11 Nov

Inside look at construction careers
Posted by: Alain @ 10:03 pm

This article is to look at the various career choices inside the construction industry.  I’ve had a chance to interview several professionals in their expertise.

1. Estimating

Salary range?

80-90K in 10 years

What do you like about your job?

I like the freedom that a smaller company provides, I wear many hats all related to the estimating position.  my job provides a rewarding opportunity.

What do u do (describe position)?

After receiving and reviewing a request for proposal from a client, I solicit to vendors and sub-contractors.  Once the drawings and specs are out for bid, I then dive into them and scope the complete job out.  it’s like going through the drawings with a fine tooth comb.  If certain scope is not clear than I would either put in a request for information or exclude it.
How long was the training?

Training was for about 2years.  I was lucky to have worked for one of the best firms in the business before they were ousted from the industry
What kind of crudentials, certicates , degree etc do u have?

I have a masters degree in civil engineering
What do u hate about being an estimator?

Not be able to know where my submitted number lies ( too high, too low ).  In the private industry the numbers aren’t revealed, so you never know for sure how to adjust future bids.

What would you advise people who are still in school or looking to become an estimator?

School has taught me that there is nothing that I can’t achieve.  Ironically the first time I took estimating in college I had to withdraw from the class because I almost failed.  Although schools give you a good theoretical foundation it can’t be at all compared to real life experience.

What has been one of the most rewarding events in your career?

Winning my first competitive bid, it was small but man what a high!
What has been one of the most challenging events in your career?

Getting laid off and having to re-establish yourself all over again.  Hardship builds strength if you don’t let it destroy you.  It’s through the hardships of the industry that I taught about definitely pursuing my own business, and I never looked back.

How long have u been an “estimator”?

Although I have been in the industry for ten years, I’ve been  an estimator for seven years.  I started out in the field as a CAD manager/ project engineer
What would you say are some prerequisites of your position (any specific training or positions that may be required)?

Good understanding of geometry, being redundant and persistent

2. Scheduling

Scheduling is the ability to list all the construction activities required to complete a construction project.  The critical path method plays an essential part of the constructibility of the project by determinating which activities may lead to catastrophic results if delaid.   A scheduler is required to be an expert in the various software applications on the market.  Here are a few: Microsoft Project, Sure-Track, P6.

Salary range?

70-80k in 7 years

What do you like about your job?

I get to schedule, which is like mapping out a project.  If a construction project was a car then the schedule would be like the navigation process of the car.  working independently most of the time is enjoyable and the ability to creatively build a project from scratch.

What do u do (describe position)?

I schedule projects for a transportation company. Updating, reporting and managing them.  A schedule can predict the future of the construction process.

How long was the training?  2 weeks

What kind of crudentials, certicates , degree etc do u have?

BS in Building Construction and LEED AP

What do u hate about being a “position”?

Don’t have the freedom to make the big decisions.   After all a schedule is only one component of the construction process.

What would u advise people who are still in school or looking to become a ” scheduler”.

Be confident and genuine. Don’t give up, just keep networking.

What has been one of the most rewarding events in your career?

Becoming a scheduler, being able to forecast the constructibility of the a construction project has been richly rewarding.  Taking pride in good work is vital to growth.

What has been one of the most challenging events in your career?

Having to leave a company because the roll I want to fill is not there.

How long have u been a “scheduler”

7 Years What would you say are some prerequisites of your position (any specific training or positions that may be required)?

Experience in CPM scheduling, knowledge of the construction process.

3. Project Management

A PM is the invidual in charge of the entire construction project from start to finish,  they have to be increadible at multitasking.  A great PM has knowlege of scheduling, estimating and the construction process.  if a construction project is  a jungle the PM is the lion.

Salary range?

85k-90k for 16 yrs
What do you like about your job?

The satisfaction of seeing a building that has been completed.
What do u do (describe position)?

Sr. Proj Manager with a Construction Management firm. I perform constructability reviews, manage the construction and building turnover process.
How long was the training?

No training involved here.
What kind of crudentials, certicates , degree etc do u have?

B.S. Civil Engineering; LEED Green Associate
What do u hate about being a “PM”?

Having to be at the becking call of a position and not really in charge of your own schedule.

What would u advise people who are still in school or looking tobecome a ” PM”?

Gain whatever experience you can in the industry to build ground level knowledge.
What has been one of the most rewarding events in your career?

Completing construction on a number of schools for minority children in challenged communities.
What has been one of the most challenging events in your career?

The instability that hovers when you’re in between projects.
How long have u been a “position”? 16 yrs

What would you say are some prerequisites of your position (any specific training or positions that may be required?

No specific training before starting, but a variety of development as you progross through the years is expected

4. Superintendent (coming soon)

5. Purchasing (coming soon)

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