What are the most important skills for a builder?

Industries have many different professionals with varying backgrounds and abilities. It is this diversity that leads an industry to growth and success, because a spread of this nature exists. 


Having multiple different abilities spread among professionals means that collaboration becomes an important tool. People can refer to their own experience to share and collate ideas that represent innovation and a breath of fresh air.


The construction industry is one that prides itself on a broad spectrum of skill sets. The idea behind having professionals who do not all do the same thing is based upon the need for greater economic outcomes. 


Within Australia, construction is one of the largest industries, contributing a large portion of economic growth and GDP. The continuous stream of infrastructure projects year on year is why the industry continues to grow: people rely on infrastructure whether it be for public or private use. The construction industry holds the key to unlocking this.


There are a plethora of job types within construction. The good thing about this is that no two jobs are the same, which means the tasks and processes involved with fulfilling those jobs could be entirely different. Take carpentry and plumbing for example. 


Whilst both these roles fall under the umbrella of building and construction, they do not actually involve the same work whilst being extremely popular in terms of the most sought after jobs. 


Another important role in construction is that of a builder. A builder builds, of course. But there are many different types of builders. For instance, an owner builder is someone who has the legal right to be able to build on their own property. Or, a professional builder is someone with added responsibility within a construction project; they perform the role of a manager by monitoring workflow and delegating tasks. 


Even though there are many different types of builders, they all should possess skills that surpass other skill sets in importance. Here are some of the most important skills for a builder. 



Physical Ability


It could be said that one of the most important skills to have as a builder is physical competence. Construction is mainly in the market of building and developing infrastructure. Considering this, it makes sense that participants in the industry would need to be adept at handling tasks that require lots of physical labour.


Keeping proper positions and following the right ways in lifting and holding items is key in following safety requirements and preventing accidents occurring from unintended hazards. 


Despite this, not every role in construction is physically demanding. Jobs such as financial advisors are primarily focused on determining the costs and benefits of projects, and forecasting future cash flows to ensure projects run smoothly. 



Reading and Mathematics Skills


Having the ability to build and create manually is one thing. Being competent at reading information is a matter entirely different. You may have skills or gifts in performing the physically rigorous work that building and construction often provides, but if you cannot interpret and understand the technical side, then you have only completed half of the equation.


In saying this, it is imperative for builders in construction to have a firm understanding of maths and literacy. If calculations are not done correctly, minor mistakes can be the difference maker in projects not being completed to a standard fit for requirements. When it comes to literacy, being able to read and write documents, as well as understanding material such as blue prints, you should be developed enough in these areas to be useful in the workplace. Lots of technical information can be part of a construction process, so being able to understand, comprehend and relay information is a skill that should be a necessity. 




Synergy has a strong correlation to success. In the case of teams, when each member contributes more than the minimum, you can expect, more than likely, that you will be putting yourself and your collaborators in the best position to succeed. 


When synergy does not exist, or only exists in spades, deadlines are not met and expectations for completion are far from what was intended originally. It is not only a requirement for the leaders of a project; but the team as a whole. Being able to understand everyone’s role and how to effectively share information, give instruction, explain aspects of the project etc. is how a team is able to reach deadlines and ensure quality and safety standards have been met. Without this skill, construction projects are doomed to fail, as it could require parts of the construction process to be re-done. 



Technology skills


With each passing year, developments in technology become more and more noticeable. In every industry, we are seeing new tech introduced to solve problems, find solutions, and increase workflow. Construction is no different in this regard. Because there is such a reliance on physical ability, tech is making jobs easier by automating tasks and completing them in faster times.


This skill is most applicable to builders with a penchant for tech. Those whose roles revolve around staying updated with the latest developments to ease the construction process. Such technologies like applications with software to enhance processes, artificial intelligence to improve productivity, and even virtual reality, all are being slowly incorporated, and having the skills to proficiently interact with these is a big plus.


For others who aren’t as focused on this type of skill, it is still important to be aware of these developments, and be willing to experiment with some of them. For instance, construction management software is becoming frequently used, and is something that should be learnt if you are working on projects frequently. 





Direction and control is an absolute requirement on construction sites. Without this component, there would be no end in sight when it comes to deadlines and the completion of day by day objectives. 


A leader, such as a project manager or professional builder, must attempt to obtain respect from their colleagues. To achieve this, they would need to have the ability to inspire and motivate, as well as provide constructive criticism where needed. This will allow them to delegate tasks more easily as they have the trust that their colleagues will carry these tasks out. Builders can learn more as they progress through the Australian Qualifications Framework, developing skills in leadership and progressing to roles like the ones mentioned above. 


What is often underrated and pushed to the side when it comes to analysing important skills in construction is emotional intelligence. In possessing a premier level of emotional intelligence, leaders can understand, manage and handle the emotions of their team to make sure that there is a harmonious balance, ultimately aiding the process of completing projects to desired effect. 


In reality, there are many more skills that builders could develop. However, the skills mentioned above are applicable to most if not all professionals of building and construction, and will surely hold you in good stead as you seek to advance your career.


Parker Brent is an accredited provider of courses in building and construction. For more information, enquire here.