One of the greatest impediments to a smooth career transition is lacking the relevant experience for the new career path. Finding a connection between the construction industry and the new field is a major concern for construction workers who want to go into tech or other industries.
A career change for construction workers presents a unique challenge. The key here is to identify the skills you possess that are transferable to other industries. Once you’ve overcome that hurdle, it’ll be simple to transition to a different career for construction workers.
This article discusses the practical steps you should take to begin your transition. We also examine a variety of construction worker second jobs and show you how well your transferable skills align with the demands.
Career Change for Construction Workers: Overview
Construction workers are responsible for building stunning skyscrapers and monoliths that we see. The industry contributes significantly to the economy and extends to engineering and manufacturing by creating jobs in these fields.
Construction jobs are labor-intensive and demand physical strength and manual dexterity. The activities on a construction site involve cutting, digging, concreting, welding, electrical work, and lifting heavy materials.
While you expend energy, you also work with hazardous materials and equipment. In fact, 1,066 construction workers sustained fatal injuries in 2019, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It also reports that the average annual wage for construction laborers in 2020 was $37,080.
Considering these factors that span from labor duties to work hazards to low compensations, workers are likely to eventually have burnouts, work-induced health challenges, and general work dissatisfaction. As a result, most construction laborers desire a career change at some point.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Construction Besides Construction?
Most employers and construction firms require only a high school diploma from laborers. In most cases, they learn on the job under close supervision. As a result, switching careers to related fields is simple.
For example, if you are a builder, you can become a property developer with no additional training. With your knowledge of building construction, you can help clients develop and manage properties, acquire land, and facilitate real estate deals and projects.
Common Second Careers for Construction Workers
A career in construction has limitless opportunities in various industries. For starters, laborers with some experience in the field could become project managers in the building and manufacturing sectors.
Becoming a furniture maker, real estate broker, or general contractor are also great alternatives. However, if you can develop proficiency in the relevant technical skills, you can transition to the tech industry. Overall, your transferable skills will ensure that you qualify.
The Best Alternative Careers for Construction Worker in 2022
The following are alternative careers for construction workers to consider. Here, you will identify how well you qualify for a wide variety of jobs (related and unrelated). By noting the skills that translate to these jobs and conducting additional research on them, you will have a better idea of your chances of landing one. Average salary information is gotten from Payscale.
High-Paying Jobs for Former Construction Workers
|Transferable Construction Workers Skills
|Technological skills, time management, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, math
|Project management, leadership, time management communication, problem-solving, organization, teamwork
|Communication, problem-solving, teamwork,
|Leadership, problem-solving, time management, communication, teamwork, pressure management
|Math, communication, problem-solving, organization, attention to detail
|Technological, concentration, teamwork, pressure management, problem-solving, depth perception
|Social Media Manager
|Project Management, communication, problem-solving
|Technological skills, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, technological skills
|Real Estate Agent
|Time management, communication, problem-solving, organization
|Problem-solving, teamwork, attention to detail, manual dexterity
If you are interested in tech, this is a viable option. Developers build and maintain websites that are solution-oriented. They also create programs and applications that perform specific tasks. You’ll need strong coding skills for this, which you’re less likely to acquire in a construction career. However, you can enroll in a coding bootcamp to acquire the necessary technical skills.
Your organization, time management, and teamwork skills are valuable for this role. Project managers coordinate operations during the lifespan of a project. They plan, supervise activities, monitor progress, make budgets, and communicate with stakeholders until projects are completed. Earning a Professional Management Professional (PMP) certification will enhance your credentials.
General contractors are critical to the success of any project. Contractors provide clients with raw materials, tools, laborers, and project-specific working and safety equipment. Since you have industry experience, you will understand the market and adequately supply every project need. You can work on construction projects without being a construction worker.
Logistics managers plan and supervise the movement of goods and commodities within an organization. In this role, you act as a middleman and manage various teams to ensure the efficiency of a company’s system. If you have worked in building construction, you would have experience purchasing and storing raw materials for building projects.
Data analysts gather big data and process it for business operations. They can find market leads and improve business decisions by cleaning and analyzing data. It is necessary to have a background in statistical analysis. You can enroll in data analysis courses, but keep in mind that you will most likely start with an entry-level role. Communication and problem-solving are essential skills of a data analyst.
