InTrans / Feb 15, 2007

Careers in construction

Go! Magazine

Work shoesposted on February 15, 2007

Road construction worker (entry level)

Do you like to work outside? Use your hands? Work with equipment? Maybe get a little dirty? In construction, there are lots of opportunities and many different kinds of skills you can learn on the job. You may learn how to finish concrete like Charlie Meyer, drive a ready mix truck, or operate various pieces of equipment.

Basic requirements/qualifications

  • A desire to do the work
  • A willingness to learn (training is usually available on the job)
  • Reliability (you have to show up regularly)
  • For some contractors, you need to be 18 or older

An additional quality that Miller the Driller looks for is a willingness to travel. Some of their projects take a few weeks to several months to complete at locations that are several hundred miles or more from Des Moines.

Project engineer

If you enjoy doing something different every day, and working indoors and outdoors, working for a contractor as a project engineer may be your thing. You’ll be working at a desk sometimes, doing paperwork, making estimates on upcoming jobs, and coordinating and scheduling subcontractors (like underground construction). You may also be in charge of field survey operations. You’ll help oversee the actual construction of a project, like a bridge or a stretch of road, and see it completed.

Basic requirements/qualifications

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering or civil engineering. In high school, take as many math and science courses as you can so you’re prepared for the college engineering courses.

By Rema Nikalanta

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