Written by Joshua Widjaja — Guest Blogger, Firmo Construction
1. Construction is dangerous.
Many safety practices and rules exist in today’s construction environment to mitigate occupational safety risks. The first line of protection for construction workers is their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes hard hats, vests, safety glasses, and kneepads. Additional fall prevention strategies include emphasizing the use of body harnesses, safety nets, and guardrails, all of which reduce the chance of injury from falls. As an added effort to lead our construction sites with safety in mind, Firmo Construction’s safety program incorporates rigorous third-party site-safety audits and requires all personnel to maintain current OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 certifications.
2. Construction is only for men.
Women can take on any role in the construction industry. Misconceptions about gender-specific roles are gradually diminishing with the growing number of women pursuing a career in construction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.9% of the construction labor force are women, up from 9.1% in 2017, signifying a steady increase of women in the industry. Today, the Firmo Construction team consists of 33% women. A unique and statistically irregular occurrence in comparison to the industry overall. It is very important to actively employ more female professionals to bridge the labor gap in the construction field. In a study done by McKinsey & Co., it was found that the most gender-diverse teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than those with less diversity. Our team members are also proud members of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). We believe that these qualifications give us a unique edge in the space, sparking creativity, innovation, and a leading factor in the rapid growth of the company.
3. Construction is an old-fashioned industry
The construction industry is also at the leading edge of technological innovations, including autonomous equipment and drone technology. Funding for U.S.-based construction technologies surged by 324% from 2017 to 2018. One of the most widely used tools is Building Information Modeling (BIM). Thanks to BIM, architects, engineers, and contractors can collaborate and streamline the design, construction, and operations process. Another recent development in the field is the use of drone technology. Many firms, including Firmo, utilize drones for documenting the construction process to detect potential problems and stay on schedule. Virtual Reality has also been found to be a valuable tool to construction managers, allowing for general contractors and the Owner to communicate and view modifications to projects remotely. To reduce safety risks, there has also been the introduction of robots on the field. Now, operators can operate robots from a safe distance and expedite the construction process. The modernization of the industry will bring new career opportunities and pave a safer and more efficient workspace.
4. Construction is only for people who can’t get into college.
There has never been a sentence with more contrast. Although a college diploma is not required for every construction job, there are many that do. Construction goes beyond just the manual and monotonous labor that many people associate the industry with. Building projects require architects, engineers, project managers, and construction lawyers; all of which provide a strong base for a fulfilling career. Because of the expanding demand for experienced craft specialists, college graduates can considerably benefit from the high-paying prospects in construction. Although many teenagers don’t consider trade school, it may be a path worth exploring. Skilled professions such as plumbers and electricians both make an average of $30 an hour. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2022, construction employees average $34.56 per hour, or $71,885 yearly. Construction can be a valuable, reliable, fulfilling, and high-paying vocation, contrary to popular assumptions. Here at Firmo, we are always looking to expand. Please check out our openings here!
5. Construction is a dying industry.
Although COVID-19 slowed down construction projects due to global supply chain issues, there is no doubt that the industry is alive and well. Construction spending is up 12% year over year (March 2022 vs March 2021) and accounted for 1.7 trillion dollars in 2021. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industry is understaffed and will need to hire more than 300,000 workers in 2022 to keep up with demand. Like industries such as farming and agriculture, the construction industry has been here since the beginning of human society. Human civilization relies on the creation of places to live and work and the means to travel between them, all of which rely on construction.
Joshua Widjaja is a guest contributor and a second-year intern here at Firmo Construction. He is currently studying finance at Southern Methodist University and will be graduating in the Spring of 2024.