Drone pilots operate drones for different purposes. They are responsible for the takeoff, continuous flight, and safe landing of drones. Your experience as a former construction worker will come in handy when using drones for land surveillance. Although most employers require a college degree, you can supplement your qualifications by enrolling in a two-year degree program.
Social Media Manager
As a social media manager, you will use social media platforms to act as a liaison between the company and the public. Your interaction and engagement with the general public is critical to an online community for the company. Good communication is necessary and good knowledge of project management will be valuable in planning digital campaigns and testing marketing strategies.
Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are responsible for connecting buyers and sellers of properties and ensuring that deals are closed. Since you are familiar with property development and the real estate industry, your construction experience will be beneficial. You do not need professional real estate job training to succeed here. Although, you will need to earn your real estate license.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technicians create solid models of structures using software like AutoCAD. They work with engineers, architects, drafters, and designers to create blueprints and high-quality 3D designs that meet specific requirements. With your experience in the construction industry and the same level of education, you will be successful in this career.
Maintenance technicians conduct frequent inspections throughout a company’s facility, checking for damages and faulty units. They schedule repairs while also incorporating damage prevention measures. No formal education is required, and most employers provide extra supervision, especially for entry-level technicians. In most maintenance jobs, you will learn on the job.
How to Make a Career Change from Construction Worker
Knowing that there are numerous job opportunities available is one thing, but securing one for yourself is another. The job market is competitive in every industry, and if you have little or no experience in the new field, you will face stiff competition. The steps outlined below will help you successfully transition into and land high-paying jobs in your new field.
1. Identify Your Interests
It is always desirable to pursue your passion. While compensation is important, you should also enjoy your job. If you are dissatisfied with your current job, it could indicate that you should change careers. Make a list of the factors that define the type of job you want. Consider work schedules, compensation, growth opportunities, and location.
2. Look For Alternative Careers
Make a list of career options that interest you based on your research. Remember, this list should be heavily influenced by your skills and qualifications. As you explore various careers, note the necessary skills and level of education for each one. Assess your qualifications and match your skills.
3. Consider An Apprenticeship
If you realize that your skill level and experience are less than what is required for your desired career path, you should consider enrolling in an apprenticeship program. You’ll get hands-on experience working with other industry professionals. Alternatively, you can request to shadow a professional for a short period to see what the job entails and assess the daily operations.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
4. Polish Your Resume
After gaining the relevant experience, you can update your resume using a combination resume style comprising a reverse-chronological and functional resume format. It is beneficial to emphasize your skills before focusing on your work history and experience. As a resume tip, ensure that your resume is tailored to the job description.
5. Apply For Jobs
After you’ve narrowed down your options to a specific career, you can apply for jobs in that field. Big companies usually have a career page where they regularly post job openings. Career fairs are also great in this regard, as are job boards like Glassdoor and Indeed.
Is It Time to Make a Construction Worker Career Change?
Making a construction work career change is entirely up to you. If many concerns surround your career in construction, it’s probably time to make a change. However, whether you are moving to a new city, starting a new job, or changing careers entirely, there are always risks associated with your decisions.
Nonetheless, acting without adequate preparation will be detrimental. Learn the necessary skills, begin an apprenticeship, prepare your resume, and apply for jobs in your new field. By following all of the steps in this guide, you will be prepared to start a new chapter in your career.
Construction Workers Career Change FAQ
There is always stiff competition for most job openings. It is even more difficult if you lack relevant experience. As a construction worker, ensure you identify your transferable skills and, if possible, enroll in apprenticeship programs to gain the necessary experience. Identify your barriers and be proactive in your preparation when challenges arise.
In most cases, you don’t need another degree. Most employers are more concerned with your skills and experience than your degrees. While degrees improve your chances, they aren’t necessary for a career change. However, if the new field you’re pursuing is completely unrelated to your current career, you might want to consider earning a relevant master’s degree.
Absolutely. There’s a wide range of tech jobs available for construction workers interested in the tech industry. You can attend a coding bootcamp to develop and master the necessary technical skills.
First, evaluate what you are most passionate about. Then research career options that align with your career goals and values. Consider pursuing an apprenticeship, bootcamp, online course or trade school. Update your resume to highlight your qualifications before applying for jobs. With these steps, changing careers should be easy.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.