of developing your technical skills or expanding your skillset to include business or leadership knowledge, enabling you to take on increased responsibilities as your knowledge and experience grows.