While earnings in this field can be high, jobs tend to be cyclical. This means that there may be periods of downtime in between jobs.
In addition, construction related jobs rely heavily on the weather; so there are typically less jobs available during the winter months.
While earnings can appear extremely favorable, workers need to take into consideration the periods of time when there will be no work.
When working on a project, construction workers typically work at least 40 hours per week and usually more in order to finish on time. Unless employed on a salary basis, which is rare in construction, this means that employees in this field can usually enjoy significant overtime benefits.
Employment Prospects for Construction Jobs
A significant number of individuals choose to be self-employed in the field of construction; however job opportunities also abound with both small and large contracting firms.
Just a few of the other fields where construction workers are needed include:
- Residential building
- Commercial building
- Road construction
- Educational facility construction
Some contracting firms, commonly referred to as general contractors, handle construction on a variety of building types:
- Civil engineers & construction – road construction jobs
- Specialty trade construction – carpentry, painting, plumbing, electrical work, etc
- Other firms specialize in either a particular segment of construction or building type
Job Search for Construction Jobs
Individuals looking for employing in the field of construction should be aware that they may be required to possess their own tools. This is particularly common in specialty trade construction jobs.
The employer will generally indicate in the job posting if the candidate is required to have their own tools
The construction trade is typically connected with various unions, which can prove to be beneficial when looking for employment. Unions generally stay on top of employment opportunities and pass the information along to their members.
The importance of networking within this field cannot be understated, especially among those workers who are self-employed. Word of mouth and referrals are an important component of getting jobs and projects.
There are a number of published periodicals that are geared specifically toward the construction trade. Such publications are distributed on a routine basis and list information about upcoming jobs, project and shutdowns.
A shutdown, when used in the construction industry, refers to a period of time when a business closes down to the lowest level possible in order to conduct necessary maintenance and repairs. This usually lasts about two weeks or more and is an excellent opportunity for temporary construction employment.
Construction related jobs can be found through employment agencies and classified newspaper listings.
Cover Letters for Construction Jobs
Persons applying work in the construction field should focus on a commitment to safety and meeting deadlines in a timely fashion in their cover letter. These are two of the areas that employers focus on most frequently due to the fact that job related injuries can be particularly costly in this field. In addition, clients depend on contractors finishing jobs on time, without delay.
Resumes for Construction Jobs
The best type of resume to use when applying for construction related jobs is the functional resume. This type of resume is more suitable because it focuses more on skills, rather than employment history and experience.
Skills and experience working with various tools, however; is extremely important.
Most workers in the construction industry tend to move frequently from one job to another, and are never able to build up significant work experience with one employer. While this can be an impediment in some fields, it is usually overlooked and actually expected in construction jobs.
Training & Qualifications for Construction Jobs
The amount of training and qualifications required depend heavily on the specific division of construction the candidate is interested in and the employer. In some instances, a person may enter the construction field with little more than a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma. With this type of situation, the person will usually work as an apprentice under a skilled craftsman.
This kind of on the job training can allow persons to work, learn and earn money at the same time.
There are also a number of education and apprenticeship programs offered at various educational institutions throughout the country. Job Corps of America has been providing short term training for eligible individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 for many years.
Many of the programs offered by Job Corps are geared toward various construction trades.
Others short term training programs are also available at vo-tech schools and community colleges. Programs usually last between six months to two years.