Are you interested in going into construction as a career? If you intend to work your way into the industry from the ground up, you'll first need to find a company with construction jobs available to newcomers like yourself, and that can be easier said than done. Many construction companies prefer to stick with the workers they already know because reliability is key to staying on schedule and under cost. But it's still possible to break into the industry if you are willing to put in the work or ask around. Here are some tips to keep in mind when trying to land your first job as a construction worker.
Educate Yourself on Specific Equipment or Get a Specific License
You usually don't just see "construction worker" in a job listing in this business. Most construction companies are looking to fill specific openings and might want someone who knows how to operate specific equipment. You could consider going to trade school to learn how to use specific tools or equipment that will make you more useful in the construction world or apply for and receive a specific license to operate certain heavy-duty vehicles, as this will make your onboarding process much easier. If a construction company is hiring for a project that's about to start or already underway, the less on-the-job training they have to do, the more likely they will be to hire you because they know they can just plug you right in and put you to work.
Get an Apprenticeship if You Have No Previous Experience
What if you don't have any special skills or licenses but want to get started right away? Some construction companies do offer internships or apprenticeships for certain projects. Understand that you won't get the drive the big rig on the first day and that you'll likely be moving a lot of materials back and forth or maybe just swinging an ax or a shovel around. But if you aren't afraid of a little hard labor, you can likely get your foot in the door and start making connections.
Ask Friends and Family Who Do Other Manual Labor Jobs for Help
Speaking of connections, it might be beneficial to reach out to your current contacts, even if you don't know anyone who works directly in construction. If you have other family and friends who do manual labor, they might know someone who can put you in touch with a local construction firm. Word of mouth can be big within the construction industry, and you might be able to get an opportunity if someone will vouch for your work ethic or ability to meet deadlines.