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career in construction

The Necessary Skills Required For a Career in Construction – Much More Than Just Manual Labour

Skills Required for a Career in Construction

When you hear the term “construction”, it is easy to fall victim to the common stigma’s associated with it. Probably one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to a career in construction is that everyone is a labourer who wears protective gear, hi-vis vests and protective footwear. Others believe it is filled with long and grueling days of hard work that require little to no skill. Some see it as a ‘last-resort’ occupation. However, that can be no further from the truth.

A career in construction: what types of jobs/careers are available?

Construction work is more than just performing hours of drilling, digging and demolition work. It is also not just bound to projects which covers only buildings and the construction of homes. Important infrastructure that we see and often take for granted daily, are bridges, tunnels and railways which have all been designed and built by the construction sector.

Moreover, a variety of occupations and jobs play an essential role in contributing towards the economy and the activity of the construction industry as a whole. Such examples include:

  • Labourers
  • Architects
  • Building Surveyors
  • Construction Managers
  • Building Service Engineers
  • Civil and Structural Engineers
  • Site Inspectors
  • Graphic Designers
  • Specific Construction Trades
  • Consultants
  • Contractors
  • Project Managers                                                      

Evidently, all fields in construction require a high degree of skill; even though most roles do not require you to have a degree. Proper training is compulsory for you to be employed in the industry. Knowledge of health and safety is paramount in construction, which is why possessing a CSCS green card is so important. For all construction related roles, the CSCS green labourer card is a great starting point and entry level route into a career in construction.

How the rise of technology has driven change in construction careers

Within the last decade, the use of technology in the construction industry has become increasingly important and the new norm. With the increased demand for 3D printing of materials, building information modelling (BIM) and use of drones projected in the upcoming years – the need for qualified and experienced professionals in these areas are clearly essential. Graphic designers, 3D technicians and architectural technologists are some of the many jobs which are stemmed from the use of technology in construction. This illustrates the range of construction careers which are now available in the industry – not just the stereotypical manual and physical jobs that required you to be onsite.

Technology also plays an important part in improving the overall safety of the construction industry. A great example of this is the development of smart personal protective equipment (PPE) which detects toxic air particles; and tech which locate workers in real-time – thereby reducing the likelihood of serious injuries. The CEO of Human Condition Safety, Peter E. Raymond, has set the ambitious goal of eliminating all serious injuries on job sites globally by 2025, which is a clear indication that employee wellbeing and safety is important and being taken seriously.

How can I learn the specific skills needed for a career in construction?

With the increased focus on safety, the risks stemmed from the physical aspects of construction work are easier to manage more than ever. After successfully completing a level 1 health and safety CSCS Course, most construction professionals then take on the CSCS test to advance their knowledge and competence in health and safety at a busy construction workplace. Others may be more keen on doing a trade in construction, so are more likely to enroll onto a NVQ course. Signing up to a certified course that’s relevant to your interests and job role, will ultimately help fast track your career in construction.


According to a recent study by the Financial Times, 500,000 UK-born construction workers have been forecasted to retire in the next 10 to 15 years. Clearly, there has been a no better time to join the industry where technology and certified courses has made the construction workplace more safe to work in. Also, with the rise of tech, careers in construction has become more diverse and is no longer just manual labour jobs which is the stereotypical assumption for those who work in the construction industry.

At The Construction Helpline, we offer a wide range of courses, CSCS tests and CSCS cards to help kickstart or strengthen your career in construction. For any immediate enquiries, call us on 0333 344 7657 to discuss how we can help.


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