Construction Careers: How to Break Into the Building Industry

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 26, 2018

Oct 26, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Investing your time and energy in a career is an exciting adventure. You deserve to make the most of your skills and abilities, and if those skills line up with the construction industry, you're in luck.

The United States boasts of the largest construction industry in the world, which is good for you. In fact, statistics show that the industry overall generates over $1.2 billion on an annual basis. If you're looking for a position to fill, odds are that you'll find something pretty quickly.

Still, you might not know where to start when it comes to breaking into the building industry. There are a lot of ins and outs to navigate for those with no experience. Well, the good news is that you've come to the right place by reading this article.

Detailed below is everything you need to know about starting and succeeding in the building industry.

Choose from the Wide Variety of Options in the Building Industry

Since the construction industry is so large throughout the United States, you should start with some basic research. Consider all the varying avenues that you can take within that field. There's more to it than just building houses or being a general contractor.

You can work as a consultant to help construction companies grow and market themselves, for example. You can even work in finance or human resources.

Consider what this site offers. They lease and finance heavy industrial equipment. The opportunities really are endless, as long as you know what to look for.

You Should Be Prepared To Start Small

It's understandable to get excited about working for such a vast industry like that of construction. There are many awesome benefits to working in the building industry, and you don't want to miss out.

Still, it's a good idea not to get too excited just yet. There are a lot of steps you'll need to take before you get to a higher-level or management position. In other words, you need to be okay with starting at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

In fact, it's probably a good idea to get plenty of hands-on experience before trying to work your way up. Even if you already have a somewhat relevant education, you'd do well to accept that the manual labor would be worthwhile, too.

Education Can Only Get You So Far

Perhaps you already have a degree in something like business or management. That's great because it means you probably won't have to go back to school.

If you don't have a degree at all, that's okay. You can invest your time and money into a degree if you'd like. Still, an education, however relevant, will only get you so far in the field of construction.

Employers simply like to see that their employees of all levels have experience in the field. This is true even if you have a specific construction management degree. You might be able to find a lower-level management position somewhere, but you'd be better off and have more options with hands-on experience as well.

If you're completely starting from scratch, there are other options to consider. You don't necessarily have to go back to college for four years. You can work your way up from an apprenticeship or something similar.

Consider Working as a Union Member

Apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes. They're similar going to a two-year technical school, by the way. Apprenticeships, though, not only give you the basic skills training, but they also connect you with real-world experiences during your enrollment.

If you aren't sure where to look for one, that's okay. Start by checking out whether or not your local area has building unions you can contact. For the most part, they have apprenticeships that, upon your successful completion, connect you with jobs for the rest of your career.

Unions are great organizations for many blue-collar workers in the construction industry. They provide workers with the securities of high enough wages and appropriate treatment by employers, for example. Plus, they're a great way to connect with others in the trade you so desire.

As an apprentice, you usually train and work for two years before you become a qualified journeyman. Journeymen are paid better and are guaranteed more building jobs.

Don't feel like you have to stop there, though. Many unions have management positions that you can work towards. Starting as an apprentice could be just one step in your valuable, successful career in management.

Network, Network, Network!

The construction industry is no different from any other field within the United States. You have to be able to network well if you want to advance your professional life at all.

That might just mean you introduce yourself to everyone you know at your first construction job. Perhaps you even attend local networking events in your area where you could seek out others in the higher-level construction management positions.

No matter what, though, networking will be crucial if you want a position above entry-level at some point. If you need to take some time to develop your communication skills, do so as soon as possible. It will be worth your efforts once you're finally in the management position you desire.

Marketing Is Everything

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that your marketing yourself as a professional - even if it's "just" the construction industry. The way you present yourself can make or break your chances of higher-level opportunities later on.

That means that even when you're working as a beginner, always maintain a can-do, respectful attitude. Work hard at any position you take with the goal of impressing your construction employer.

Find the Best Construction Job for You

You deserve to work in whatever industry you so desire. If that means the building industry, then you have plenty of opportunities in your future. It will be up to you, though, to make the most of those opportunities as they come.

We know how important it is to feel fulfilled in your career. We encourage you to search for construction jobs on our site today.