Career in the Construction Industry

The construction and building industry offers an incredibly wide range of careers that could be a financially and emotionally fulfilling prospect for prospective employees of various levels of education, experience and interest. Unlike most other industries, construction is always looking for people (except during recessions or major economic downturns).

In general, employment opportunities in construction can be divided into four broad categories, namely,

  1. Technical/professional: Requires, minimally, a four-year university degree and certification from professional body. Common positions include:
    • Town/city planner - Design communities, villages, towns, industrial areas and business districts with an eye towards accessibility, utility loads, transport constraints, environmental impact, etc.
    • Architect - Design detailed specifications of buildings. Like it or not, they're usually the superstars of the industry.
    • Quantity Surveyor - Estimates project cost, conducts risk analysis, manages contracts and tenders, etc.
    • Bespoke wooden staircase designs and carpentry.
    • Civil Engineer - Designs and maintains public infrastructure and utilities like roads, dams, power lines, sewers, etc. Historically, civil engineers were named as such to differentiate them from military engineers.
    • M& E Engineer - Designs, implements and manages the electrical, mechanical, and public infrastructure of buildings.
    • Electrical Engineer - Designs, develops, tests, and manages the deployment of electronic and electrical installations and systems.

  2. Skilled Workers: Typically experienced tradesmen with vocational training (not a must). Usual positions are welders, carpenters, plumbers, fitters, machinists and painters.
  3. Unskilled Workers: Usually open to all able-bodied applicants. The task usually entails manual onsite labour like bricklaying, clearing debris, distributing raw materials, etc.
  4. Sales and service: It's all well and good to build buildings, homes and public facilities, but there is an equal amount of work required behind the scenes. From sales, carpet cleaning and customer service to accounting, security and public relations, these unsung heroes ensures construction projects goes without a hitch. The positions are generally perfect for business and liberal arts graduates.