Somewhere between the fun of building things as a kid and selecting a career, construction loses its luster. Women, in particular, tend to cross construction off their job-hunting list, believing there are no opportunities in the field for them. And many younger workers still view the industry as dull and dated.
Not so, say several major industry players who are working to change the public’s perception of construction work. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) has teamed up with the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and several others to get the message out that construction is all about “high-tech, high-stakes, huge earning potential, and the opportunity to travel the world.”
In other words, construction is cool and a great choice for anyone looking to start a new career.
As a construction professional, you already know the benefits of your career but you may be feeling the pain of finding skilled workers. You may even be working with local associations and schools to help attract more people to construction and your company. If so, you know you have to do a lot more these days to convince prospective workers—especially younger workers—that construction is the place to be. Here are a few compelling facts to help out, all aimed at what today’s job seekers are looking for:
- Construction is one of the top 10 best paying jobs for college graduates with an average starting salary of $45,591, according to a recent study by Michigan State University
- But you don’t have to have a college degree to enjoy a rewarding career in construction. According to Don Whyte, president of NCCER, “60 percent of jobs are going to be for students who have two-year certificate or degree programs and technical education background.”
- The industry is ripe for anyone with technology skills. Today there is much more use of sophisticated laser and GPS-guided equipment, building information modeling (BIM), and cloud-based mobile applications. The future holds even more promise from a technology perspective. Drones, robots, and 3-D printing are all breakthrough technologies perfect to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve safety in construction.
- Construction offers plenty of opportunity for career advancement for all workers.
- Construction is creative. Whether it’s a technician on a plumbing service call, a project manager faced with an unexpected issue on the job site, or a CFO making sure a construction firm’s profit goals are met – creative thinking and problem solving is a daily requirement. This is not brain-numbing work.
- Today’s construction is green. Many construction firms are part of the solution to build more responsibly and sustainably to protect our environment.
I believe NCCER does a great job summing up these advantages and more in their Build Your Future video on exciting careers in construction. Check it out yourself.
Zurich, Workforce Trends in the Construction Industry, 2013