Construction Careers: 3 Tips Getting Started

Construction is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. According to the latest data from the United States Construction Industry Databook Series, the industry is expected to reach a value of more than $1.8 trillion by 2023. In addition, the strong economic conditions, investments from the government, and increased demand for skilled and professional workers make the industry attractive to fresh graduates and young members of the workforce who are looking to build a career

If you are considering building a construction career, here are some tips to get you started.

Choosing a trade 

Construction projects are huge undertakings and as such, there are multiple project participants that take on multiple roles in just a single construction project. There are several trades that you can choose to practice within the construction industry, each of them crucial to the successful delivery of a project.

The most popular and best-paying jobs in construction include elevator workers, ironworkers, plumbers, electricians, and crane operators. The most common path to take towards building one of these careers is through an apprenticeship where you can learn the technical skills needed to succeed on the job. Aside from skilled trades, other roles that you can choose include project management, 3D software modeling, and drone operation. 

In order to succeed in the construction industry, you need to be dedicated to learning your craft. While income is a huge factor when choosing a job, it still best to choose a trade that you have the interest and skill to go with it. Mastering a trade requires hard work and eagerness to learn. 

First, get an idea of how a specific trade is done by checking out online videos and tutorials. You may also check local libraries and read books about basic skilled trades. Next, consider your own personal circumstances. Are you confident about your physical abilities? Are you willing to work outdoors? Will you work well individually or with a team? Be sure that you actually want to do the job before investing your time for apprenticeship and training. In doing so, you will be able to build a meaningful and satisfying construction career. 

Getting the right training

While the construction industry is indeed experiencing a skilled labor shortage, the industry itself is quite competitive. Most construction firms require potential employees to have solid backgrounds before they get hired. For this reason, you should acquire industry-related experience and certifications if you are looking to build a construction career.

Having a solid training experience as well as multiple certifications in your chosen trade will give you huge value and marketability as a construction professional. You will be a highly sought-after candidate and get a competitive salary with the right combination of certifications and experience. In addition, many construction projects require contractors to have the appropriate certification before they can proceed with the work. 

So how do you go about looking for training and apprenticeship opportunities? Enrolling in community colleges and technical schools will let you earn a certificate in your chosen field of study. Afterward, you need to find a company where you can apply for an apprenticeship. This will give you the necessary training with senior workers who can show you the ins and outs of the trade. 

Similar to skilled trades, back-office roles such as lien management, building information modeling, and construction accounting will need certifications for industry-standard software relevant to the field. 

Networking with other professionals

Another important step in getting started with a construction career is reaching out to other construction professionals. Take advantage of apprenticeship training and get to know the people you work with to start your network. Depending on the construction project, there will be a number of trade contractors and suppliers that you can get to know over the course of a project. In addition, you may also attend trade conferences not just as a part of your training but also to connect with industry leaders and like-minded individuals in your field. 

More than just a simple exchange of business cards, building a professional network has huge career benefits especially if you are just getting started. For example, your professional network is an excellent source of ideas and perspectives that can help you settle down in your chosen role. Their experiences on the job can help you prepare in ways that you may not be able to figure out on your own. 

Aside from this, being active in your professional network can help you get noticed and open doors to new job opportunities. You can even be notified early if there are new vacancies in positions you are interested in. Finally, networking is simply a great opportunity to stay updated with the latest industry developments and learn about the newest techniques. If you are currently experiencing challenges in your job or have questions that you want to ask, there will always be someone within your network who can give you advice and answer your questions. 

With the level of unprecedented growth in the construction industry, building a construction career is a viable path for the young members of the workforce. As long as you have the right mindset and dedication, you can take advantage of the many opportunities in the industry and create a fulfilling career. 


About the Author:

Author Head Shot

Kevin Rabida is a content marketing specialist writing in-depth articles and guides about new technology, small business challenges, and blue-collar industry issues and has been featured in several US, UK, and Australian trade publications. He’s worked with companies like UPrinting, PrintPlace, and

Josh Denton
Co Founder of Ground Up Careers. Josh Denton came to the world of construction through a broad career in consumer goods, specifically in the Action Sports Industry. He was surrounded by career minded leaders that lead him to project management in construction for retail locations globally. Through this experience he was exposed to the amazing professionals in construction and the talents they hold. As he witnessed amazing careers in construction he also realized that this was not a career path actively spoken about. This was solidified as he became the GM for a contractor. Professional glaziers and installers surrounded him yet none of them considered themselves the professionals that they are. He partnered with Josh Munns to change that narrative and bring a spotlight back to the strong careers that exist in construction.

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