Though not as common as it was in the past, becoming a construction worker is still a strong career option for many people.
Simply put, this career path is diverse and can be financially rewarding for people who don’t have a lot of tech-based skills.
If you’re interested in a job in construction but still aren’t sure if it’s right for you, here’s what you need to know.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Construction Worker
- Cons of Being a Construction Worker
- 1. Physically Demanding Work
- 2. Potential Health Problems
- 3. Low Salary
- 4. Working Outdoors in Bad Weather
- 5. Down Seasons Limit Earning Potential
- 6. Short-Term Contracts May Require Frequent Job Changes
- 7. It Takes Time to Master This Profession
- 8. It Might Be Dangerous
- 9. Remote Work is Not Available
- 18 Pros and Cons of Being a Construction Worker – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Construction Worker?
Pros of Being a Construction Worker
The construction career field provides many pros and cons that make it a great option for the right person.
The right person is likely to thrive in this job environment and enjoy its unique demands, particularly if they already have some building skills.
Here are several advantages of this career that may appeal to you if you’re interested in trying it out.
1. High Job Demand
Construction work is one of those jobs that’s just never going to go away.
It can’t be replaced by robots or AI, meaning your job security is pretty high.
Furthermore, there’s a good demand for this field throughout the market.
For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that construction work is growing as fast as average, meaning new jobs will be available for you.
2. Physically Rewarding
Are you someone who likes to stay in great shape or who hits the gym regularly to build muscles?
You won’t have to worry about that when you work in construction!
You’ll be on your feet all day, working muscles you didn’t even know you had and boosting your overall health.
Typically, this benefit is huge early in your career, before you start aging too much.
3. Working Outdoors in Beautiful Weather
Have you worked in indoor environments and hated how cooped up you feel?
You’re not alone: many people simply don’t like office jobs or working in buildings.
Thankfully, you’ll get the chance to work outdoors as a construction worker, including spending time outside on beautiful, sunny days while everyone else is stuck in their home or office, wishing they could get out.
4. Casual Work Environment
Do you want to work in a low-key or even casual environment where you feel more comfortable being yourself?
You may enjoy construction work because there’s usually no dress code, and you can dress in comfortable and casual clothing.
That’s a great benefit for people who don’t like the idea of being forced to wear clothes that don’t appeal to them.
5. No College Debt
College debt has become a serious problem for many young people and has impacted the economy in big ways.
Do you know how you can avoid debt entirely?
By not going to college and starting a career in construction!
Construction workers don’t need specialized college degrees and can often walk right out of high school onto a job site and get to work.
6. Chance to Make a Difference
Though you might not think of this fact immediately, construction workers do make a pretty big difference in their community.
For example, you’ll get the chance to build new homes for people to improve their lives in many ways.
Furthermore, you can improve your community with renovation projects that upgrade old, decayed buildings and make them more attractive.
7. Learning Many New Skills
When becoming a construction worker, you’ll get the chance to master many new skills that can make this career very rewarding.
For example, you’ll learn how to build various items, like garages, buildings, and much more.
In this way, construction work can be a great training ground for people who want to master more complex building skills for at-home renovations.
8. Surprisingly Fun for Some People
Though you might not think of construction work as fun, there’s a good chance you could greatly enjoy yourself in this field.
For example, you might make new friends on the job with whom you can hang out.
Furthermore, the more casual environment of construction work means you might joke around and have a lot of opportunities for laughter together.
9. Potential for Starting a New Business
Are you interested in starting a new personal business to make even more money?
Construction work is a great option here because there’s a heavy need for workers in this field.
Once you have mastered the basic skills and made connections with various potential customers, you can start a new construction firm and watch your earning potential expand considerably.
Cons of Being a Construction Worker
For the right person, a construction worker job is likely the best option for their career.
However, there are many negatives to this position that may drive away some people.
You need to understand these potential concerns if you’re interested in this job.
Here are some of the most concerning issues that you need to keep in mind before applying for this job.
