Let’s face it. When fresh graduates and young members of the workforce think of starting or changing careers, the construction industry is likely not at the top of the list.
Thanks in part to their depiction in movies as well as impressions popularized in early education, construction jobs have long since been stereotyped by the average person. They are perceived as dirty, strenuous, and downright dangerous. The usual image of construction work involves workers in yellow hard hats looking at plans or working on top of a scaffold. These stereotypes may seem harmless, but unfortunately, they are the top reasons why the construction industry is experiencing a skilled labor shortage.
While there is a grain of truth to some of the stereotypes of construction jobs, many of them are actually far from the truth, especially the working conditions and environment. In reality, the construction industry has plenty of job opportunities to offer and is a viable career path for young members of the workforce. Here are some of the reasons why you should choose a career in construction.
Building a career in the construction industry provides better financial security, especially with construction salaries on the rise across the board. According to the 2018 Construction Craft Salary Survey, average annual salaries for 32 construction jobs ranged from $47,700 to $92,500. These salaries did not include overtime pay, bonuses, and other incentives. Professionals who earned more than $65,000 include mobile crane operators, industrial electricians, combo welders, boilermakers, and pipe welders.
As a whole, construction salaries are expected to steadily increase in the future. In addition, many construction businesses are willing to pay competitively to encourage skilled workers to work for them and keep them away from the competition.
As previously mentioned, the construction industry is currently experiencing a skilled labor shortage. Boomers who make up a huge part of the construction workforce are aging out of their job roles. Many construction firms find it a challenge to attract new talent to fill them. The demand for skilled workers will continue to increase as more construction projects take shape and construction business owners look for new workers to fill the required positions. In other words, there will be no shortage of job opportunities should you choose to build a career in construction.
One particular issue that may cause hesitation is the rise of new technological innovations, robotics in particular, in many industries. The fear is that jobs will be replaced by robots in the future, causing job instability and rendering human employees obsolete. However, robots do not pose a threat to the construction industry. In fact, many construction firms embrace new technology and actually need more employees to operate these sophisticated machineries.
Some of the problems troubling many experienced employees are burnout and job stagnation. Many employees working desk jobs do the same thing in the same schedule in the same office cubicle most of the time, leading to inevitable burnout. For the construction industry, however, this is rarely the case.
As you move from one construction project to another, you will find that not all projects are the same. You may work on commercial, residential, and government projects, each having varying tasks and needs which all need different approaches. In addition, construction workers get to interact with different sets of co-workers and work in different work environments. This coupled with high salaries result in less burnout, more engagement, and high job satisfaction.
The construction industry is not only beset with negative stereotypes when it comes to jobs, but it also has a reputation for being one of the least modernized industries. However, the competitive nature of the industry has led many construction business owners to embrace new technological innovations. From cloud technology and dedicated lien management software to exoskeletons and robotics, the industry has transformed from something that employed manual processes to the more digitized environment that it is today.
Younger members of the workforce will have plenty of opportunities to apply their technological affinity with these new pieces of tech. Some of these new technologies include building information modeling software, document management systems, and drone technology. The industry is just starting with this transition to digital and it shows no sign of stopping soon.
Nothing beats the unique sense of achievement from building something from the ground up and the construction industry is one of the few that can make that happen. Indeed, construction work is a stressful job but as a construction employee, you can make a big difference in helping build for the country.
The stereotypes around construction jobs can be hard to erase but there is no doubt the construction industry is one of the best industries to start your career. We hope that the reasons we gave above can quell your hesitations and lead you to explore career opportunities in construction.
Article by Chris Woodard, the Co-Founder of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with late payments. Handle.com also provides funding for construction businesses in the form of invoice factoring, material supply trade credit, and mechanics lien purchasing.