What’s it really like to work in construction? There are many common perceptions and stereotypes surrounding the industry, but many of these don’t reflect the reality. Let’s take a look at some of the most common construction myths and discover the truth about working in this varied and rewarding field.
“Construction work is easy”
There’s a perception that anyone can get a job in construction – that it’s a last resort for those who are unemployable elsewhere. And while entry-level jobs are certainly available to those prepared to put in the work, that’s not to say it’s a walk in the park. Working in construction is full of challenges both physical and mental: depending on the job role, it might involve planning a project, operating complicated machinery, solving unexpected problems or ensuring compliance with health and safety laws.
“Construction workers aren’t educated”
Many people think that construction work isn’t for university graduates. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. While you don’t need a degree to get started in the industry, roles in civil engineering, construction management and surveying are all great ways to use highly advanced technical skills acquired at uni. Of course, university isn’t the only way to get educated, and many people working in the construction industry undergo most of their training on the job – while getting paid at the same time!
“Women don’t work in construction”
Construction is still a male-dominated industry. But times are changing fast, and today more women than ever before are choosing careers in the field. More work still needs to be done in order to create a gender-equal environment – but the more female role models there are working in the industry, the more they are slowly changing the perception of construction as a male-only field.
“Working in construction is dangerous”
A building site packed with hazards doesn’t sound like a tempting place to work. So it’s a good thing that construction is actually a safe and well-regulated environment for employees. Yes, jobs in the construction industry may involve anything from working at height to detonating explosives – but it’s also a field where risk assessments, health and safety regulations, and protective equipment are routinely employed.
“Construction is bad for the environment”
One of the biggest construction myths is that it is harmful to the environment. But the vast majority of modern buildings are designed to be sustainable and energy-efficient – all the way through from construction to completion. The industry is working hard to promote a green approach to construction, taking account of the impact of new builds on the local ecosystems and taking measures to protect the environment.
“There is no career progression”
Careers in construction can go sky-high! There are satisfying career opportunities at every level, with the chance to develop your skills through dedicated courses or on-the-job training. At the start of your career, an apprenticeship is a great way to gain the knowledge and skills you need to progress within the industry. Supervisors and project managers often work their way up from junior roles, while further and higher education can provide the extra training required for many high-powered construction professions. Even if you don’t stay within the industry, the experience you gain will stand you in good stead for the next step in your career.
“All construction work is hands-on”
Spending all day outdoors in the cold, getting your hands dirty isn’t for everyone. But there are many careers in construction that allow you to work indoors. Careers as a cost estimator, project manager or architect all involve a balanced mix of desk work and site visits – so life is never dull and no two days are the same.
Jobs at Hollywell
With these construction industry myths thoroughly debunked, perhaps it’s time to take a look at opportunities to work in the industry. At Hollywell, we welcome talented and enthusiastic people who enjoy a challenge. Fancy joining our friendly team? Check out the latest career opportunities at Hollywell.