As the world begins to recover from the worst pandemic in history, construction is an industry that will contribute to an economic boom soon. Residential and commercial construction jobs that were put on hold in 2020 due to social distancing are picking up again, and the construction industry is enthusiastic about a significant rebound.
Those looking for jobs in the construction industry will have an excellent opportunity for getting steady, long-term employment with a lot of room for growth.
Construction means building something, and the construction industry has three sub-sectors. Those are 1) construction of buildings, 2) road and highways (also known as infrastructure), and 3) specialty trades. For this article, we are sticking to the working construction of buildings and homes. Every year, thousands of new construction workers are hired, putting a humongous dent in the labor pool.
Construction is a massive part of our economy. If you are looking for a job in the construction industry, this information is for you.
Duties of a construction worker
A construction worker does manual labor. Most new hires are responsible for:
- They are getting equipment ready. Making sure everything necessary to do a job is ready to be used. Test equipment
- Operating machinery used to build structures.
- Determine measurements and spaces
- Understand blueprints
- Follow safety protocols
- Transport supplies and materials from vehicles to job sites
- Measure and cut materials – lumber, plaster – to exact specifications
- Use hand tools – hammers, saws, screwdrivers
- Learn some standard electrical, plumbing, and carpentry
Training to be a construction worker
Construction is a job that is willing to train employees on the job. However, some companies like to have new hires come into employment with some experience. In either case, new employees generally get paired to work with a more seasoned worker or manager.
This seasoned construction worker not only knows construction but also has some specialized skills. The trainee is sometimes called apprentices for up to two years as they gain on-the-job experience. Once training or apprenticeship is complete and you’ve got the necessary certifications, you are a construction worker.
Getting hired as a construction worker
There are many ways to get a job in the construction industry. Ads are posted every day on online job boards, local newspapers, and directly on the construction company websites with advertisements for employment. Many ads will clearly state if they want experienced workers or will hire apprentices. The ads detail where the job is, the number of hours that will be worked, and the schedule. Most will also describe the work conditions (inside or outside) and detail how much the potential employee must lift, starting pay, and if standing long hours is part of the job.
Skills to be a construction worker
Construction workers must have a high school diploma or GED prior to being hired. Some other skills for construction workers are:
- Communication skills – Workers often work on sites with several other employees to complete a project. Verbal skills to communicate concerns, ask questions or give status’ as necessary.
- Math skills – Construction workers must be able to use a measuring tape, add and subtract, calculate equations, and convert measurements and pricing.
- Physical endurance – One of the most critical skill/characteristic of a construction worker is endurance. There is a lot of shifting, lifting, holding, pulling, quoting, crawling, and other physical movements that require endurance.
- Self-starter – Construction workers must motivate themselves to keep a project moving along regardless of whether a supervisor is looking on. Also, a self-starter must be confident and follow orders without being micromanaged.
- Time management – Setting and meeting realistic timelines may be the difference between whether a business opens on their set start date or not.
Certifications for construction workers
As mentioned, there are some certifications that construction workers can get. Some of those certifications are:
OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration Construction Certificate assesses a construction worker’s knowledge of hazard recognition. It is a 10-hour course and a more advanced 30-hour course.
National Association of Safety Professional Certification – An in-depth certification for safety in the construction field. A lot of career construction workers get this certification.
Silica in Construction Certificate – Certifies that construction workers know how to decrease their exposure to silica – which can be found on tools or through sanding.
ACI – American Concrete Institute – Certifies construction workers’ knowledge and understanding of mixing concrete.
Environment that construction workers work in
Construction workers are subjected to all types of elements and environments. They wear steel-toed boots and overalls to protect their bodies from chemicals and tool dangers and to keep their feet warm and dry during the winter.
Some worksites may not work outside if it is raining or snowing due to the hazards involved with machinery and humans. However, if the construction has moved inside the structure, construction workers can expect to work all year long.
When it is lighter for longer periods during the day in the spring and summer, construction workers earn a lot of overtime pay because many sites work from sun up to sundown.
Pay for construction workers
Pay for construction workers vary based on the part of the country that you work. However, the average hourly pay for new construction workers is $16 hour, which yields between $36,000-45,000 yearly. For skilled construction workers, managers and supervisors, salaries can be upward of $90,000.
The construction industry is a massive part of our economy. Construction means to build something. Every year, thousands of new construction workers are hired, putting an enormous dent in the labor pool. If you consider this field for employment, this helpful guide goes over the training and necessary skills required to work in the construction industry.