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The construction industry and the many roles available

Published: 11 October 2018 - Sarah Mead

A job in construction may not be the first thing which comes to mind when you are thinking of a job which offers lots of variety, but it certainly is one. Because of the nature of the work on offer, the construction industry offers more roles and job variation than any other, and no matter what your interests are or what work you are looking for, you can probably find something within the industry that you will enjoy should you, of course, be interested in a construction-related job in the first place.

Securing employment within the construction industry is a fairly simple process. There are lots of construction courses on offer through various providers up and down the country, and it is very easy to sign up for them. Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to secure a proper job in the construction industry without first either undertaking a construction-related course or securing an apprenticeship with a construction firm. The nature of construction work means that highly competent and skilled people are required to do the jobs; there are a lot of technical skills required in any construction-related job and you will be taught all this when you undertake construction courses. If you are looking to get education further, you can find course options here from a range of different providers in the industry.

There are several reasons why undertaking a construction course and embarking on a career in the industry is a good idea. Not only is the work extremely varied – more on this later – but the industry itself has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years and there are now more construction jobs available across the board. There’s always going to be a demand for construction work, and those who can get themselves established in the industry will find that they have a job for life, and a ton of useful skills to go with it.

Here are just a few of the many roles on offer.

#1: Construction and Project Managers

Although many managerial roles in other industries are snapped up by graduates, there are just as many non-graduate project and construction managers as there are graduates. The role of a construction manager involves overseeing the entirety of a construction project from beginning to end. As a construction manager, you may manage a project yourself entirely or work with other people. This depends on the size, scale, and importance of a project and the complexities which it involves, and your experience as a manager.

In your role as a construction manager, you may find yourself undertaking planning, budgeting, and overseeing the general progress of the project overall. You probably won’t end up in the role as a construction manager straight away unless you are a career changer and have managerial experience, and you may never end up as one at all. The construction industry is very flexible, and many workers prefer to be involved in more hands-on and labour-intensive work. There are many bricklayers, for example, who have been doing that job for decades because they simply have no desire to train for and take on a managerial role.

#2: Engineers and Electricians

Not all construction roles are dirty and involve you physically building things. Engineers, for instance, are just as important as the people who carry out the actual building and creation of projects. Engineers can specialise in a variety of areas including electrical, building, mechanical and highway, just to name a few, and they use specialist computer software to create plans for their projects and regularly travel to different sites to oversee the implementation of these projects. Engineers are heavily involved in the planning stage of any project, but they do a little bit of execution too.

Electricians, on the other hand, carry out a highly specialised role which involves the implementation of electrical circuits in buildings. Electricians primarily wire a building, ensure that it is done to code, and ensure that electrical circuits are safe and functional. Because electrical circuits are quite complex, it is always beneficial if a potential electrician is a natural problem solver as there’ll always be something to troubleshoot. A lot of the electrician’s job role involves the fixing of problems, which requires critical thinking as well as technical ability and experience.

#3: Bricklayers and Plumbers

As a bricklayer, you form the literal backbone of any construction project. Lots of people wrongly think that bricklaying is simple. But that couldn’t be any further from the reality. Bricklaying requires a lot of concentration and a desire to always deliver perfect results. There are so many examples, particularly with new build homes, which show shoddy brickwork. Not only is it an eyesore to look at (especially for people with OCD!) but it can be downright dangerous. Bricklaying involves far more than just slapping bricks atop one another and cementing them together; you need an eye for detail and it helps to have a creative streak, too.

In the construction industry, plumbers are tasked with the installation or reworking of complex pipework used for water, sewage and other draining. Again, this is another highly technical skill which requires creativity, troubleshooting ability, and solid knowledge. The great thing about being a plumber is that not only can you find work on the construction site, but there is plenty of work to be found off-site too! Plumbers are often called into the homes up and down the country to fix all kinds of problems, and it’s not unusual for construction plumbers to have a self-employed side gig going on.

#4: Other Available Roles

There are so many different roles and responsibilities available within the construction industry, and to sit here and talk about them all would take far too long! From plasterers to glaziers, welders to masonry specialists, and everything else in between, there are plenty of roles and opportunities available to anybody who wants to get involved.

Most construction-related jobs and roles do require that you undergo formal training, either in-house as part of an apprenticeship or externally with a recognised provider. The complex nature of construction work, some of which we have touched upon above, cannot be understated. By undergoing a robust and respected training course you will not only understand the basics, but you will be better equipped to hit the ground running and make the best possible impression when you finally get on-site as part of your first job role.

As mentioned above, the nature of the construction industry means that there are always plenty of opportunities available to those who have the drive and determination to seize it. If you want a career which isn’t a daily 9 to 5 grind and gets you out in the world to meet new people, experience new projects and travel the country, then a career in construction might be right for you. Your work will be varied – no single project is the same as another – and having a construction background opens the door to so many careers further down the line should you ever fancy a change or want a new challenge.

With so many construction courses and training opportunities open to you, it’s very easy to get enrolled in one and start your career if you have the drive and determination to succeed.

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