Skills You Need for a Career in Construction

Construction’s a great industry to work in, but it helps if you can start off on the right foot. Although most jobs give you some flexibility, others may require you to spend a lot of time on your feet or working with your hands. Your ability to succeed in your field depends on the skills that you bring to the table. If you’re thinking about starting in construction but you’re not sure if you’re a good candidate, here are a few skills to develop as you decide.

Problem Solving
Like many jobs, construction requires you to solve problems on a regular basis. Some of them might call for you to act quickly, while others demand a thorough analysis and a careful response. You will need to practice different approaches to common issues in your field, so that you are ready to address them as they come. For example, learning how to handle a minor dispute about the details of a contract may help you to avoid escalating it into a major crisis. Although this is something that often comes with experience, the ability to analyze all sides of a problem and draw the best conclusion from there will make it easier to avoid mistakes in the first few years.

Quick Thinking
In most careers, your decisions don’t usually put your coworkers at immediate physical risk. Construction is somewhat unique in this arena. In many construction fields, the decisions that you make from minute to minute can ensure an ideal outcome for your project, or create disastrous consequences for your business and the people working with you. Quick thinking comes with practicing the job, but also analyzing the risks inherent in any particular task. The more you know in advance, the easier it is to make a decision on the fly, when moments matter.

Good Communication
As the owner of a contracting business, you will be communicating with:

  • Prospective and current clients
  • Subcontractors
  • Contractors
  • Employees

You need to be able to get your point across clearly, simply and in the right format. This means studying up on basic communication techniques for emails, phone calls and even text messages. It also includes developing an understanding of the different methods people use to communicate, and which ones are best for the task at hand.

Math and Simple Accounting
If you were a high school student who wondered when you would ever use math knowledge after school, you might be surprised to discover how much you use it in construction. And it’s not just the ability to determine the correct angle or measure something before you cut it. At first, you might be doing a lot of your own finances for your contracting business. Being able to correctly estimate items on an invoice or figure out how much income you need to balance your expenses is a skill you need for your business to survive. You don’t have to be an expert at mental math. You just need the basics, and the ability to find apps that will help you.

Willingness to Learn
You’ll often hear education experts say that they can teach someone how to do something, but they can’t instruct them how to care about learning it. Although construction is an industry that’s been around for thousands of years, it is in a constant state of change. New technologies, equipment and building practices are always just over the next horizon. This means that once you’ve mastered the skill, there’s a high likelihood that you will need to relearn it in a different way within a few years. The ability to do this, and the eagerness to do so, can help ensure that your skills remain current and that your business can stay relevant with the changes.

Building a career in construction calls for a lot of basic skills that you may already have. To see if you’ve got what it takes to start your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

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Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.