A strong foundation: choosing the right building and construction course
- A growing industry with a strong future
- Flexibility and a wide range of jobs on offer
- Constant learning
- Job security and decent wages
The building and construction industry in Australia is a great area to work, with a growing population and a strong economy meaning the sector has a solid future. Wherever there are people, communities, development and growth, there will always be the need for people to fill building and construction courses especially in and around Melbourne.
One of the great things about a career in the building and construction industry is flexibility. The range of jobs you might do is exciting! You can work on multi-million dollar projects, start your own small business or even work as a sole trader on smaller jobs.
At the end of each project there’s always that feeling of satisfaction that you’ve created something of lasting value. Working in building and construction is a career in which you never stop learning. It’s also one that offers decent job security and the chance to earn well.
So, if you’re keen to work in the building and construction industry, you’re in line for a career that’s both secure and exciting. But to get you there, you’ll need solid building and construction training.
Training for a great career
- Strong need for training and courses
- How to choose from the wide range of courses offered on the web?
Many people are keen to get into building and construction courses that offer an entry point into the industry. And high quality training is really important in a sector where safety and reliable, quality building are so important. Many are on the hunt for job-ready training programs that will give them the skills they need for the building and construction industry.
If like most, however, you use the internet to search for training opportunities, you might be put off by the endless range of courses available. Most of these will offer great programs that promise great outcomes and it’s hard to know where to start.
The big question is, how to pick the course that’s best for you?
What do you want from your training?
- Make a list of your interests and skills
- Decide if you want to focus on one skill or get a broader training
To make choosing easier, first off, decide what you want. To start, you might list your interests and skills to nut out what kinds of roles would suit you. For example, if you’re good at technical stuff and maths, but don’t like the idea of working at heights, qualifying as a roofer isn’t for you.
You may also want to decide whether you’re interested in focusing on one thing, plumbing for example, or gaining a wide ranging training that covers all bases.
Jobs within building and construction
Within building and construction, you’ll huge a wide range of options including:
- building technician
- steel fixer
Other less hands-on roles might include:
- project manager
- building contractor
- quantity surveyor
- site manager
Match your skills or potential skills
- Understand the full range of jobs in the industry
- Understand what each job involves
- Be real about your own skill set
It’s worth getting to grips with what these jobs are like on a day to day basis and whether you’re suited to them, before making your decision. One place to start is to think about your skills set. Here are three examples out of many more jobs on offer and the skills needed:
Bricklayers specialise in building or repairing walls, foundations, partitions, arches, letterboxes and other structures. Most bricklayers will be expected to work from plans and will need to be good at using tools and equipment to cut bricks for use in repairing or building walls and related structures. They should also be skilled at handling mortar and using damp resistant materials to seal foundations and other structures. Bricklayers often have to work at height and need to be physically fit and healthy.
Carpenters work with timber structures in a wide range of projects, from residential to commercial to large scale civil engineering projects. They may perform a number of tasks including: constructing the formwork into which concrete is poured, building floors, wall frames and other key elements of a building. A carpenter will also build floors, wall frameworks (timber or metal), roofs and suspended ceilings, and lay timber floors. Like bricklayers, they also have to work at height and need to be in good physical health.
By contrast, some roles are more about organising and overseeing. For example building contractors are responsible for organising and overseeing the construction of buildings and must be able to use and interpret clients’ plans. They are often involved with arranging tenders and putting together quotes or prices for a project. They also give plans to local councils to authorise and organise inspections of building work. Their day-to-day work might also include working out, costing and arranging delivery of materials and organising and paying subcontractors. They may also deal with financial institutions and legal firms on matters relating to building projects.
- Can you focus on one area of interest in your training or is it more general?
- Can you start by focusing on one area and then build from that?
In terms of building and construction courses that lead to these and other jobs in the industry, if you’re stuck about whether or not to specialise, find out whether a program can be completed ‘bit by bit’, allowing you to either focus on one particular area or build up your modules towards a wider qualification. This will give you the flexibility to complete your training over time, maybe working in between.
Cost and fees
- Shop around and do your homework
- Find out about grants, funding and other forms of assistance
Someone once said that the best things in life are free, but when it comes to construction courses and building courses, it’s not the case! Most courses will cost you money and there may be differences between the fees charged by different providers. So shop around! It’s also worth doing your homework about any grants or scholarships offered by the training organisation or by industry bodies. And of course there is also government assistance available, usually in the form of a loan that will need to be paid off once you start working.
Get a good idea of what these different forms of financial assistance offer and how they work, so you can make a wiser decision. It can be stressful thinking about the amount of money you’ll spend to get you where you want to go, but there’s also an upside. The cost of a course will get you thinking seriously about whether you really want to do it.
Work experience and advice
- You won’t know what a job is like until you have a go
- You’ll get more out of your training
- You may even get advice about how to get your first job
Sometimes in life, the only way to understand something is to experience it. This is true of the building industry, where many jobs are practical and hands-on. It’s also true that the everyday experience of working and the people you’re working with may be very different to how you imagined. Make sure you’re a good fit!
If you have the opportunity to do work experience in an area that interests you, grab it with both hands. Even if the work is unpaid, it’s well worth your time to get a real feel for the job. It will also give you a chance to understand where your skills are most lacking. This means that when you do your building and construction training you’ll have a good idea about what needs to be learned or improved.
Getting advice is another great idea. Talk to friends and family and see if they can put you in touch with people in the industry. You can also ask training providers if they can put you in contact with former students, to either talk to people working building and construction, or to those who have done the course you’re thinking of joining. If you’re really lucky, they may also be able to give you some tips about how they landed their first job after completing the course.
Working in building and construction is a great career. It’s also a serious business; in which poor training and skills can lead to a situation where you don’t feel secure and happy in your work. In order to gain success and a career that lasts a lifetime, you want the best possible building and construction courses out there.
As mentioned the courses on offer on the web all promise great results, but it’s important that they deliver on those promises.
While picking the right program can be stressful and time consuming, it’s also a great learning process that will help you decide the kind of future you want to build in this industry, and the training you’ll need to get you there.