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How to become a Builder or Construction Manager

by Chloe Baird
Posted: December 01, 2020

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**This is an updated post**

For the last five-ten years, Australia has enjoyed a booming building and construction industry. In 2019, there were more than 1.15 million people employed in this industry. That equated to around 9% of the Australian population.

And while the industry has undoubtedly been disrupted by the recent pandemic, demand hasn’t slowed. This means that, despite the temporary upheaval, the industry will be back on track by 2021-22.

Australia’s recovery will be faster than some other developed countries, according to a report by Oxford Economics. The report states that, after a slight drop in growth, the Australian building and construction industry is set to bounce back by 2021.

The report also goes on to state that while other developed countries will see their share of the global market fall, Australia will hold onto its current market share of 1.9% over the next decade.

If you’ve ever thought about getting into the building and construction industry, now’s the time to start studying. Beginning a course now will help you get job-ready for the years ahead when demand increases for skilled workers.

construction manager

Why work as a Builder?

Hardworking Builders are the backbone of Australia’s property development boom.

Building construction jobs are ideal for anyone who enjoys working with tools and machinery.  As a Builder, you could turn your love of DIY into a serious career where you get paid to work on a range of exciting projects. 

One of the best things about being a Builder is that you’ll never have to set foot inside an office. If you can’t stand the thought of sitting behind a desk all day and would prefer to work with your hands,  then this could be the career for you. As a Builder, you’ll spend your days outdoors, and your job will double as a workout routine.  

Another perk is that your days will be varied. On one job, you might work on an urban apartment block, while on another you could be building a house by the beach. No two construction projects are the same, so you’ll get to see different places and work on very different structures. 

Daily tasks and responsibilities of a Builder

A builder’s daily tasks include:

  • undertaking specific construction tasks, including those for low and medium-rise dwellings;
  • reading and interpreting plans, specifications, building codes and other technical material;
  • managing the use of building materials;
  • working with, maintaining and repairing tools and machinery;
  • erecting and dismantling structures such as barriers and scaffolding;
  • cleaning and repairing building infrastructure;
  • assembling and installing fixtures; and
  • excavation work.

Construction site of houses

Employment statistics for Builders in Australia

While many Builders work full-time, there are opportunities for part-time work as well. Builders who work full-time can expect to earn around $1458 a week, according to the government’s Job Outlook website. Full-time workers average around 45 hours of work a week.

Building construction jobs are very much male dominated, but there is an increasing call to action for women looking to enter the industry.

What kind of people make great Builders?

Builders are well-rounded people who are as comfortable taking directions and following set procedures as they are managing their own workload. People who are self-starters and show initiative in their work are in high demand.

If you know the ins-and-outs of working with tools or machinery, you’ll be a valuable asset to the construction site. Anyone without prior experience who is a quick learner can gain these skills for themselves and continue to expand their knowledge by learning from others on the job. 

If you have an outgoing and sociable personality and can motivate others, you’ll also thrive. Teamwork is the foundation of the construction site, and people who are great negotiators are very suited to the role.

What skills do I need as a Builder?

Builders need manual dexterity, coordination, strength and stamina, as well as excellent communication and comprehension skills. Time management skills are also really important. Builders always get things done efficiently and according to schedule. A skillful Builder will also be able to interpret complex information and explain it to others in a simple and straightforward manner. 

Building jobs contain an element of risk, so you’ll always need to keep on your toes and check for any potentially dangerous situations on site. Knowledge of OHS principles is crucial, and once you get to know the ins-and-outs of the construction site you’ll quickly become skilled in identifying any issues as they arise.

Construction Manager

Why work as a Construction Manager?

Construction management is a challenging and rewarding job. It’s the interface of the day-to-day procedures of a construction site and the detailed administrative tasks that go on behind the scenes.

Construction management mainly involves monitoring and controlling the practical operations of building projects. Construction Managers put the procedures into action that fulfill the vision of the Architects and Engineers. They also manage human resources, and take time to get to know everyone working on site so they can act as the channel of communication between Architects, Engineers, Builders and other contractors. 

Although Construction Managers spend some of their time doing office work, their primary workplace is the construction site itself. Like the Builders they supervise, Construction Managers work outdoors at a number of diverse locations. It’s a dynamic and ever-changing job that offers lots of new experiences and opportunities to work with many people from different backgrounds.

Daily tasks and responsibilities of a Construction Manager

Construction management involves highly technical work, including:

  • implementing work procedures;
  • interpreting and explaining building plans to staff;
  • troubleshooting and problem solving;
  • budgeting and managing financial resources;
  • quality evaluation and control;
  • upholding compliance with environmental protection standards;
  • sourcing and supervising the use of building materials;
  • selecting and managing building and construction contractors; and 
  • applying building codes, standards, and structural principles to construction. 

Employment statistics for Construction Managers in Australia

Construction Manager jobs are based on both full time and flexible part time employment. According to JobOutlook, from the Department of Employment, full time employees work 48 hours a week, and the average salary for a Construction Manager is $3450.  

Like building jobs, construction manager jobs are male-dominated, but there are many roles available for women interested in working within this particular field.
 

Building and construction manager

What kind of people make great Construction Managers?

Construction management is a high stakes job with wide-ranging responsibilities. Construction Managers need to be confident overseeing projects, directing and supervising the work of others and motivating a team of people from different backgrounds. If you think you’d enjoy the challenge of this sort of work environment, you’ll find construction management to be a really fulfilling and exciting role. 

What skills do I need as a Construction Manager?

Construction managers need excellent communication and comprehension skills. They also need strong analytical skills such as critical thinking, analysis and troubleshooting. The best Construction Managers pay close attention to detail and can resolve complex problems by thinking through the issues themselves and working with others to find solutions.

A great Construction Manager can accurately interpret technical details and confidently explain them to workmates in straightforward terms.

Like Builders, Construction Managers need to be alert to any possibly dangerous situations on site. Construction Managers will go out of their way not just to learn about OHS procedures, but how to put them into action and make sure everyone is safe at all times. Their ability to watch out and care for others is what makes construction managers such an important part of their team.

How do I become a Builder or a Construction Manager?

Working as a Builder or a Construction Manager means entering a workforce that values its employees and their particular skills. With a positive outlook for growth ,and increasing numbers of jobs available, the building and construction industry could provide you with a stable job that’s also enjoyable, challenging and interesting.

Ready to tap into this booming industry? Become a licensed Builder or Construction Manager by studying a flexible building and construction course online at Open Colleges.

 

Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

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