How to Advance Your Construction Career: The Ultimate Guide

Published Categorized as Project Management
Group of Construction Managers

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Construction jobs are always high in demand, and there’s no sign of job security leaving any time soon. Those who’ve chosen construction recognize the broad possibilities of the career path; You can end up stuck in the same job for decades or move upward to make more money and work on bigger projects.

To advance your construction career, you need to learn to work on a wide variety of projects, build your rapport with clients, and stay within the safety parameters. Remember to adhere to deadlines and never go beyond the set budget. Keep an eye out for new opportunities and ways to get promoted.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about advancing your construction career:

  • How you can manage time and budgets easily
  • Different educational pursuits to consider
  • Methods to grow your client base and get more opportunities
  • Various tips to get promoted or find higher-paying construction jobs

Broaden Your Skillset

Construction jobs are far from rare, but they’re known for offering decent pay right away. Nevertheless, you can get stuck in a dead-end job without getting a promotion or raise for countless years. The best way to combat this common issue is to broaden your skillset and learn more about the industry.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. The Birmingham Group suggests finding a mentor to help you with the job. Construction jobs range from building houses to pouring concrete and more. If you want to learn more about the industry, then find someone who’s been doing it for a while. A mentor could be a family member, coworker, boss, or someone else with the necessary skills.
  2. Develop your skills with whatever you’re good at. Are you a pro when it comes to keeping things level? Then continue to hone the skill so you become irreplaceable. You should be the guy or gal that nobody wants to have to get rid of. If you’re unable to be fired, you’ll have leverage for raises.
  3. Figure out what needs improvement. Regardless of the industry, we all have something that’s a bit more challenging then it should be. Maybe you’re not the best at jack-hammering for countless hours. If you want to get better at this skill, then find bodyweight exercises and techniques to hold the tools better.
  4. Remember that customer service is a skill. Talking to clients is something that’s invaluable in the industry. In the next section, we’ll breakdown everything there is to know about your future clients and social interactions.

Constantly Build Your Client Network

Many people pursue construction jobs because they don’t have to deal with people as much as someone in retail, restaurants, and so on. However, if you want to advance your construction career, you should know that social interaction is an absolute must.

Customers are the lifeblood of construction. They’re practically your boss, even if you have your own business. When a customer needs something to change, then it’s up to you to accommodate their needs.

Building your network includes interacting kindly with new customers to make them repeat purchases, keeping an eye out for ads in the paper, and setting up a website for your business.Websites should have a sales page that tells customers everything they need to know about your business. What services do you offer? Do you have any warranties? Does your company offer competitive pricing? These details can build your network and gain new clients without much work upfront.

Put Safety At the Front of Your Concerns

Safety is a huge concern when you’re working around power tools, ladders, and heavy equipment. While construction is often viewed as a dangerous job, proper safety standards have made it a thriving business. In other words, you can be safer as a construction worker than driving a car, flying in a plane, and so on.

Safety needs to be at the top of your priorities, whether or not you own a business. If you’re the boss, then it’s your responsibility to keep your workers safe. On the other hand, if you’re working for a company, then you need to preserve yourself for long-term working.

Try these tips:

  • Wear back braces, such as the Ergodyne ProFlex 1650 Back Support Belt, to prevent muscle cramps and joint pain. It has adjustable compression straps for comfort and mobility on the job.
  • Always bring a hardhat, even if the job doesn’t call for it. Protecting yourself from head injuries is incredibly important while working in construction.
  • Consider switching your shoes out for steel-toed boots. Cinderblocks, bricks, concrete, wooden slabs, and other heavyweight items fall all the time when you’re at a job site. Protect your feet with steel!

Work as a Team, Not an Individual

Even if you’re more worried about progressing your own career rather than your coworkers’ careers, you should do your best to work as a team. Teamwork shows your manager that you’ve got what it takes to be a leader.As a boss, you’ll have to manage everyone below you to ensure that they’re working well with each other. Jobsite complaints and coworker stress can ruin a bid. Do your best to get along with everyone, even if they’re not easy to deal with!

Another notable benefit of teamwork is that you’ll finish the job quicker. Rather than dealing with various mistakes and arguments, you’ll be able to get paid, get home, and get started on bidding for another client’s job.

Note: Working as a team doesn’t mean you can’t shine in the eyes of customers and management. You’ll show that you’re versatile in different working environments and with all types of people. This tip goes along with building your client network.

Consider Furthering Your Education

Michael Page mentions that furthering your education can open up more opportunities in the construction industry than you might think. Contrary to popular belief, you can go to college to become a construction worker. Many people tend to think that they have to choose college, trade school, or construction.Degrees in mathematics, coding, science, and other fields can become essential as a construction worker. Math shows you how different angles work, coding can help you with the architectural aspect of the job, and science details the study of how different materials withstand weather elements. You’ll also know how strong they can be.

You can either go to trade school (electricians, plumbers, and many other trades are useful in construction, go to college for a two-year degree, or get a four-year degree. All of these routes will improve your chances of getting hired, raised, and promoted. You could also get a business degree to start your own company.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of opportunities and benefits of furthering your education as a construction worker. If you want to learn how to find better jobs in the industry, read on.

Always Be on the Lookout for Better Opportunities

As with most other career paths, there’s almost always something better around the corner. The main reason that people who choose construction end up feeling stuck without enough pay is that they’re getting too comfortable. Unfortunately, being content with your situation means you won’t notice better opportunities.

