The United States construction industry is one of the most diverse and fastest-growing sectors around. According to the “United States Construction Industry Databook Series – COVID-19 Update Q2 2020“, the industry is expected to hit a CAGR of 8.5% ($1,819.1 billion) by 2024. Despite recent challenges, the medium to long-term job prospects looks encouraging.
Construction is one of those industries that offer different pathways for anyone and everyone to break in – laborers, construction project managers, engineers, skilled tradespeople, architects, and interior designers.
If you are looking at starting a business that offers one or some of the various services needed in construction or getting a job in a construction firm, here are three tips that will help you kickstart your chosen career on a high.
Tip #1: Identify Your Career Path
The first step to getting it right within the construction industry is identifying your preferred career or business path. The first thing most folks do is gravitate towards an area they like or feel comfortable doing. That’s okay, but you should also consider areas that you usually won’t think of as a career path.
These sorts of career paths provide you with experience and access to new business networks and communities. If you feel stumped about what direction to follow, speak to friends and family who already work in the industry to share insights that can help. You should also ask them to point you in their colleagues’ direction, who can also help deepen your understanding of the industry.
Too much knowledge never hurt anyone in the beginning. You’ll get insights into the hard and soft skills needed to succeed, the working environment, and tips on handling the everyday issues you’ll face when you get your first job.
Tip #2: Get Your Construction Licenses or Certifications
Most career paths in construction need one form of license or certification. You will almost always need to present one if you go for an interview or register your business. The construction licenses you require will also depend on your educational level and location.
Something to note, these licenses have exams that need proper preparation. For example, writing the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) exam required in Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, and Oregon with books such as the NASCLA Accredited Contractor book bundle is the best way to guarantee you get your license in one try.
These license or certification exams are designed to ground you in building codes and standards, structural principles, project costing, construction management, and various other related elements within the industry. Here’s an additional reading for you to learn more about building certifications and construction approvals.
Tip #3: Consider Applying for an Apprenticeship in Your Chosen Area
Once you have your license in the bag, it’s time to hit the ground running. One of the wisest things you can do is to apply for an apprenticeship first. Even if you plan to run a construction business of your own, getting experience is invaluable.
An apprenticeship gives you practical insights on what to expect in your future construction career. You’ll get the chance to work on-site beside various competent and experienced professionals and see first-hand how they communicate, manage teams, and adhere to the multiple regulations that govern the construction industry. You’ll also learn how to use the various tools that are needed in your construction career path.
The construction industry can be a rewarding place to work. You not only see the results of your work instantly, but you get financially rewarded for doing a job you love. These three tips are sure to set you up for great career opportunities once you follow them to the last detail.