Being a builder is a constant process of learning. Once you become a builder, you don’t simply stop developing. Every project, every task and every interaction with other construction professionals is a new experience. What you gain from these experiences will help you to make your career in building and construction worthwhile.
Part of this includes the skills required to perform your role, along with the skills you might not have but will inevitably make you a better builder. Developing and subsequently leveraging these skills is crucial to becoming a trustworthy and reliable builder.
In this blog, we cover some of the main skills you should prioritise as a builder to further your career in construction.
This is quite clearly the most important aspect, because it relates to the entire question. Without knowledge in building and construction, how will you function in the industry? Levels of building knowledge will differ for many. For example, a construction manager would be required to know most aspects of building knowledge to effectively manage a project. In contrast, an electrician is only responsible for being proficient in their area of expertise.
Engineering is also important with regards to this skill. This is key when considering the physical and technical parts of construction, particularly when analysing complex projects.
Most roles in construction are reliant on being able to complete feats that require physical strength, endurance etc. after all, behind structures are people who used considerable strength and stamina over a long period of time to complete the task. Maintaining proper positioning and using correct methods in lifting items, holding things together etc. is paramount to upholding safety requirements and preventing accidents occurring from unintended hazards.
With that being said, 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.
This skill can be applied to your process in obtaining a job within construction. 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.
There are many examples of technology that you can leverage. For instance, Business Information Modelling (BIM). One of the most significant benefits of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is improved collaboration. BIM allows all parties involved in a construction project, including architects, engineers, contractors, and facility managers, to work together on the same model. This improves communication and coordination, which leads to fewer mistakes and delays. BIM also allows for real-time updates, which means that any changes made to the model are immediately visible to all stakeholders.
When all parties are working on the same model, it eliminates the need for multiple versions of the design and reduces the risk of errors. This is especially important when it comes to coordination between different disciplines. For example, architects and engineers need to work together to ensure that the design is structurally sound and meets all of the necessary building codes. BIM makes this coordination much easier by allowing all parties to work on the same model and see how their work fits into the overall design.
BIM also allows for real-time updates, which means that any changes made to the model are immediately visible to all stakeholders. This allows for quick and easy identification of any potential issues and helps to prevent delays. Additionally, BIM models can be used to track the progress of the project and identify any issues that may arise during construction. This helps to keep the project on schedule and within budget.
Reading and Mathematics Skills
Being able to physically perform tasks is one thing. Being able to interpret information is another. The physical side of construction is one part of the equation, and the other is actually being able to understand the processes behind the physical aspect.
Hence, it is imperative for those working in construction to have a strong grasp 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. On the literacy side, being able to read and write documents, as well as understanding material such as blue prints, is very important. 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.
Direction is needed on construction sites. If there wasn’t someone in this position, it would be very difficult to complete, let alone get started on projects. A leader, such as a project manager or professional builder, needs to be able to gain the respect of his 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.
Emotional intelligence is a significant part of leadership that many do not realise. By having a high 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.
A construction team working in tandem requires everyone to be in sync. If this is not the case, deadlines will not be met and final outcomes may be unsavoury in comparison to previous expectations. This is not just incumbent on the leaders of a project; but rather the entire team. 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.
With relation to leaders, they have the most responsibility in ensuring communication is understood when relaying information. By ensuring everyone is on the same page by communicating effectively, leaders can save themselves trouble and hassle by ensuring a smooth process.
Teamwork directly feeds into communication, which is discussed above. Communication falls under the umbrella of a larger skill known as teamwork. It would be remiss to suggest that construction is a one man job. Every builder on a project is expected to work in tandem with each other to achieve a common goal; this is to achieve the impression of a team with synergy. A team in sync can generate internal motivation between each person to work faster whilst producing a higher quality of work. Without this synergy, a host of problems can become evident.
It should be clear why teamwork is such an important skill to have as a builder. Difference makers can vary, but this is one difference maker that really stands out when projects are undertaken, and is a large part of reviewing how successful a project was in meeting proposed outcomes.
These skills are tailored to improving your skills in building and construction and will help you to seek more demanding roles and take on more responsibility. Whilst there are more skills that could be developed, you will find that these skills are the most important to reaching your career goals.
If you are interested in learning more, please enquire now!