Construction – building the future and a new career
The construction industry is not only building schools, hospitals, life-changing discovery laboratories and homes—it’s building great careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook, the construction industry employed more than 5.3 million people in 2014 and is expected to add more than 550,000 new jobs by 2024. This massive growth – more than 10% in the next seven years – translates into tremendous opportunity for those entering the job market or looking to find a new, more rewarding career.
One of the fastest growing areas in the industry is the skilled trades, which accounts for more than 425,000 or 72 percent of the new jobs projected. However, all sectors of the industry are expected to grow promising great opportunities for almost anyone from entry level positions to professional level employment.
An Industry with Great Benefits
There are many benefits to working in the construction industry. According to the 2016 Aflac Workforces Report, the construction industry scored very well on employee satisfaction with health insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits. A remarkable 83 percent of those surveyed reported also being “extremely satisfied” with their jobs – a result that points to other types of benefits a job in construction has to offer:
- Getting paid while you learn
- The ability to live and work almost anywhere
- Opportunities to advance in your career quickly
Getting paid to learn
Apprenticeships and internships are plentiful in the construction industry offering a great way to earn while you learn. Internships allow you to explore different areas of the construction industry and earn money for college at the same time. Companies that offer internships – companies like F.A. Wilhelm Construction – often hire their interns as soon as they graduate.
You can also take a direct route to learning a trade through an apprenticeship. With an apprenticeship, you might spend as much as 80 percent of your time on the job, earning an income while being mentored by industry pros. And, when your apprenticeship is over, you will be certified in your trade and ready for a well-paying career.
Great jobs everywhere
While some regions of the country may grow faster than others, the projected growth in the construction industry isn’t limited to any one region – opportunity is everywhere. With new structures erected nation-wide, you can build a rewarding career in the construction industry almost anywhere.
Between the projected growth in the industry and the large numbers of retiring Baby Boomers, construction offers more opportunity for advancement than many other industries. In the next several years, positions will open up at all levels.
Companies today not only want to fill their open positions, but they also want to attract and retain the best and brightest. Successful builders recognize the importance of providing mentorship to promote career growth, and help workers to advance more quickly by increasing your skills, taking on more responsibility – all of which translates into a higher salary.
A closer look
Whether just starting out in a career or looking to make a change, a career in construction is worth a closer look. F.A. Wilhelm Construction, one of the Midwest’s largest employers of construction labor is a good place to start. See below a snapshot of the careers that F.A. Wilhelm Construction employees enjoy.
Senior Project Manager
Michael Greven, Senior Project Manager – “The soft skills are very important in project management. The key is to bring all of the players together to foster an environment where the client’s needs are met and where you move the process forward effectively.”
Megan Young, Marketing Coordinator – “It’s more than boots and hardhats. There’s a whole team behind what’s actually constructed. There’s a big movement to encourage people to think of their skills in construction from a professional standpoint”
Rachel Hobson, Risk Manager – “I touch all the different areas of our business from estimating to operations, accounting to IT. One of the best things about my job is that I get to see most everything.”
Brandon Keller, Project Engineer – “My job involves lots of reading and interpreting drawings. I do contract writing and management, and help process proposal submittals. I also answer requests for information and subcontractor questions and work to ensure that materials are procured and on site to meet the project schedule.”
Virtual Design Construction Manager
Ryan Pearcy, Virtual Design Construction Manager – “There is never a dull moment when working in virtual design and construction (VDC) as it can be applied to virtually every phase of the construction process, whether it be marketing, business development, preconstruction, operations, closeout, or even post-construction. With technology advancing daily, I enjoy not only looking at what’s on the horizon as it relates to VDC but also actively looking for opportunities where we can help other associates in their daily tasks and challenges.”
Sue Booth, Administrative Assistant said in her job, tasks can be routine, but the work is never boring, “You do one job and then you move on to another.” She said the ability to multitask is a must. Computer skills are also important as is flexibility, “You have to be willing to learn as you go because technology is always changing.”
Mary Minor, Wilhelm Safety Coordinator, said a big part of her job is to compare different sets of safety rules and regulations to make sure they are all met on every job. These include complex federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, Wilhelm’s company rules for safety and those of each client – “My job is to make sure everyone goes home the same way they came in every day.”
Kevin Peterson, Superintendent for F.A. Wilhelm Construction, said in addition to having good computer skills, he has to stay up-to-date on all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and guidelines as well as local building codes for every project.
Jay Trauring, Preconstruction Manager for F.A. Wilhelm said his job requires fast thinking and flexibility. “We have to change gears often because we have a lot of jobs going on at the same time. That’s a good thing because you get to see a lot of different aspects of a project. But, you also have to be able to organize your time well.” Trauring said written and verbal communications skills are also important in his job.
Brittney Turner, Wilhelm Controller – “As a controller, I enjoy a broad spectrum of accounting work, including accounts receivables, accounts payable and payroll.” She said her work also intersects with some of the legal areas of the business such as contracting and sales taxes, which makes it even more interesting. “Whether you’re interested in the trades, accounting, marketing, or engineering – there’s something for everyone with a company the size of Wilhelm.”