The surest road to continuing raises and promotions in the construction industry is to know the construction skills employers need, tailor your experience to match, and aggressively promote your specialized expertise to current and potential employers. While construction jobs aren’t exactly infinite, having the right construction skills can make the rough ways smooth in your job search, as well as helping you hold onto those construction jobs when business inevitably slows down. Of course, first you have to know which construction skills are in demand.
One of the fastest-growing areas in the construction industry over the last twenty years has been ADA compliance. Since the passage of the ADA in 1990, ensuring that all new construction complies with the law’s standards has been an important element for every job. Every construction company in the US needs some kind of ADA specialist available in house or it risks sudden, expensive delays and even more expensive lawsuits for noncompliance. Most employers will be looking for you to carry current status as a certified access specialist (CAS), which is awarded by your home state and usually requires CASP training and continual recertification.
With the environmental impact of new construction becoming a factor in project approval and overall cost, green construction skills are in demand, and that demand is set to increase in the future. Many colleges offer training in green building systems and green building skills, usually with an eye toward a vocational certificate being awarded. The certificate declares that you have the construction skills necessary to help your employer adapt to the changing demands of the newly ecofriendly market.
Of all the different construction skills you can bring to the table, perhaps none has so much potential in the eyes of your employer as supply chain management. All the construction skills in the world are useless if the necessary materials don’t get where they’re needed in time to be used. Obtaining certification in supply chain management is one way to show your current or prospective employer that you’re able to keep the equipment and materials flowing smoothly down the pipeline, saving the company time and money. Even if your specific job has nothing to do with ordering equipment, certification in the field demonstrates an awareness of the logistics of a build and implies that you’ll know the value of every nail in every board, and will probably act to reduce waste on the jobsite.
None of these construction skills can rightly be said to be of immediate use in putting up a structure. There’s a reason for that, as the modern construction industry runs far more on paperwork than elbow grease. Seeking out training, getting certification, and showing your company that you have the construction skills to ease the overall job has now become the path to success. Familiarity with these fields will allow you to narrow your focus and become an asset to any position you apply for.
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