For a couple of years, construction experts predicted that construction would reach a peak in 2019 and then trend slightly downward. Of course, that is not quite what happened. In the wake of the pandemic, as the world is starting to come back to a new normal, construction is surging. Yet, the labor force is not sufficient to meet it. Here are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you’re thinking about starting a career in construction this year.
The Labor Shortage Depends on the Field
In an industry as large as construction, which employs almost 8 million people nationwide, quantifying the labor shortage is complicated. Experts estimate that the shortage approaches 500,000 workers at this point, and could reach 1 million by the end of the year. But you’ll notice differences depending on the region and the type of construction, as well as the individual fields. For example, interest in new construction for residences expanded last year beyond what experts were expecting. This means that construction companies building homes had more demand than commercial construction.
Skill Development Is a Necessity
It’s tempting to think that if there is such a labor shortage in construction, all you need to do is show up. And while it is extremely important that people make the decision to pursue work in the industry, skill development is also a necessity. After all, when all those electricians and engineers from previous generations decide to retire, those positions will become open for people who are coming in with the right training. Certain fields are badly in need of candidates who are willing to put in the time necessary to pick up the expertise.
Experience Is Key
Of course, in order to take advantage of the flood of new construction jobs, you need to build the right kind of experience. If you want to take the contractor licensing exam, you usually need to prove that you have about four years of experience in the field. College degrees may be able to cover a portion of that, as well as additional training. But the good news is that everybody else getting in on the ground floor is going to face the same obligations. The sooner you start, the sooner you can build the qualifications necessary to get your license.
You’ve Got Room to Grow
When you have a growing industry like construction, you should know that the labor shortage often exists vertically and not just at the entry-level. This means that if you are interested in upward mobility, there may be roles that you could get as you build experience and credibility. If you’re looking for a career that allows you to move upward into construction management or executive positions at large construction companies, now may be an ideal time to start showing what you can do.
Now’s the Time to Get Started
The flow of the construction industry can be cyclical at times. People will move into the fields that are the most in-demand. Otherwise, the industry will shrink somewhat without them. There will always be a need for construction, but the number of people in the industry goes up and down with that demand. Right now, you have an excellent opportunity to enter the field just as businesses are desperate to hire people who have the right skills and dedication. This means that you might be able to secure a reliable job and build the foundation for a great career you could have until you retire.
The construction labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon, and it might even be getting worse. With a contractor license and the right kind of exam preparation from CSLS, you could be setting yourself up for a lifetime. For more information, contact us today!