Growth is on the horizon for the building trades. It’s a good time to be in the industry – particularly for those with experience in sustainable construction.
ConstructConnect predicts a substantial construction increase in 2017 over 2016. The website further predicts the growth will carry over into 2018.
Office buildings, healthcare facilities and lodging are expected to be at the forefront. Infrastructure construction is also expected to increase, especially as such repairs and replacements take a front seat in political discussions. .
Building trades in the Omaha Metro area are also expected to grow, so this is a good time for you to enter the field.
Tech-savvy workers needed
Unmanned vehicles and drones will be more prevalent as technology continues to permeate construction worksites. Tech-savvy professionals will be needed to operate, repair and maintain the equipment.
It also means building site jobs will be created for those versed in government regulations of unmanned vehicles. For example, FAA rules may affect flying drones to survey building sites.
Sustainable practices increase
Sustainable building practices are on the rise, as homeowners and companies strive to function in a greener way. Experts in sustainable practices will be sought, whether it’s in building design, construction, renovation or maintenance.
Also, federal and state regulations dictate when a project can claim to be “green.” So it’s important to have professionals who are well-versed in sustainable construction requirements.
Accessibility needs grow
As the U.S. population ages, building professionals are needed to create accessible structures for people who use wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive devices.
Wider doorframes, in-home elevators and reduced step heights will become more common to make it easier for seniors to get around.
Older residents who opt to remain in their homes will need building professionals for renovations, while healthcare structures will be renovated or built to accommodate accessibility options.
Construction incomes grow
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says construction and extraction occupations are expected to grow at a faster than average rate during the next 10 years.
The BLS cites population growth as a catalyst for more construction needs. The bureau also says the average annual income is higher for all cumulative occupations.
Formal education less significant
In general, building trades typically require only a high school diploma or its equivalent. On-the-job training is common. That lets people with no experience to eventually become skilled trades people without formal schooling.
Apprenticeship programs pair novices with skilled workers to learn on the job from someone with experience. Local labor unions are a good place to find out how to enroll into an apprenticeship program.
Degree programs available
Though a degree may not be essential, you can get such formal degrees as Construction Management, Construction Administration or Construction & Building Science from community colleges or four-year universities.
Most such programs offer some form of job placement assistance or advice for graduates.
With such a degree, you’re poised for a leadership role. But practical, hands-on knowledge can’t be beat and experience is often the best way to get a hiring manager’s attention.
Experience always a plus
With the building trades on an upward trajectory, it’s no surprise qualified and experienced workers are in high demand, particularly among workers who specialize in currently popular fields like green construction and accessibility.
But general builders will still find work because their skill sets easily translate to in-demand field.
The look of the world constantly changes. In the building trades, you have a direct impact on the world around you. It can be rewarding and potentially lucrative. And it’s especially satisfying if you enjoy hands-on work.
With its predicted growth, it’s a career path with a potentially bright future.