Although it feels like construction is going through a lot of changes toward streamlining processes and automation, it really takes many years to drastically alter the function of the industry. You can probably think of many fields that used to include a lot of long work by hand that are now easily done by a machine, in some cases without the careful attention of an expert operator. At present, some jobs may eventually be replaced as a result of automation. Here’s what to watch for, and what you can do once you see the writing on the wall.
Watch Innovations in Similar Industries
Since construction tends to be an industry that adopts technology relatively late, it’s important to keep an eye on what is happening in other similar industries. You can also keep track of the trends in your field in other parts of the country, or in the world as a whole. For example, a burst of development in autonomous equipment in the mining industry made adaptation for the construction industry much quicker. These developments aren’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since so many of these jobs currently go unfilled. But if you want to know what’s going to happen to your job in the next 10-20 years, you should pay close attention to people who do similar types of work as you in different parts of the economy.
Keep Track of Automation-Heavy Fields
Although automation is starting to happen in nearly every aspect of the industry, there are certain fields that are in the process of big improvements right now. Professional trades like:
could have as many as half of their existing jobs automated within the next 30-40 years. That seems pretty far out at this point, but it’s not likely to happen overnight. If you’re planning on going into one of these fields, you may want to pay attention to what experts believe the job forecasts will look like in the next 10 years.
Avoid Knee-Jerk Reactions
When you start to think that your job may be rendered unnecessary, it is tempting to stick your head in the sand and pretend that it won’t happen to you. But this is possibly the worst choice you could make. In industries with rapid development like information technology, people can see their jobs become obsolete within a couple of years. By comparison, you probably have some time to prepare. And if you take that opportunity, you have a much higher chance of remaining relevant.
Study the Latest Techniques
The fact is the technology cannot replace the entire construction industry. There will still be a need for lots of skilled workers who can operate or monitor machinery that produces structures. If you want to have one of those jobs, you need to know how to do these things. Innovations are developing on a regular basis, and what might be a standard practice now could be extremely outdated five years from now. Paying attention to these developments, testing out new techniques whenever you have the chance, and considering adopting them into your business practices gives you the best chance at beating the competition.
Consider Changing Fields
If ever there was a case for expanding your educational opportunities, a change in the construction industry would be it. The last thing that you need is to find yourself stuck in a niche part of your field where you will struggle to diversify your services. Instead, be flexible enough that you can change your business model if it becomes clear that your field can’t sustain the number of workers in it right now. Adding an extra classification to your license or teaming up with someone in another field to provide a more complete service package are a couple of ways you could consider doing this.
Discovering that your intended career is likely to be automated in a few decades isn’t ideal. Making a plan now can help you figure out how to make your business work for the future. To begin on your construction career path, contact CSLS today!