You might be able to start your own business, get a promotion, or switch companies. If you’re changing from one job to another, make sure that you stick around for a couple of years to build rapport. The last thing you want is to look like you’re unreliable to future employers.

On that note, you should do your best to ask about raises annually. Ask for more than you want, that way your boss will lower it to an acceptable amount. For example, if you want $5 more an hour, ask for $7.50. Who knows? You might get everything you’ve asked for!

Most managers don’t want to offer raises if their workers aren’t asking for it. They know that they can get away with keeping the pay low, so why would they offer more?

It’s important to remember that you won’t get a raise if you’re not a hard worker. Before you go asking for more money or promotions, you should analyze your work ethics and productivity. If you’re satisfied, you’re free to ask around.

Review Your Company’s Vertical Movement

Are you thinking about asking for a raise or a promotion in the near future? Before you run up to your boss and make these requests consider this: Do you know anyone who’s gotten these wishes granted recently?

Some companies are notorious for refusing to raise or promote their workers. The process of working upward in a company or getting raises is called vertical movement. When you notice that your company won’t promote anyone around you, or that they haven’t in several years, then it might be time to call it quits.

It doesn’t hurt to ask, but don’t expect to get the demands granted. You should always have another job opportunity lined up before you quit your current job. Not only does it keep you financially stable, but it also shows your current employer that you mean business.

Gaps in job history could prove negative to future clients. If you have a solid history without unemployment time, you’ll have better chances of getting hired or signing more customers to a new job.

Work with Your Customers’ Needs

It might be hard to meet the demands of picky customers, but that’s all part of the job. If they’re a bit needier than other customers, you’ll likely have to push through the tension and finish the job. Make sure you set clear standards to avoid doing unnecessary work.

Try these simple customer service tips:

  • Before you sign the contract, meet the customer at the sign and verbally detail every part of it. Show them where you intend to put different structures, how much of each material will be necessary, and so on. This step can help you avoid an unwanted confrontation.
  • Warn the customer of hidden fees and taxes. On that note, never give a construction bid without adding taxes to the total. Some customers will feel that they’ve been cheated if they go to sign a contract that’s more than they expected.
  • Bring your customer to the job site regularly. Consider weekly or bi-weekly visits so they know how each step is coming along. If they don’t like something, you’ll be able to fix it before it becomes set in stone.

Set a Budget and Stick with It

The Birm Group states that sticking to a budget is often the key to getting happy clients and repeat customers. As mentioned above, hidden fees become a nightmare for customers and construction workers.

When you make a budget plan with a customer, do your best to stay within the guidelines. There’s always a way to work around something. Make sure you have every possible issue mapped out and accounted for before you get the contract signed.

In many cases, a contract is non-negotiable. If you or one of your workers makes a mistake, then the expenses will come out of your pocket. Rather than breaking the bank on every job, it’s a smart idea to add a bit of a service charge on top to account for the possibility.

Time Management is Key

Much like the budget, you always need to stick with your time schedule. If your client expects the project to be complete in four weeks, then try to have it done in that exact timeframe. Failure to adhere to deadlines will result in negative reviews and a bad sale process.

The best way to manage your time as a construction worker is to beat the traffic, plan your day, and box each project.

Here’s how you can make that happen:

  1. Wake up early. As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm”. If you want to win the bid, get to work on time, finish the projects in a timely manner, and so on, you should wake up with the sunrise.
  2. Before you get started with the day, set out a clear plan regarding what needs to get accomplished. Make a mental note that you can’t leave the job site until the project is finished. This kind of work ethic can advance your construction career by impressing managers and clients.
  3. Rather than working all over the place, box off a specific part of the project. If you’re building a house, then focus on the structure before you get started on the yard. Sticking to one piece of the puzzle at a time will allow you to stay on track.

Have a Positive Attitude with Clients

You can probably already assume that clients are pretty important in the industry. When you’re dealing with clients, wear a smile, and have a positive attitude. Even if you produce high-quality work, a bad attitude can make you seem impersonal, preventing you from securing a relationship with the client.

You don’t need to bend over backward to seem excited about the job. It’s just good practice to have healthy interactions that make the customer feel informed and happy about their choice of construction companies.

Also, make sure your coworkers are following the same suggestions. Everyone needs to seem personable when they’re at the job site. Again, there’s no need or desire for over-the-top theatrics. As an integral part of the team, it’s your job to promote a positive working environment.

Set Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals

According to Monster, setting business or educational goals as a construction worker always leads to success. Don’t sit around waiting for things to happen or expect to get a raise by sitting around not asking for it.

It helps to take a pen and paper and create a daily, weekly, and monthly goal schedule. You could take it a step further by planning out your goals for one, five, and ten years down the line. The point is that having goals as a construction worker will keep you on track for your vision of success and workplace happiness.

Your list of goals could include asking for a promotion or pay increase by a certain date, dealing with X amount of new clients every month, or creating a specific part of your marketing plan. Whatever you do, don’t waste time avoiding goals and expecting something to come from nothing!


If you want to know how to advance your career as a construction worker, then you need to focus on clients, teamwork, and goal-oriented work ethics. It’s an excellent industry for thriving success, but it’s equally as easy to get stuck in a rut.

Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • Construction workers should consider going through a trade school or college for a degree.
  • Safety and customer service are far more valuable than most workers think.
  • Continue to grow your skill set and work on every part of your work habits daily.
  • Keep an eye out for new job opportunities, and don’t forget to ask about raises and promotions.
  • Settings goals will allow you to stay on track to succeed as a construction worker.


By Giovanni Valle

Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.

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