Are you considering a job in the construction industry? The industry is known for high job satisfaction, and for being tailored toward those looking to make lifelong careers for themselves. However, before taking advantage of the opportunities the construction industry provides, there are some essential skills you’ll need under your belt to score jobs (in addition to licenses and certifications which will differ wildly depending on where you live). To get you started, here are eight valuable skills you need as a construction contractor:
Having an excellent grasp over your limbs, and your ability to use them with finesse and precision is key to being a successful construction contractor. Hand-eye coordination helps prevent mistakes, ensures precision, and helps prevent accidents on the job site. Without a strong grasp of how to properly line up a nail and hammer, after all, you’ll be having a hard time getting by day to day on a construction job site.
For the majority of construction workers, some type of power tool or advanced-level tool is needed to complete their tasks. If you’re not already familiar with these tools, studying up on them and getting practicing for the exam before and looking for work is crucial. The more knowledge you have in this area, the better, as these tools can help you perform a job to the best of your ability (a quality that will help you retain excellent, well-paying jobs).
3. Excellent Reading and Math Skills
People often forget just how much math and reading are involved in construction contracting. Physical strength and the ability to work long hours will not matter if you do not understand how to properly carry out instructions. Those instructions will often have measurements and other specifications that will require a strong grasp of both math and reading skills to execute, so if you’re lacking in this area, you’ll need to do some extra studying before going to get your certifications.
There are always a lot of tasks that need to be carried out on construction sites at any given time. When you’re given tasks and instructions, your ability to remember them without needing constant reminders and additional instruction is key to keeping the job going smoothly. There’s no way to get on your manager’s nerves faster than slowing operations down due to a bad memory, or a lack of dedication to keeping your instructions firmly in the front of your mind, after all.
Teamwork is one of the most important skills you can bring to the construction site, and communication skills will be crucial for you to work with a team. Knowing how to take and give out information and instructions adequately will help you climb the ladder in the industry effectively as well. Whether it’s verbal or written, knowing how to communicate in a professional, efficient, and clearly-stated manner is a must for any professional construction worker.
Drone technology is becoming more and more integrated into construction workers’ day-to-day tasks. Especially on large, commercial construction sites, drones allow you to see your site from useful, previously unavailable angles. This additional information can help keep the job going smoothly and will improve the quality of the project overall. If you already know how to pilot a drone, the skill can be used to help you gain jobs in the construction industry, where even seasoned workers might not have had the time to develop this newly-in-demand skill.
Instructions that you’ll be following on a construction site will not always be detailed in a step-by-step, 100% set out for you manner. When you are between moments where you can talk to a manager, having the problem-solving and critical thinking skills needed to keep work moving is crucial. Many unplanned problems and issues will arise during each contract you take on as well, so strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills will ensure you’re able to overcome them effectively.
Even if you have a skill set that includes all of the other qualities above, it can be difficult to work effectively as a construction contractor without physical strength and endurance. While there are jobs that can be done by those who are not blessed in this area, the majority of construction contractors will need to exert themselves in a fairly intense manner on a near-daily basis to do their jobs.
With these eight skills under your belt, you’ll be a dream hire for many construction industry employers. Even if you cannot manage each of these eight skills, having even half of them will ensure you’re highly employable. With the right grit and determination, you can kickstart your career in construction by the end of 2020.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.