How do I become a construction worker?
From getting in with a residential crew to enrolling in an apprenticeship program, here four answers to the question, “How do I become a construction worker?”
- Gain On-the-Job Experience and Course-Led Education
- Have a Fit and Able Body
- Get in With a Residential Crew
- Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program
Gain On-the-Job Experience and Course-Led Education
If you want to start a career in construction and become a construction worker, there are a few basic steps I would take. For starters, get the basic experience under your belt. At any point in your life, you can find a job with a construction company and gain valuable experience. It’ll probably be in an entry-level position and might be at a low wage initially, but it’ll allow you to step into the industry as a starting point.
From there, enroll into a construction-related course. Many community colleges offer courses that provide an education in the construction industry and start you off with a bang. Consider a basic course initially, or you can jump into a course related to carpentry, plumbing, and even electrical—though it might take longer to get through these specialized courses.
Have a Fit and Able Body
Becoming a construction worker requires dedication and hard physical work. To have a successful career in the field, you’ll need to have a fit and able body, since physical labor is an integral part of the job. Additionally, you may need some specialized training and/or education, depending on what type of position you’re looking for.
Beyond the physical capability and educational requirements, finding employment in the construction industry typically requires having a portfolio of projects already completed, excellent references, and solid communication skills so you can understand a customer’s needs and wants. With persistence, dedication, and knowledge of the industry, anyone can become a successful construction worker.
Get in With a Residential Crew
It’s easy to find construction crews to work for, at least on the residential side. Commercial construction is more corporatized, but if you go to a residential construction site you might be able to find someone there who can help you latch on. You will start off with lower-rung tasks, whether it’s digging or hauling bricks.
Over time, however, you’ll discover what you like doing best. It could be the bricklaying or the carpentry work. Or you might even enjoy installing HVAC systems or internal plumbing. The more tasks you perform, the more areas of construction you’ll be exposed to. Given enough time and opportunities, you’ll be able to find and focus on a particular skill you enjoy developing.
Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program
Although the job of a construction worker may seem more physically demanding and less mentally so, this isn’t true. From numerical calculations and the ability to take quick measurements to a need to follow instructions and adhere to safety protocols, the job requires a fair amount of mental aptitude. Nevertheless, the job is also about hands-on skills and experience, which is why the best route to becoming a construction worker is signing up for an apprenticeship program.
Such a program offers future workers a balanced curriculum that gives them the perfect introduction to a career in construction. The course, while involving the entire range of responsibilities and tasks from reporting and safety monitoring, also offers on-the-job training on live construction projects.
Neil Platt, Director, Emerald Home Improvements
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