A Cutting-Edge Industry with a Depleting Workforce

While in high school I remember a reoccurring theme, go to college so you won’t have to “dig a ditch” for the rest of your life. The dig a ditch was referring to anything in the blue-collar industry. It is as if society classifies the construction industry as something to avoid, and viewed as an uneducated lowbrow industry.

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Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth, the construction industry is full of intellectual, creative, and innovative individuals. It is an industry where the extremely ambitious can go from un-educated laborer to multimillion dollar business owner in less than 10 years.

Disclaimer: I work in the construction industry and have dug a ditch, as well as helped estimate proposals for million dollar contracts, installed complicated lighting control systems, watched a $70 million dollar project be built on BIM, and have never had an identical work day. 

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With an average construction worker’s age of 42 and a lack of appetite for millennials to get their hands dirty, those who do join this rewarding industry are setting themselves up to acquire skills that will be scarce in supply over the next 40 years and their value to construction companies will be in high demand.

Another misconception is that the construction industry is primitive and lacks true innovation. Those people have clearly not stepped on a construction site lately, just like all other businesses if there is a faster, cheaper, and more efficient way of doing something then that is the only path forward.

  • Slowly robots are taking over repetitive and simple task.

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  • A 30-story building can be assembled in 15 days

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  • Tools now have wireless tracking and nearly every corded tool is being replaced with longer lasting batteries.

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  • Companies are now acquiring and analyzing data to help make better estimating and management decisions.

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Being a skilled craftsmen is only one part of being successful in the industry, you need a backbone and thick skin. A majority of workers are Type A personalities: competitive, outgoing, ambitious, impatient and/or aggressive, you need to be able to deal with that and keep a level head.

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