When an average (non-construction) person pictures professionals in the construction industry, a specific stereotypical image comes to mind: a strong, dust-filled man with a safety jacket on. But as the many men and women of the industry know, this is not an accurate representation of the construction industry and the type of work, level of training, and career potential for careers in construction.
Ask someone who’s actually in the industry, and they’ll tell you that you’ve got it all wrong. There’s (many) more than just one definition of what a “career in construction” means. In fact, there are dozens of skilled trades, management positions, design & engineering roles, as well as administrative jobs with plenty of open positions in the industry, no matter your passion.
To prove that the construction industry is more than what it seems, the USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI)* surveyed individuals in the industry to disprove false perceptions.
Jennifer Scanlon, President and CEO of USG Corporation says, “It is important for construction leaders to consider how we can shift the perception of the industry and increase the number of young workers who want to work in the trades.”
We at I Build America – Ohio share her belief. Today, we’re sharing some of those findings to help shift standard perception.
According to contractors, the top three myths are:
- Construction jobs are “dirty jobs”
- Daily responsibilities are all about strength, not skill
- A career in construction is not a viable option, it’s just a “job”
But we’re here to tell you that none of these could be further from the truth. Let’s explore:
Myth #1: Construction jobs are “dirty jobs”
61% reported this is a myth
Sure, manual labor is a big part of many roles within the construction industry, but it isn’t dirty. Skilled trades like Bricklayer and Equipment Operator give individuals the opportunity to stay active and outside on the job while following best practices to ensure safety and cleanliness. But some construction jobs don’t even require you to step foot on a construction site, such as positions like Scheduler and Architect, which are done in an office setting, completely indoors.
Myth #2: Daily responsibilities are all about strength, not skill
55% reported this is a myth
While physical strength is helpful in some positions, it certainly isn’t necessary for most. Specialized skills are far more important than brute strength. Thorough training is required to even be considered for a career in construction and is crucial to long-term career success. Then, every job is an opportunity to hone skills and learn while working. In fact, 37% of respondents reported that gaining skills while on the job is a top reason why they chose a career in construction. They don’t call them skilled trades for nothing.
Myth #3: A career in construction is not a viable option
52% reported this is a myth
A construction industry career is realistic – and lucrative. It’s more than just an in-between filler gig that pays the bills. It offers incredible advancement opportunities, according to 43% of respondents. 70% note the overall earning potential is one of the best parts of working in the construction industry. This is so much more than a seasonal position. A career in construction can help you support a family with excellent ongoing job security.
What assumptions do you have about the construction industry? There’s more to this career than you might think. Learn more on our website.
*The USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI) is a quarterly economic index designed to gauge the outlook for and resulting confidence in the commercial construction industry.