When most people think about the construction industry and the types of work you might get involved in, many tend to think about great big construction sites; it’s loud, dirty, people in high-vis are walking everywhere, shouting at one another.
It probably looks like total chaos from the outside – but the truth is quite different!
The Construction Industry: An Quick Overview
Building, construction, and engineering is a HUGE industry to get involved in. If you’re after a hands-on career filled with tonnes of opportunities to problem-solve and get a strong sense of satisfaction out of seeing a project done and dusted, this could be the pathway for you.
The construction industry comprises six main sectors:
- Building Completion Services
- Building Installation Services
- Building Structure Services
- General Construction and Demolition
- Signage and Building Surveying
- Specialist Construction Services
The construction industry also covers things like land development and site preparation and the construction trades, including bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry and electrical.
Construction work and the types of roles you might get involved in have long been confused with some pretty outdated ideas.
So, we’re here to bust the three biggest ones and showcase why a career in construction is way more than you might think!
Myth Number One: Construction Work is All Heavy Lifting and Manual Labour
Construction is an incredibly broad industry that encompasses so much more than simply hands-on site work (although if that’s your thing, there’s lots of that too!).
Within the industry, you can pursue a wide range of career pathways, including:
- Logistics and warehousing.
- Tool and machinery maintenance.
- Office-based roles, including accounts, human resources, and administration.
- Technical work, including building surveying, environmental design, and Computer-Aided Design work.
A construction project has multiple layers of production, from the initial site sourcing and planning to site preparation (usually the messy bit!), development, and finalisation. There are many moving parts and many opportunities to get involved.
Myth Number Two: Construction Careers Offer Limited Progression
Much like any other industry, there are ways to grow as a professional and progress within the construction industry – but you have to take responsibility for your own career trajectory!
Management and leadership roles exist, and many who work their way up begin as apprentices or entry-level positions. Senior job roles include:
- Building Estimator
- Civil Engineer
- Construction and Site Manager
- Construction Project Manager
- Operation and Strategy Manager
- Quality Assurance Coordinator
Individuals in these roles usually have a significant background of working across sites, perhaps in various positions, building their skills, knowledge, and expertise to support the industry at a senior level later in their careers.
Myth Number Three: The Construction Industry is Just for Boys
Traditionally and historically, the construction industry has been male-dominated, but this beginning to change.
National data from Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) recently revealed that Australian female construction and trades apprentices have doubled in the last decade, from December 2010 to December 2020.
Organisations like the National Association for Women in Construction are paving the way and raising awareness for the rewarding career pathways for everyone within the construction industry. And it’s not just trades; women are taking up more roles across engineering, architecture, and built environment services roles too.
While there is still an uneven split across genders within the sector, this is tipping over to a more level-playing field at a rapid rate, meaning it’s never been a better time to get involved!
Keen to learn more?
Now that you’ve got a clearer idea of how much bigger the industry is, you’re probably keen to learn more about the industry overall, how to get started, and the different types of roles you could land in!
We’ve got you’ve got completely covered with our in-depth Building, Construction & Engineering Industry Profile. Here you’ll find everything you need to start planning your career in construction, including:
- Industry and sector growth
- Entry-level pathways
- Potential qualifications and academic pathways
- Top job role profiles
- Graduate outcomes