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Jonathan's Senior Project Research Paper


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Jonathan's Senior Project Research Paper

  1. 1. Haynes 1Jonathan HaynesMs. TilleryBritish Literature28 October 2011 Working in the Construction Field The Contractor/Construction career field has been a vital part in the development ofinfrastructure in cities and towns across the world all throughout history. The contractor isresponsible for supervising the construction project and seeing that everything gets done as theowner wants in the appropriate time frame while staying at or under the budget if possible.Though some do most people don’t start out as a construction manager, many get their start as aconstruction tradesperson so they can get on the job training. The construction field is alwaysgoing to be a big part of any society, and requires time and training to make it to differentpositions in the construction field. Someone that wants to be a construction manager doesn’t usually start out as aconstruction manager. Many get their start working for a construction manager as a constructiontradesperson. Here they would work on the job constructing the buildings with the team andgetting experience on the job site. In order to work in the construction field, one needs to possessa number of skills. A few attributes that are important to have to be a construction tradespersonare to have good communication skills and work well as part of a team (ConstructionTradesperson). These skills are important because while on the job site one might be having toshout out measurements to the other workers or just communicating about the build in generaland needs to be comfortable doing so. Along with that one needs to be physically fit and havegood hand-eye coordination (Construction Tradesperson). Almost always will someone working
  2. 2. Haynes 2in the construction field be working outside in the weather, sometimes year-round, so it will beessential that they are fit enough to work all day and be able to perform the tasks at hand. Toperform these tasks it is important that one also has the appropriate training. One of the best methods of training for the construction field is to get on the job training.Occasionally a High School Diploma is all that is required to get into the field but more oftenthan not a construction license is required. An apprenticeship program or a tech college is greatmeans of learning about the field and getting prepared with all the necessary information tobecome a construction tradesperson (Construction Tradesperson). With a career field such asthis, it would be very useful to get all the experience and knowledge possible so that one can beready for what the construction field throws at them. Schooling and on the job training willfamiliarize one with the kind of tasks one would expect working on the job. Construction tradespersons or carpenters perform a wide range of tasks while on the jobdepending on their branch of construction/carpentry. Construction or carpentry, work can bedivided into two categories—rough carpentry and finish carpentry. Rough carpenters often workoutdoors where they begin projects using unfinished wood and other building materials. Theyframe houses, build scaffolding, and make forms to be filled with concrete. Forms are used tomold concrete for bridges, highways, and house foundations. Finish carpenters include thosewho cut and fit doors, windows, and interior molding. They also build and install cabinets, layhardwood floors, and panel rooms (Carpenter). A construction worker needs to be comfortableworking with power tools and possess an understanding of how to read blueprints because thesetasks make up much of what one would do in this field. Once one gets lots of experience inworking as a construction tradesperson they will be more than ready to begin training to be thehead of crew as a construction manager.
  3. 3. Haynes 3 Typically once one gets lots of experience as a construction tradesperson they will beginthe proper training needed to become a construction manager. In order to become a constructionmanager or contractor, it is almost required that one goes to college. While a bachelor’s degree incivil engineering or a related field is often required, some do though enter the field after years ofexperience in one of the construction trades, while others have an associate degree inconstruction management or civil engineering technology (Construction Manager). Going tocollege is important because all the skills and knowledge needed to be a contractor can’t belearned on the job. Much of it requires taking programs to learn it. Many colleges anduniversities offer 4-year degree programs in construction management, construction science, andconstruction engineering. These programs include courses in project control and development,site planning, design, and construction methods and materials. Business and financialmanagement programs are needed because being a contractor is a business that one needs toknow how to run (College Grad-Construction). One also needs to know building codes andstandards as well as inspection procedures to see that the structures get built correctly.Contractors are the head of the building crew and it is important that they have the appropriatetraining to manage the crew and have a successful business. Through these programs one canacquire attributes and abilities that will be very helpful as a contractor. Contractors need to possess certain attributes and abilities to be able to perform their jobat the highest level. Some abilities come natural to people while others can be picked up throughtraining and schooling. The typical contractor needs to have good communication skills andwork well as part of a team (Construction Manager). These are important because the contractoris the head of the crew and needs to be able to communicate with his workers and see that thestructure gets built properly. Other abilities are being detail-oriented and organized, as well as
  4. 4. Haynes 4encompassing problem-solving skills (Construction Manager). Organization is very importantbecause the contractor is in charge of blue-prints and many documents pertaining to the job andit’s vital to not lose them. Contractors need to have good problem-solving skills because moreoften than not they will run into a problem with the design of the structure and they need to beable to come up with a quick solution so that not too much time is lost, while keeping theintegrity of the design. Once a contractor harnesses these attributes, they will be more than readyto perform their everyday tasks while on the job. Construction managers coordinate and supervise the construction process from theconceptual development stage through final construction, making sure that the project getscompleted on time and within budget (Construction Managers-BLS). Some of the core tasks thatcontractors perform during the beginning process of a build are meeting with clients, architects,and engineers to plan the build and create a schedule (Construction Manager). The contractorneeds to meet with these people because the contractor is going to be the one in charge of theconstruction of the structure and ultimately the finishing of it, so they need to make sure theblueprints for the structure meet code and that the contractor’s crew will be able to finish theproject within schedule. Finally the contractor will calculate materials and labor needed for thebuild, create a budget, and then track spending. The contractor will buy construction materials,arrange equipment rentals, hire trades-people and lastly supervise the jobsite to ensure work isbeing done right and to keep everyone on schedule (Construction Manager). Therefore thecontractor has a ton of responsibility on them from the beginning to the end of the job. Multiple factors can play into how much money a contractor makes. Most contractorsearn between $50,000 and $150,000 a year with a median of $84,000 a year. The salary ofcontractors depends on how much experience they have, how many projects they have at a time,
  5. 5. Haynes 5the size of those projects and how well the economy is doing (Construction Managers). Thelocation of the projects can also affect the salary of contractors because if one is building in moreexpensive areas of the country they can ultimately make more money off the builds. Thereforethe salary of contractors depends greatly on multiple scenarios, mainly though the economy andhow high the demand is for contractors. The employment opportunities for contractors through 2014 are excellent because thenumber of job openings will exceed the number of qualified individuals seeking to enter theconstruction field (College Grad-Construction). The construction of 1,000 single-family homesgenerates 2,448 jobs in construction and construction-related industries and as the economy getsbetter the demand for more homes will go up increasing the need for workers and thus creatingjobs (About the Home). Therefore someone looking for a career in the construction field as acontractor should not be apprehensive about it because the job outlook for the future looks good. Anytime someone goes outside they are sure to see the work of a construction workersomewhere around them. Construction is one of the most important parts of the development ofcities and towns across the world. Homes and buildings everywhere would be almost non-existent without construction and the construction workers. With the many opportunities in theconstruction field and the great out-look for it, the construction field is a very important aspect ofinfrastructure and will always be the reason for the structures everyone sees each day.
  6. 6. Haynes 6 Works Cited“About the Home Building Industry.” Home Builders Institute. N.p., 2006. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <>“Carpenter.” 2007. Career Information Center. 9th ed. Vol. 4. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 34-36. 13 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <>“Construction Manager.” Career Cruising. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. < 4220-8fe3-3c538fae4536-&OccNumber=65&Language=English>“Construction Managers.” College Grad. N.p., 2011. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <>“Construction Managers.” Occupational Outlook Handbook. 2010-2011 Edition ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. < ocos005.htm>“Construction Tradesperson.” Career Cruising. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. < 49d9-8fa5-51b198aed67b-&OccNumber=113&field=AtaGlance>