Making a career change into the construction industry
When you’re thinking of changing your career, it can feel like a daunting decision. However, if you’re coming from an existing job, chances are you have a wide range of transferable skills, things you have learned or had training in that will make transitioning into a new job far easier.
A career in the construction industry is exciting and you can find a wide variety of roles to suit your existing skillset, from design to IT, management to office-based, with everything in between.
This article will list some of the roles available to you if you’re thinking of switching your career to a job in construction, but don’t worry if you can’t see one that works for you as there’s a full list here.
Transferring your skills into the construction industry
It’s important to remember that skills are often transferable from one job to another, even if you don’t initially think so. But if you can manage a team in one place, chances are you can do it in construction too, plus many office-based roles have similar admin tasks that you will have been trained to do.
It’s exciting to think that you already have what it takes for your job in construction, you just need to shift your perspective to the new industry you’ll be working in.
Switching to a management role in construction
Every construction project requires management. From checking materials to managing contractors, there are many roles available for experienced managers.
Commercial managers take responsibility of budgets for large-scale construction projects. If you’re already handling business finances or making sure work stays on track to reach a deadline and goes financially smoothly, you will easily fit this position.
The role of a compliance manager is for anyone with experience in making sure professional standards and regulations are met. If you already work to make sure health and safety, environmental policy, or legal requirements are being followed, this role is for you.
Senior managers oversee all kinds of teams involved in construction, so management experience is easily transferable from another role. If you’re already leading and helping projects stay on track, you can switch to a career in construction quite easily.
Career change for IT specialists
If tech is your passion, there’s a lot of choice in construction. More buildings are designed with high-tech software than ever, plus there’s space for engineers and IT support workers on almost every construction project.
IT support analyst
Every business needs IT support, for telecommunications, computers, WANs…. the list goes on. If you’ve managed IT systems in your existing or past roles, you’ll already have what it takes to be an IT support analyst for the construction industry.
The role of a BIM technician is all about technical drawings and designs which eventually become construction builds. If you have experience in tech-based design work such as CAD drawings, you’re already on your way to making this role in construction work for you.
Civil engineering technician
In construction this is usually a specialised role in either, design, planning or logistics, so experience in any of these areas will help you make the transition. Other skills you may have that will help you in the role of a civil engineering technician are providing technical support and engineering qualifications.
Careers in construction for designers
Every construction project will begin with its design. Creative minds are needed across the industry to keep pushing the boundaries of what a building or infrastructure can achieve, its impact on the environment and how it will affect the people using it, whether you’re designing homes, offices, retail parks or roads. Design roles are varied and will allow you to flex your creative muscles for a variety of projects.
In the role of a principle designer within construction, you would coordinate technical drawings and plans to help keep everyone on the same page including architects, structural and service engineers, and specialist designers. If you have a design background you could work towards the management element of this role.
Any work with 3D or animation design will give you a good chance of moving into the role of a 3D visualiser from a different industry. Creativity is a key element, and an interest in architecture is also helpful of course.
CAD operators will work with 2D and 3D drawings, helping to translate them into building designs and diagrams, so a creative mind will help. If you have worked with technical diagrams or design programs in any industry, it will help you in this role too.
Careers for people with a manufacturing background
Manufacturing is a big part of construction projects, with materials and parts needing to be in the right place at the right time to make a build happen. If you’re already involved with logistics, moving or purchasing goods, you have what it takes for a career in the construction industry.
Managing the movement of goods takes organisational skills and an ability to juggle tasks as you oversee things coming in and going out of a warehouse, factory or office. This skillset is easily transferable from any number of industries to a role as a depot manager in construction.
Logistics and plant manager
Plant managers are found in a lot of other industries besides construction, meaning you can easily transition with the experience gained in a role elsewhere. Logistics is similar as it is making sure documents and goods are tracked properly, a useful skill for any role.
A background in finance or managing budgets would be a perfect starting point for moving to the role of purchasing manager within the construction industry. It’s a vital role involving contracts and material procurement, so experience in either will be beneficial.
Office-based construction careers
There’s often a team of office-based staff supporting every aspect of a construction project, from finance to human resources. If you are already working in this kind of role you are more than ready to do it in construction too.
Administrative roles are important across all industries, often underpinning the smooth running of everything from design to construction site access. If you are organised and detail-oriented, working in admin is for you.
Human resources personnel
Wherever people work, you need human resources. From recruitment to managing day to day issues amongst staff, this is a role for anyone interested in managing people and helping a business run smoothly.
Blueprints, technical drawings, contracts…. if you keep any paperwork organised and controlled as part of your existing role, you will fit perfectly when moving this across to construction as a document controller. You’ll work with a lot of different people, from architects to surveyors, making sure that documents are up-to-date and managed efficiently.
Find out more about careers in construction
From mythbusters to inspiring blog posts, we have plenty of information about careers in construction for you. Or, if you’re ready to start searching for roles right away, head to indeed.com’s construction job search results or the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) for exciting new opportunities across the industry.