2022 has so far been a year of change. Many things have happened which have changed the societal landscape for better or for worse. It is evident that we are still reeling from effects, whilst also dealing with new things as they come to light.
One of the more large-reaching impacts that have come this year is the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020 and 2021, we dealt with numerous cases, and subsequent lockdowns to quell the spread. What resulted from this was the economy taking a significant hit, with unemployment rising and industries shut down. People needed to work from home, and those who could not were unfortunate.
One of the industries most affected by COVID-19 was the construction industry. This makes sense considering the fact that much of the work undertaken in construction is of a physical nature. It is not something that is easily translated into an environment where you can work from home.
Numerous projects of differing sizes, whether they be commercial, residential or domestic, had to be halted. This helped to increase the unemployment rate as many were without work.
2022 has been a healing process. Even though the after effects are still being felt, there are many positive signs. The Government is putting more time and resources into ensuring that the economy gets back up on its feet. Industries are now somewhat thriving, and bringing more people back to the workplace.
Construction is not different. There has been a lot of effort put into ensuring the industry returns to form, with much of the federal and state budgets allocated to future construction projects designed to improve the quality of life over the long term.
But how does this affect you as an aspiring builder? Well, what it shows you is the difficulties faced by the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the industry has picked up in the aftermath.
In previous years, it would not be surprising for you to have little confidence in entering the industry based on the pandemic. However, now there is much room for optimism. The opportunities are endless, and are designed to give you the best crack at developing a career within the construction industry.
This begs the question of whether it is worth it to become a builder in 2022, with the answer provided for you in this blog.
The industry today
Before going into the why, we need to delve deeper into the what. What is the status of the industry? The overall health, intertwined with current and future prospects? As mentioned earlier, 2022 has been a year of recovery. In accordance with state issued rules relating to COVID being removed one by one, this has had a sobering effect on the economy.
Whilst some industries thrived during the pandemic such as goods and services delivery, others were quelled completely. Construction falls under this category. Much of construction work is physical. The Construction industry is focused on the construction, demolition, renovation, maintenance or repair of building and infrastructure.
You can see why the industry was affected so much. This work cannot be translated in any way. But despite this, the industry has slowly been picking up. Federal and state governments have put significant effort into helping the construction industry get back up on its feet. After all, it is one of the largest in Australia, which means it has a large hand in economic growth.
As part of this expansive boost, efforts are continuously being made to bring more people into the industry. This forms part of the argument that it is definitely worth it to become a builder in 2022.
There are ample opportunities to study and develop skills in a specific trade, whilst taking advantage of a pre-existing skills shortage which has not been evaporated. The industry is in need of more developed professionals, and what better time to take advantage as an aspiring entrant into the industry than right now?
It would be remiss to use the industries’ current status as the only argument for why you should become a builder in 2022. In reality, there are many more points to be made. We can divide them into opportunities and threats.
There are a plethora of pathways in the building and construction industry, and becoming a builder is one of these pathways. There are minimal barriers to entry, and you can get started regardless of your skill level. You could have some knowledge, or you could have none at all. But in truth, this does not matter! What matters is your dedication and interest in becoming a builder, which is what separates those who are successful and those who are not.
The opportunities can be looked at from two angles: education, and jobs available.
Opportunities – education
Beginning with education, the construction industry follows the Australian Qualifications Framework, which specifies the standards of education in Australia. There are a total of 10 levels, ranging from the first, being Certificate I, and the tenth being the Doctorate level. Each level represents an increase in difficulty of content.
In the construction industry, there are a number of courses which are made for aspiring builders to thrive in. many of them hover between the Certificate III, IV and Diploma level. As an example, a common course is the Certificate IV in Building and Construction.
The course consists of 19 units. From these 19 courses, 11 are core units and the other 8 are elective units. The topics covered include but are not limited to:
- Applying building codes and standards to construction processes
- Managing occupational health and safety (OH&S)
- Conducting on-site supervision of projects
- Reading and interpreting plans and specifications
- Arranging for building applications and approvals
For those looking to become builders in 2022, this course is a great starting point. This is for a number of reasons. Whether you have minimal or no experience, you have the chance to develop a baseline of knowledge and expertise in one course which would normally take you much longer to develop had you began at the Certificate I level and slowly progressed from there. You also do not necessarily need to progress further in studies from this point, as you can instead enter the industry and look for employment if you feel you are ready.
There are many more courses you can do to become a builder, and by developing your knowledge you are giving yourself every chance of being successful in getting a job and having a well-sustained career.
Opportunities – jobs
The other component is employment opportunities. As a builder, there are many professions you can go into within construction. The term “builder” is subjective in some sense. This is why there is much to explore. Here are some of the roles you could apply for.
Building and Construction Manager
A Building and Construction Manager is like any other manager who oversees the entire process of a project, in this case construction. Everyone on site looks to them as the leader who delegates tasks and ensures work is smooth and completed on time. A Construction Manager must be able to:
- Manage and organise resources of labour, allocating workers to the right tasks to maximise efficiency
- Deal and consult with experts in Architecture, Engineering, Trade etc.
- Ensure adherence to legislation and construction is of required standard
- Submitting plans to local bodies
Another role you could seek to gain employment for as a builder is the role of a Professional Builder. Also known as a Project Builder, this job involves planning, organising and controlling construction projects for dwellings and other buildings. Labour resources must be continuously accounted for, ensuring appropriate people are working in the right capacity, and capital resources such as materials, plant and equipment must be procured. Other aspects of this role include:
- Interpreting architectural drawings and specifications
- Ensuring projects are completed in a timely and costly manner
- Overseeing the standard and progress of the work of subcontractors
The demand for workers in this role is quite high. Evidence points to the contributions a Building Associate can provide in a construction project. Building Associates have numerous tasks, such as aiding construction managers, architects, and surveyors in the planning and organisation of projects, and analysing and elucidating plans, regulations and codes of practice. The also role offers more technical aspects, such as:
- Assembling initial sketches, working drawings, specifications etc.
- Assembling, editing and revising plans, maps, charts, drawings etc.
- Collating data utilising surveying instruments and photogrammetric equipment
Further specialisation is applicable to this role. For example, you could become a Building Construction Supervisor, which focuses on the planning and organisational aspect of being a Building Associate and assuming greater leadership responsibilities. Or, you could become a Clerk of Works, whereby you would work to ensure standards of safety and quality are being adhered to. This could include conducting inspections on site and juxtaposing completed works with original drawings and specifications.
What we can draw from these jobs, and many more, is that as a builder you are not pigeon holed into one area. In fact, there are many different jobs you could end up doing. This is one of the reasons why you should become a builder in 2022. There is plenty of flexibility.
When it comes to the negatives, there really aren’t many. And even the ones that exist are minimal. They reflect cons that are experienced by everyone in every industry. For one, is the path to becoming a builder arduous? This thought goes through most people’s minds, and why not? To become a builder you need to sacrifice time and effort. But what doesn’t require time and effort, especially with regards to dreams and aspirations?
Another concern could be whether the construction industry will pivot towards utilising more technology to replace human capital. This is a somewhat valid point, however no amount of machinery or automation will eradicate most jobs in construction as they require a personal touch. In addition to this, as a builder you will have opportunities to explore different roles, which will give you an indication of what you like or don’t like.
It is absolutely worth it to become a builder in 2022. While the industry is expanding, there is no better time to get started and become part of the construction industry as a certified builder.
Parker Brent is an accredited provider of courses in Building and Construction. For more info, enquire for more details here.