Look around you. Construction is everywhere. As a career area, it’s almost too big to describe, because construction comprises the whole creation, planning, design and financing of projects from outset to completion. It generates countless jobs, requires teamwork, skill, and knowledge of materials and techniques. Quite simply, construction is one of the greatest examples of human ingenuity and brilliance.

It’s hard to imagine a line of work that’s more exciting to be a part of, and right now Northern Ireland is a fantastic place to be for a career in construction, because of the proud industry there is here, which achieves pioneering work at home and across the world. This seems likely to continue, with statistics suggesting that construction in Northern Ireland will develop at an even greater rate than the rest of the UK over the next two years.

Better yet, Northern Ireland is also a leader when it comes to construction education, so if you’re a young person interested in getting into the industry, there’s never been a better time. Few industries have as many options when it comes to getting qualified, with opportunities varying from apprenticeships, further education, and university degrees, depending on the exact line of construction you want to get into.

So what jobs are there in construction?Well, there’s plenty to choose from. Building surveyor, quantity surveyor, construction manager, site engineer, and labourer are all part of the construction industry.

There no shortage of jobs to choose from, and because they all require certain qualifications and experience, there’s no shortage of ways to get qualified for the industry. For a long time, university was considered the only way to get to the top of any industry and earn the best jobs. However, people are beginning to see that degrees and apprenticeships are no longer two completely separate journeys, but merely different paths. There’s no industry where this is more relevant than in construction.

Construction degrees are still popular, but construction apprenticeships at Further and Higher Education College’s allow students to learn all the necessary theory, while also allowing them to get out into the workplace early and often – with the very strong benefit of working and earning money while they learn.

If construction is the career for you, it’s important to do your research. With the options available, between university and apprenticeships, there’s no one right way to get into the industry, and there’s no wrong decision to be made. It’s important to ask yourself what’s best for you. If you’re a hands on person, then getting onto an active worksite, through an apprenticeship, is probably the best route. While if you excel in the classroom, then university is also a great option.

Construction has more than one pathway, but one thing is for sure, at the end of them all there is an exciting career to be had. Having managed to stay steady over the course of the last decade, the construction industry continues to flourish and play a major role in the economy, and there’s been an overall increase in construction output in Northern Ireland since 2013. As an industry it continues to change with the times, and is currently being shaped more and more by the drive for sustainable construction solutions, which support the development of buildings with reduced energy demands, which benefit the environment.

It’s an ever-changing, always essential industry with limitless opportunities and countless ways to get involved, so if construction sounds like it could be for you, there’s plenty to be excited about.

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