Everyone who works in the construction industry will tell you that the job is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise might be joking, lying, or has never worked in the field for a day. That means construction workers must be energetic, tough, and know the ins and outs of their job. Besides, they have to take safety training, such as OSHA.
The term construction worker covers many roles in the industry but it typically refers to people who perform general construction tasks during a construction project. Some of them specialize in specific areas such as tearing down buildings, building roads and highways, removing hazardous materials, digging mineshafts and tunnels, and laying asphalt or concrete.
Construction workers also use various equipment and tools, such as shovels and brooms, in their work. Some of the equipment may be sophisticated and they include jackhammers, pavement breakers, and surveying tools.
What Construction Workers Really Have to Go Through Everyday
Work in the construction industry is not easy. “Construction workers collaborate with skilled construction specialists but many work alone,” claims Jonny Finity, who has worked in the industry since high school, adding that the workers must read and understand instructions and complete their work without any supervision. “The work of a construction worker is physically strenuous because they have to carry heavy loads and contort their bodies so that they can access hard-to-reach areas,” Finity adds.
Even more, most construction workers work on elevated platforms such as roofs and they must continue working in inclement weather. “They are more worried about the runoff and mud than the snowfall,” says Josh Button, the superintendent of Rangel Construction. “The cold just makes everything hard and slows everything down.” “We bring snow shovels to make sure that we have the snow removal stuff needed because we know we need it,” said Button.
Further, some construction workers are usually exposed to dangerous fumes and chemicals that can damage their ears. To prevent injuries, they have to wear protective equipment, remain cautious, and follow all the safety rules.
Bad Payed and Bad Conditions. A Job You Should Avoid
In most countries, low payment, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions, and meager benefits are evident in the construction industry. Here are some of the reasons you might want to avoid the job.
– The Salary is Very Low
While the salary will help you survive in most parts of the world, it is very low most of the time – especially compared to most white-collar jobs. Most workers make a fraction of what people in other industries make. That means if your goal is to become wealthy, you might need to consider another career path.
– You Have to Get Up Early Every Day
Most construction workers have to wake up very early. On average, they wake up between 03:30 am and 5:30 am every day. However, they get back to their homes earlier than those who do white-collar jobs. “In a normal day, the construction worker will go home at around 2:30 pm but if there are urgent projects to be finished, the workday may start at 4:00 am and end at around 6:30 pm,” claims Emma Stewart, cofounder of Timewise.
– Weather Conditions Will Not Stop You
If there are construction projects within your area, then they have possibly surprised you. The buildings will rise every day and the weather condition never affect the progress. The builders will keep working whether it is raining, snowy, or the sun is very hot according to Elisabeta Danilo, a construction worker. “Unfortunately, the chances of injury and accident are usually high when it is snowing or raining,” she explains. This might be a turnoff for many people.
– You are Prone to Suffer Injuries at Work
As we have stated, working in bad weather conditions will heighten your risks for injuries. The available data shows that the construction industry leads when it comes to severe injuries at work. Being hit by a vehicle or moving object, falling from a building, or being electrocuted are some of the accidents associated with the industry. While not every accident is fatal, workers have to be careful.
– You Have to Lift Heavy Items
It is usual to see skinny tiny people working at construction sites. Every construction worker has to be strong and healthy because the work involves heavy lifting and many hard tasks. While health and endurance will not be a requirement in the job listing and you do not have to mention it in your CV, they are important. Heavy lifting is among the things you will do every day. If you are not ready for that, then the job will be tough.
– It is Problematic for Old People
The physical work expected in construction sites may not be a problem during your youthful years. However, they will be a problem after you get older. Actually, most construction workers suffer physical health issues, including after they quit the job.
Countries Where It is a Good Career Option
If one of your goals is to go on an adventure, search for higher-paying construction jobs, or live in another country, you will have to consider countries that offer better opportunities for construction workers. Construction happens in all parts of the world and all you will need to do is submit applications for construction jobs abroad after you have gained the relevant skills. Here are some of the best countries to try.
- Saudi Arabia
- The United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
Is it a Rewarding Job?
There are many benefits associated with working in the construction industry. Most of the positions pay well and they are fulfilling and exciting. The jobs range from building infrastructures such as bridges and roads to building higher education institutions, meaning that most construction workers are proud of the marks they leave on the landscape and the difference they make in our lives.
What’s more, construction jobs are in high demand, meaning that workers enjoy job security. The industry is projected to grow faster compared to other occupations in the next few years. So, jobs will pop up in all parts of the world. As a construction worker, you will have the chance to build new skills and advance into roles with more responsibility and paying highly.