A Job for Every Skill
Yet another good thing about employment in construction is that there is a job for every level of education, skill and ability. Even if your education only extends to a one-year post-secondary education in a construction course, you are sure to find a job that pays and pays well, to boot. You can just imagine your opportunities when you have an associate or a bachelor's degree from a construction-relevant program.
Each kind of work requires different levels of education, training and work experience. For most construction jobs, it is training and work experience that matters the most since education is often just one way of securing a license. For example, many construction foremen started their careers as laborers, acquired the necessary knowledge on the job and moved up the ranks with each skill acquired.
From the Foundation to the Roof
Because the constructions of various structures from public projects like roads, bridges and government offices to private undertakings like skyscrapers, apartments and homes demand work from the foundation to the roof, many people are involved. In turn, jobs in construction run the gamut from floor installers to roofers and everyone else in between.
We can classify these construction jobs into three - construction trades, mechanical and installation occupations and managerial occupations. Within each job are sub-classifications that truly make employment in construction a hodgepodge of professionals and skilled workers with different sets of skills and yet working for one common goal.
First, the construction trades workers represent majority of the jobs in the industry for the simple reason that the bulk of the work necessary to successfully erect the structure falls to them. Said construction jobs include the masters, the journeys and the apprentice craft workers, which reflects the apprenticeship structure handed down through the generations. This classification of construction work can be sub-classified into the following:
* Structural workers - Their primary job is to build the main framework from the inside out and, hence, include occupations like the carpenters, brickmasons and stonemasons as well as the metal workers.
* Finishing workers - These workers apply the finishing touches to the structure, said workers of which include drywall installers, plasterers and stucco masons, and roofers.
Second, the mechanical and installation jobs in construction are involved in the setting up of the materials and equipment for basic building operations. You have the elevator installers and repairers who assemble, install and repair elevators and escalators; the refrigeration mechanics and installers who install the heating and air-conditioning systems; and the materials movers who use heavy and light machineries to move both materials and equipment on and off the construction site.
Third, the managerial construction jobs include the first-line supervisors and the project managers. Their main job is to oversee the project, ensure the safety of the workers and their quality of work, and meet with clients and suppliers. Add in the fact that building codes must be followed and you have construction work that requires at least a bachelor's degree in a related field along with the sufficient training and work experience.
Paths to Success
As previously implied, there are many paths toward a viable form of employment in construction depending on the job being eyed. Thus, for many of the construction trades workers, the best path after high school is to combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training for many years. You can check out the local technical or trade school for the classroom training, participate in an apprenticeship program, and take part in an on-the-job employer program for entry-level applicants.
There are construction jobs that require either state-issued licenses or voluntary certifications or both, which provide for tangible evidence that the worker or the professional possess the right kind of education, training and work experience for the job. Occupations requiring licenses include crane operators, electricians, plumbers and contractors and workers.
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