Skilled tradesmen in commercial and industrial construction are in demand. Opportunities abound, but that doesn’t translate into anybody can get hired in construction. From general construction laborer to specific trades such as electricians, mechanics, millwrights, pipefitters, plumbers, welders, etc. to management positions, there are various hard and soft skills prerequisite to success. Certifications are also a plus and, in some positions, an essential. Do you have what it takes?
Building, mechanical, and math skills and knowledge: The ability to understand the construction process from the initial design to the completed project is vital. These include basic math, algebra, and trigonometry understanding, as well as the ability to both read and understand various blueprints, instructions, and work-related documents. Of course, being a construction worker does not mean being fully trained in every aspect from an electrician to a welder and everything in between, but it does mean understanding the general overview in addition to being highly skilled in your area of expertise.
Communication skills: Construction involves massive amounts of communication from managers to workers and back. The ability to listen well and communicate accurately both verbally and in written form is essential.
Strength, stamina, dexterity: Being in construction involves hard work – for hours. It requires physical strength and stamina, as well as agility and dexterity that allows you to work from any angle – in both tight and high spaces. Climbing, bending, digging, lifting, and operating hand and power tools are all part of the job.
Critical reasoning and problem-solving: Problems are going to arise. Obstacles will present themselves. Having a keen awareness and ability to not only perceive the root problem, but also to analyze, determine potential solutions, and then choose the best option is the often the difference between surviving or thriving in your position. On top of that, high-level critical reasoning skills can often prevent an accident on the job.
Organizational skills: Being able to keep your schedule, tasks, and the tools to complete them organized and in premium condition is a critical component of construction. This extends to those under your supervision if you have a team leadership or management role.
Personality and attitude: Being in construction means working with people. Being a team player with a positive attitude who can get along with others is an absolute prerequisite for success. This includes being reliable, dependable, and punctual! Be a ready learner who appreciates gaining from the knowledge and experience of others and is likewise willing to share your expertise. Be confident of your skills, but also willing to admit it when you’re wrong.
And last, but certainly not least, be motivated to learn and grow in your career:
New technologies, tools, methods, etc. are continually coming on the market. Learn new construction software, apps, and devices – it will help you stand out in the crowd.
Consider earning one of the multiple certifications available in the construction industry. My next move is an excellent resource for finding your best-fit certification in various areas of construction. Some organizations who offer various training and certificates include:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Project Management Institute (PMI)
- Construction Manager Certification Institute (CMCI)
- National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
Commercial and industrial construction offers many opportunities for a successful career. If you fit the bill, give us a call at GSI. We are dedicated to building a team of skilled trade professionals. We understand that the foundation of a strong company is a strong workforce. We offer positions matched to skills and experience at competitive wages. Contact us today.