The construction industry is facing a major labor shortage, making it an ideal time to enter the job market. Entry-level construction jobs are abundant, and all you need to get started is reliability and an appetite to learn. If you’re looking for a new career path, find out how to get a construction job and what type of specializations to consider.
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Top 3 benefits of working in construction
Following a career path in construction is a unique work experience that offers several benefits.
1. Active lifestyle. If you’re the type of person who would rather be outside working with your hands rather than wearing a suit and tie every day, then a career in construction could be a great fit.
2. Growth. The construction industry is growing. Between labor shortages and a large percentage of the workforce expected to retire in coming years, there are plenty of job opportunities to look for nationwide.
3. Formal education is not required. You don’t need a traditional college degree in order to excel in the construction field. A high school diploma is enough (and sometimes not required at all) to land an entry-level construction job. You can either enroll in an apprenticeship program or get on-site job training when you’re just getting started. And with a wide range of trades contributing to a construction project, you have plenty of room to explore and find an area that suits your interests.
How to start a career in construction
Follow these three easy steps to apply for a job as a construction laborer. Putting in the extra effort sets you apart from the competition and opens the door to the best opportunities for a starting construction job.
Submit a resume. When applying for a job with a construction company, a resume is an essential piece to showcase any work experience, skill, and interests you have. If you don’t have a long career to pull from, keep it to one page. Start your goal at the top, like securing a full-time job in the construction industry, or learning a specific trade. Also list any professional references who can attest to your character, professionalism, and positive attitude.
Find temp work with an agency. Starting out as a temporary construction worker is a great way to get on-the-job experience. The position may only last a few weeks or months, but you’ll start to develop a professional network along with a new skill set. It’s a job you can add to your resume for future applications, and if you work hard, you may be able to secure yourself a permanent spot.
Consider an apprenticeship or trade school. If you know a specific trade you want to work in, consider finding an apprenticeship program or trade school. It may take a couple of years to complete either program, but you’ll set yourself up for better jobs and pay once you complete your training.
5 entry-level construction jobs
Here’s a sampling of construction jobs with no experience required to get started.
1. Carpentry laborer. A carpentry laborer assists a carpenter with a variety of projects, such as framing houses, building cabinets, or installing doors. Expect to do a lot of manual labor, including preparing and cleaning up the site. But you’ll also learn advanced skills from the master carpenter on the construction site.
2. Landscaper. As an entry level landscaper or groundskeeper, you’ll likely be responsible for mowing grass, laying sod, planting, and fertilizing. Depending on where you live, work may be seasonal, with fewer hours during the winter months. In the winter months, your role may switch to snow and ice removal. You could work on either residential projects (like people’s homes) or commercial projects (like office parks).
3. Painter. The role of a painter can vary greatly depending on the type of job site you work on. In residential projects, you could paint interior walls or exterior siding. Commercial projects may be more complex and require heavy equipment in order to reach the surface you need to cover. In either case, you should feel comfortable with heights. You can get started on the job as a painter with minimal training. Attention to detail is, however, an important trait for this role.
4. Masonry worker. Starting out as an entry-level masonry worker will require a lot of heavy lifting, since you’ll be building out of stone, brick, and other heavy materials. You’ll need to mix mortar and grout and learn to lay the materials according to specific plans. As you continue to learn on the job, you’ll learn to read blueprints and calculate the materials needed for different jobs. You can either get started by learning on the job or enroll in a masonry trade school program.
5. Roofer. This job requires being comfortable with heights, since there’s no way to avoid being on top of a building. The role of a roofer is to repair, replace, or construct a roof. In addition to installing shingles, you’ll also learn to install insulation, vapor barriers, and skylights. Some light carpentry is also required in order to replace wood rot under the shingles. It’s possible to enter the field with no background or education as a roofer. Or you can find an apprentice program to get started.
Working in the construction industry gives you the opportunity to learn in-demand trades while getting outside every day. Plus, there’s plenty of room for growth as you grow your experience.
MT Copeland offers video-based online classes that give you a foundation in construction fundamentals with real-world applications, like how to succeed on the job. Classes include professionally produced videos taught by practicing craftspeople, and supplementary downloads like quizzes, blueprints, and other materials to help you master the skills.