1. Physically Demanding Work
While lots of people enjoy the physically demanding nature of construction work, it’s definitely not for everybody.
For example, you might find yourself exhausted at the end of every shift, particularly on extensive and challenging construction jobs.
As a result, it’s important to be in great shape before working on this job to ensure that you can handle its unique demands.
2. Potential Health Problems
As a construction worker, you’re going to be working for long hours in physically demanding work.
While you’re young, that work is likely to be invigorating and exciting and even good for your body.
As you age, though, you’re likely to start noticing some negative effects.
Construction workers often experience high levels of chronic pain and other health concerns.
3. Low Salary
Now, construction workers aren’t necessarily paid poorly, but they’re also not making a ton of money.
According to some sources, the average pay of a construction worker is $40,135, with the highest pay being $44,559.
In some areas, that might be a livable wage.
However, it’s much harder to live comfortably on that wage in most parts of the nation.
4. Working Outdoors in Bad Weather
Now, we know that we mentioned working outdoors as a benefit of this job previously.
However, it’s important to note that you’ll also be laboring in bad weather at times, including rain, hail, and snow storms, as well as on very hot days.
For some people, this uncomfortable working environment may not only be unenjoyable, but problematic for their health.
5. Down Seasons Limit Earning Potential
The funny thing about construction work is that your wages are likely to be high when you’re working, but you’re probably going to have significant down time.
For example, if you live in a very cold part of the nation, you’ll likely get laid off until it warms up again.
While you can collect unemployment during these times, your checks will be much smaller.
6. Short-Term Contracts May Require Frequent Job Changes
Typically, construction workers have short-term contracts with clients that force them to change jobs frequently.
While your boss may hire you long-term, they’ll typically have to bid on and get construction jobs to stay busy.
In bad economic times, these gigs might be harder to find, and you could struggle to make a living wage in this profession as a result.
7. It Takes Time to Master This Profession
Didn’t we just say that you don’t need specialized college degrees to work in construction?
It’s true, but you do need to have on-the-job training to get better at this career.
Simply put, you can’t just walk onto a job site and expect to be immediately skilled.
This lengthy apprenticeship period can be frustrating for many people and requires you to stay dedicated to your job.
8. It Might Be Dangerous
Unfortunately, construction work is not only hard on the body, but can be dangerous in some circumstances.
For example, you’re likely to be working on roofs and in other problematic areas, which could put your health and life at risk.
Furthermore, not all construction firms follow proper safety laws, which could put you at even more risk.
9. Remote Work is Not Available
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people saw their jobs going remote and ended up working at home permanently.
The same can’t be said of construction workers.
As you can imagine, you simply can’t do this kind of work remotely.
That might not be a big deal to people who enjoy working outside of their homes, but it should be addressed here anyway.
18 Pros and Cons of Being a Construction Worker – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Construction Worker
|Cons of Being a Construction Worker
|1. High Job Demand
|1. Physically Demanding Work
|2. Physically Rewarding
|2. Potential Health Problems
|3. Working Outdoors in Beautiful Weather
|3. Low Salary
|4. Casual Work Environment
|4. Working Outdoors in Bad Weather
|5. No College Debt
|5. Down Seasons Limit Earning Potential
|6. Chance to Make a Difference
|6. Short-Term Contracts May Require Frequent Job Changes
|7. Learning Many New Skills
|7. It Takes Time to Master This Profession
|8. Surprisingly Fun for Some People
|8. It Might Be Dangerous
|9. Potential for Starting a New Business
|9. Remote Work is Not Available
Should You Become a Construction Worker?
If you don’t have a lot of specialized skills and aren’t interested in going to college or training schools, you may enjoy this career.
It’s a great option for people who love working with their bodies or who enjoy hands-on work.
Just note that you’re not likely to make a lot of money and may experience some physical complications over time due to the demands of this profession.
Remember: you can always start a business and make even more money in this field.