6 Myths About Working in the Construction Industry

6 Myths About Working in the Construction Industry

Often as early as high school, students are encouraged to figure out their career path. Everything from lawyer to doctor and teacher are what initially come to mind, but construction careers seem to be further down on the list. While those are excellent choices, construction jobs shouldn’t be a last resort option. In fact, there are many reasons why construction should be considered first when searching for a thriving career path. Unfortunately, due to myths and misconceptions surrounding the industry, many miss out on this great career choice. Today, we’d like to debunk some of those myths and show you why a career in construction shouldn’t be thought of as a fallback choice.

1. Construction jobs don’t pay well.

Pay is always going to be top of mind when choosing a career path, but you may be surprised to learn that construction jobs offer great pay. Like many jobs, you’ll likely make less in the beginning but can easily work your way up. U.S. construction laborers earned a mean hourly wage of $18.22, with wages ranging from $10.34 to $30.09 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Annual wages range from $21,510 to $62,600 and can increase into the six figures for highly trained and skilled workers. Construction workers earn more per hour than many university graduates while avoiding the student loan debt that comes with a degree, an additional benefit to the great pay. Even better, workers are paid to learn through on-the-job training and employers often pay for continual training.

2. Working in construction is a dead-end career.

There’s no shortage of career advancement opportunities in construction, especially with continued training. Depending on the field you choose, you can easily gain new skills and work your way up the ladder. These jobs often promote from within so the longer you’re with the company the more likely you’ll earn a promotion and a higher salary. For example, construction project managers have a median salary of $82,790.

3. There’s no job security for construction workers.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Construction is a multibillion-dollar industry with a high demand for workers. Because so many believe these misconceptions about construction careers, there’s been a shortage of workers. In addition, its workforce is aging faster than any other industry in the country. By 2026, 20 percent of all construction workers will retire, making the demand for skilled workers high. Also, with the great diversity of skill sets needed, opportunities for career advancements will always be available, and you can likely crossover between different careers within the field allowing you great job security. This high demand for workers means if you’re interested in working in this industry, now is a great time to get started.

4. Construction work is boring.

Construction constantly requires workers to think outside the box. Each site brings new and interesting challenges that demand critical thinking and a problem-solving mindset. Constructing buildings big or small requires excellent math and reading skills. From accurate measurements and calculations to anticipating safety risks and more, it’s more than working with your hands. A job in construction offers a great sense of pride. You can drive by a completed project and say that you had a hand in its creation. For instance, imagine meeting the happy owners of a new home that was constructed by a team you worked with. Knowing that you helped create a beautiful building, home, or road for someone else to enjoy is incredible.

5. Construction work is incredibly dangerous and “dirty.”

Not every job in construction is dangerous or requires you to work in “dirt” or even outside at all. Several positions within the industry are done in air-conditioned offices and require little if any use of construction equipment. However, if you choose a job that’s a bit more hands-on, know that safety is a top priority on construction sites. Not only are safety standards and regulations put in place but employees are regularly trained on these standards. Workers can also expect safety measures with their equipment because many have built-in safety features. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics states that fatal work injuries in the private construction sector have decreased every year since 2006.

6. It’s a man’s industry.

The construction industry is for everyone! Women actually make up a large percentage of the workforce with more and more entering each year. Several groups like the National Association of Women in Construction and Women in Property advocate for women wanting a career in construction. This industry offers virtually no wage gap for women. Compared to the U.S. average of 84%, women in construction earn 99% of what their male counterparts make. The construction industry offers a rewarding career path for both men and women.

7. Construction is harsh on the environment.

It’s often thought that the construction industry can be harsh on the environment because it seems that some materials aren’t recyclable or they release carbon dioxide. This is not always the case. The construction industry is constantly creating new technologies to support sustainability and environmentally friendly designs, according to Hitchcock & King. “Construction covers all aspects of building design, including ecology, energy use, pollution and waste management,” according to Hitchcock & King. This means construction workers can make the world more sustainable for future generations.

A career in construction doesn’t have to be perceived as a last resort. Instead, it should be seen as a rewarding career path full of opportunities to learn new skill sets and advance. If you’d like to start your career in construction, let us know why you’d love to in the comments below. And, if you'd like to start your construction career with Dream Finders Homes, check out our current open positions and apply today!

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