Career advice: What a career as a construction worker is really like

Career advice: What a career as a construction worker is really like
11 December 2018    Holly Royce    0 comments
Attention job seekers! Are you job hunting and trying to decide if you want to work in the construction industry?

Do you think you would like to design, build, maintain or renovate properties? What about working as an engineer, a project manager or a crane operator on a primary construction site? Maybe you’re thinking about becoming a site manager, a steel fixer, a cabinetmaker or stonemason? You get the idea; it’s a broad career field.
If these appeal to you, then you’re probably looking to learn more about precisely what full-time construction work looks like, what kind of hourly rate you can expect and what sort of employment opportunities are available.

Well, for those job searching, you’re in luck! A bunch of construction labourers have opened up about what their lives are like, including training on the job, years experience and education training.

Read More: Career Snapshot – learn about Construction jobs

First up, we have Reddit user 'RooBurger', who had this to say about his chosen profession:

“I'm a mature age apprentice electrician just about to start my third year of a four-year training plan. I work on construction sites, but also do AV installs/call outs in people's houses as I hold an open cablers license.

“I work on new houses, renovations and small commercial construction sites. The builders my company contracts have customers that spend upwards of $10mil on their dream homes. This means my company has to be super flexible and be willing to change a lot of previous work to please the customer and win future contracts from the same builder. The work environment is very much team-oriented.

“As part of the apprenticeship, I have to go to TAFE once a week (which is paid as a regular work day). TAFE isn't much of a challenge as most of the learning occurs on site. There are some tricky subjects like magnetism and three-phase theory, but this is none more difficult than VCE physics (maybe even year ten physics).

"There are young guys (and girls) at TAFE who, in their second year, will make $19/hr working a standard work week of 38 hours, plus other benefits. They have no idea how good they've got it because they've never been unemployed or had to work multiple jobs.

"You're quoted a figure of $60k per year is pretty accurate even for a newly qualified A-grade electrician with extra training (such as data/telecoms). In my experience
, electricians who specialise in one area and have 10+years experience will earn over $85k in the city in Australia.

I’m_whats_seen89 from Reddit enjoys the flexible working roster the best saying:

“Again it depends on the trade; I'm a fitter and turner working in maintenance. I'm on a 12-hour rotating shift roster (days/nights). Rostered on for 12 days a month. Pretty good money (between 80k-110k depending on overtime) with plenty of time off. Can't complain.”

Finally, another Reddit user says he wouldn’t change his job in construction for the world:

“I work as an on-site engineer on a $2bn project. We have about 300 labourers pumping out our building. If you work for the right companies, you could potentially experience some exciting projects. Despite what a few others have said, there is also a lot of room to move upwards from a labourer. If you're good at what you do, you'll be able to step up into management positions once your body starts to give out, as no-one knows how to put a building together better than a guy with hands-on experience.

“You'll most likely be working with some pretty wild guys, but that is half of the fun. As long as you don't take yourself too seriously, you're bound to get along with most people in the industry. If you can't make a joke or two on the chin, you'll get eaten alive. Nearly all the labourers I've met are decent, down to Earth guys who do their job, they do it well, and they have fun doing it.

“As long as you follow instructions, keep safety at the front of your mind, and stay fit (the job helps), you'll have a pretty easy time.”

Moreover, that’s just the experiences and opinions of three people who have worked on construction projects in Australia.

If you’re ready to immerse yourself more in-depth into the world of construction we’ve got something pretty amazing for you to try from the comfort of your own home - it’s a 360 Virtual Workplace experience. It’s a fully immersive, interactive set-up for you to explore the construction industry first-hand. Have a chat with people on the job and see what they have to say about their careers.

Try the 360 Virtual Reality experience here.

Once you’ve had a virtual deep dive, we’ll help you approach a registered training organisation, and provide all the information you could ever dream over - from salary to sector information.

We’ve got you covered.

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