When it comes to people who work in the construction industry, there’s a fair bit of stereotyping. Saying ‘construction’ usually conjures images of blokes waking up early and heading to a job site; grabbing a servo pie and Redbull on the way to work before spending a hard day on the tools. While this might be the reality for some tradies, a lot of the stereotypes don’t hold true when you look at construction as a whole (and the industry is definitely worth looking into, trust us).
We don’t blame you for getting some of the facts wrong. With more and more students flocking to uni, trades aren’t being talked about nearly as much as they should, so there’s a tonne of outdated stereotypes hanging around. Luckily, we want to let you know all the facts and why you should consider the construction industry.
1. Working in construction means heaps of different career options
In the construction industry alone, there’s over 70 different possible careers in general construction, civil construction, para professional and through other professional pathways. While the construction industry does include your more well-known trades like electrician, carpenter and plumber there’s also jobs like civil engineer, draftsperson and project manager which don’t fit into the traditional images of the industry. Organisations like Construction Skills Queensland, also known as CSQ, are keen to show you there’s more than just getting your hands dirty if you want to work in construction and there’s opportunities for everyone.
2. There’s some solid dosh to be made
You’ll often hear that the only way to a high paying job is through uni but looking at educational pathways like apprenticeships and traineeships (known Vocational Education and Training or VET) can actually pay off. One of the massive perks of learning a trade through an apprenticeship or traineeship is that you won’t finish up with tonne of debt hanging over your head, and the best bit is that you’re actually being paid to learn. When you compare this to other educational pathways like uni, VET grads are getting a massive head start and the money benefits are definitely a massive selling point.
3. There’s room for progression
Working in the construction industry gives you plenty of ways to continue to learn and develop your skills as you progress, and there’s always the chance to move your career in a different direction. If getting on the tools isn’t your thing, you can study construction related degrees and diplomas and get into those para professional and professional pathways we mentioned before. There’s plenty of ways to build on your skills, so even if you start out in one particular job like carpentry, you can continue to learn and work your way into different areas within the industry, or you can even start own your business.
4. You learn key skills
Whether you’re doing a trade or working in a team leader position within the construction industry, you’ll develop high level skills in areas like Maths and communication, critical thinking, problem solving and other technical knowledge that are valued by employers across any industry. You have to be switched on and willing to learn to get by in the construction industry and a lot of the skills you learn are the sort of things that will help you out in every aspect of your life. Win-win.
5. You won’t hate your job
You probably hear a lot of people moaning about the daily grind of being in a ‘Proper Adult Job’ or being ‘chained to a desk’, but those who work in the construction industry are actually pretty bloody satisfied with their working life.
At the end of the day most tradies can stand back and look at their hard work because there’s real and tangible results to be proud of after a day of work. Plus, thinking creatively and solving problems is scientifically proven to be satisfying.
6. Take your skills around the world
On top of this, there’s the perks of travel. Not only does working in construction mean you’re not stuck behind a desk day in and day out, the skills you learn are also internationally recognised. Doing a trade here on Aussie soil is highly valued internationally, so it’s not hard to find work if you are planning to head overseas, which means you can work and travel pretty easily.
If you ask us, working in construction seems to tick all the boxes and with guys like CSQ there to provide info about working in the industry, it’s definitely worth looking into. Good money, earn while you learn, opportunities to travel, not being stuck in an office, heaps of career pathways and life-long skills? We reckon that’s a pretty sweet gig.