The construction industry is one of the most important sectors in the United States. It employs millions of people and contributes billions of dollars to the economy each year. The skills required for success in this industry vary depending on the position you hold, but some key skills are essential for anyone working in the construction field.
Of course, one prerequisite of working in construction is having the necessary engineering or building knowledge for the job. Depending on your position, you may need to have a degree in civil engineering, architecture, or construction management. Alternatively, you may have gained the required knowledge through years of experience working in the field.
Remember, many fields exist in the construction niche whether you want to get into HVAC systems, electrical work, construction management, roofing, renovations, ironwork, plumbing, or another niche.
While communication is important in any business, it has particular value in construction. After all, construction is a collaborative effort that requires coordination between different teams. Good communication skills will help you to liaise effectively with other members of the construction team, as well as clients and suppliers. What’s more, communication is critical in always keeping colleagues and site visitors safe.
Ask this question 30 years ago, and the answer would have been very different. But today, construction is a highly technical industry that relies heavily on computers and other digital devices. As such, construction workers need to be comfortable using technology and have a good understanding of how it can be used in their specific field.
Physical Strength and Stamina
Although not true in every case, working in construction often requires physical strength and stamina. The job often involves lifting heavy objects, climbing ladders, and working in challenging positions. If you’re considering a career in construction, consider whether you have the fitness level and strength required for the job.
Strong Literacy and Math Ability
These days, construction workers also need to have strong literacy and math skills. Why? Because they often need to read and interpret technical manuals, blueprints, and other documents. They also need to be able to do basic math calculations quickly and accurately. If you’re not confident in your literacy and math skills, consider brushing up on these essential skills before applying for construction jobs.
While it might not count as a skill exactly, having reliable transportation is essential for construction workers. Sadly, most construction sites are not easily accessible by public transportation, and workers need to be able to get to and from the job site each day. If you don’t have a car or truck, now might be the time to start saving up for one.
First Aid and CPR
In any line of work, it’s always a good idea to know basic first aid and CPR, but in construction, it’s especially important. Because of the nature of the work, construction workers are more susceptible to injury than workers in other industries. Even if a job description doesn’t require first aid training, employers will see it as a bonus because you can help when an injury occurs. In construction, proper first aid can be the difference between life and death.
Willingness to Learn
Like any job, your willingness to learn can sometimes get you hired in front of somebody more experienced. In construction, there is always something new to learn. With the ever-changing technologies and methods, construction companies are always looking for people who are willing to be shaped into the employees that they need.