For outsiders, a construction job seems to be uncomplicated. After all, there are tools and equipment that can make all the work light and easy. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Being a construction worker can be demanding—both mentally and physically.
It’s the reason why you need to have skills and qualifications to be successful in this career. And these qualifications do not come in a one-size-fits-all certification. There are many types of construction roles and tasks. So, you need to specialize. For instance, if you plan to become an electrician in a construction company, you need to pass an exam for electricians to qualify for the job.
But even with the different types of construction tasks, the industry is all about planning and building structures. That said, there are common skills and qualifications that all construction workers must share to be effective at work.
Here are the must-have qualifications and skills for anyone planning to build a career in the construction industry.
Knowledge Of Building Codes And Regulations
In any construction project, there are rules to be followed. Such rules and regulations do not only come from the company but are also enforced by laws. It means violating such construction regulations will result in fines, penalties, and even jail time.
Take the electrician example mentioned above. Electricians can be either commercial or residential. While they may focus on different sets of clients, they both need to have experience and know the codes and regulations, mainly because working with electricity can be dangerous not only for the electricians but for residents too.
Knowing and complying with building codes and regulations is the first step in ensuring safety in the workplace. Plus, training entry-level workers will be seamless if they already have a clear grasp of the pertinent regulations that are applicable to the job.
Basic Office And Administration Skills
The modern construction worker’s job is not limited to operating tools and equipment. If you plan to join this industry, it will help if you also have organizational and management skills. For one thing, construction companies need to do a lot of planning, budgeting, and even marketing to stay competitive.
In fact, even with the pandemic, construction spending in the U.S. increased in November 2020 by 0.9%, which is bigger than the figure for the same period in 2019. It means construction companies have been busy. And with all the deals going on, office skills are crucial, from processing spreadsheets to communicating with clients. Besides, not all construction workers remain employees. Many move on to operate their own businesses as well, which means office and administration skills will come in handy.
Strong Physical Skills
It may be the most obvious set of skills that all construction workers must possess. While on the job site, you may need to do a lot of bending, climbing, heavy lifting, or operating heavy equipment. You need to be physically fit not just to accomplish your assigned tasks, but to ensure that no accidents will occur. Imagine the risks caused by dropping a heavy wrench just because you’re not strong enough to use it. Here are some examples of physical qualifications required of any construction worker:
- Increased Stamina
- Excellent Hand-Eye Coordination
- Strong Hand Dexterity
- Ability to Stand For Long Hours
Eye For Good Design
A construction project’s success can be measured by how the building looks and how long it will last. While construction workers don’t need to have a degree in architecture or interior design degree, it pays if you have an eye for good design. You need to have an instinct not just for what looks good visually, but also for mistakes and problems that are caused by poor design.
Having an eye for good design is vital in interpreting the building plans and in following the directions laid out in the blueprint. This skill can also help you do estimation work and identify the quality of the materials used in the project.
Good Reading Comprehension And Basic Math Skills
When all is said and done, construction work is all about understanding and following the building plan. So, an effective worker in this industry needs to have strong skills in reading and basic math. You don’t need to solve engineering equations, but it would help if you could calculate how much paint is required for a particular wall area. If you’re an electrician, you must at least know how much power can be allotted for an outlet without tripping the breaker.
Working on a construction project is not a walk in the park. Sure, you need to be physically fit to accomplish most tasks, but there are other qualifications that you need to possess to be successful and efficient in this field. A good construction worker needs to have a grasp of relevant building codes and regulations, basic organizational skills, an eye for design, and strong reading comprehension and arithmetic skills.