How do I get started? The pathway into residential construction


Working in the residential construction industry is a rewarding and fulfilling career. Building and renovating homes provides a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day when you can see the work you’ve done. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in construction, here are some steps you can take to get started: 

  1. First, consider what area of residential construction you’re interested in. Maybe you’re interested in framing up walls and roofs, perfecting drywall, building cabinets, plumbing, or electrical. Check out this page for various different jobs that go into building and renovating homes. Once you have a clear idea of what area you want to work in, research companies and job opportunities in that field to get a better idea of what employers are looking for and what you can expect from that job. 
  2. Research education and training options. Depending on the career path you choose, you may need to complete formal education or training programs. For example, if you want to become an electrician, you will likely need to complete an apprenticeship program. If you are interested in project management, you might consider earning a degree in construction management, though working your way up through experience on a jobsite is another way to learn the skills needed 
  3. Gain practical experience through internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions. This will give you hands-on experience and help you develop the skills you need to succeed in the industry. 
  4. Consider obtaining relevant certifications or licenses. Many construction positions require specific certifications, such as OSHA safety certifications or equipment operator licenses. Obtaining these certifications can make you a more desirable candidate for job opportunities. 
  5. Network with professionals in the industry. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with individuals on LinkedIn. Building relationships can help you find job opportunities and learn from experienced professionals in the field. 
  6. Develop a strong work ethic. Those who work in residential construction expect the people working alongside them to carry their weight and be productive. Being punctual, reliable, and willing to work hard will set you apart as a valuable team member. 
  7. Learn technical skills. In addition to practical experience, it is important to develop technical skills such as reading blueprints, understanding building codes, and using specialized tools and equipment. Consider enrolling in vocational or technical schools to gain these skills, or be open to learning them on the job.
  8. Build a portfolio and/or a resume. Creating a portfolio of your work can help showcase your skills and experience to potential employers. Include photos and descriptions of projects you have worked on, as well as any awards or recognition you have received. You should also have a resume that lists the jobs you’ve worked and the skills you have that make you a good candidate for the job you want. 
  9. Consider entrepreneurship. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you may consider starting your own construction business one day. This can be a challenging but rewarding path that allows you to be your own boss and take control of your career. Most company owners get their start learning a variety of tasks on the job before going out on their own when they feel they’ve learned enough to succeed.  
  10. Stay up-to-date with industry trends. If you do hope to run your own company one day, you’ll likely want to stay current with new technologies, materials, building techniques, and even sales and marketing practices in an ever-evolving industry. Attend industry conferences and seminars to stay informed and learn from experts in the field. 

In conclusion, getting started in the residential construction industry requires a combination of practical experience, technical skills, and a strong work ethic. By figuring out where your interests are, building a portfolio/resume, and getting some hands-on experience, you can build a successful and fulfilling career building and renovating homes. 

Learn more at #CareersInResidentialConstruction