Construction workers help create new infrastructure and maintain the buildings, roads, and bridges that keep our economy humming along. As times change, the skills needed in the construction industry develop along with the tools and processes used. Workers today use many of the skills commonly required of construction workers in the last century in addition to advanced techniques developed in the past few years or decades. Construction workers in the future are likely to need even more highly developed skills for an ever-changing workplace.
Many of the construction worker skills required today have deep roots in American and international history. The ability to read and follow blueprint instructions is one of the most important functions of construction workers and has been for quite some time. Mechanical reasoning skills are thus one of the greatest skillsets that future workers can start developing now. The ability to follow instructions and make adjustments and measurements as needed will ensure the flexibility needed on future construction jobs.
Managers and business owners in the construction industry are acutely aware of the apparent skills gap in the country. Many skilled labor jobs are available now despite high unemployment rates because few people have the skills required to fill the available positions. Technical skills have become paramount for the operation of heavy and specialized machinery commonly used in modern construction. These skill requirements are likely to continue to increase over time as better and more powerful tools continue to emerge. Learning how to operate specialized equipment can give workers and companies an edge in the construction world.
Construction worker skills also include greater levels of communication than ever before. Developing communications skills, including the ability to easily read and understand memos as well as communicate with others on the job, gives both current and future workers the ability to quickly understand and react to changes in the workplace. Clear communication helps reduce the likelihood of errors or potential safety hazards arising from a lack of information, and the ability to communicate effectively ensures that foremen and supervisors can keep their work crews on track.
Modern construction workers use many of the same skills as those in earlier eras, but advancing technology demands new technical and communication abilities. Mechanical reasoning remains one of the most important skills that any construction worker is likely to rely upon on a regular basis. Developing these three skills can provide an excellent foundation for work in modern construction and on future projects. As time and technology advance, workers are likely to continue to face evolving skill requirements. Construction workers who focus on mechanical reasoning, technical, and communication skills are likely to help bridge the skills gap and make the most of opportunities in the future.
(Photo courtesy of marin / freedigitalphotos.net)
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