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Not a lot of fresh finance and business graduates would say, “I’d like to work in construction.” Unfortunately, the jobs offered by the construction industry are perceived negatively by students, who think of the work as stressful, dirty, and risky. The image that they probably have is that of a group of workers wearing hard hats and looking at plans or working on a scaffold. But while this perception is partly true, these jobs comprise only a small portion of the careers in the construction industry.
Currently, there is a high demand for construction jobs. In Canada, the construction industry’s employment needs will grow by 50,200 workers by 2029. This is on top of the 257,000 construction workers who will be ageing out of the construction workforce over the same period. Because of this, construction firms are looking for fresh talent to train and fill these jobs.
The construction industry is ripe for fresh graduates, especially those with business and finance degrees. If you are one of these graduates, here are some of the entry-level construction jobs that can get you started.
Junior Project Manager
Junior project managers support their senior counterparts in overseeing construction projects, starting from the pre-construction phase to turnover. The responsibilities of junior project managers include:
- Support the senior project manager in delegating tasks and supervising the work needed to complete a project
- Develop detailed plans regarding the schedule, budget, and project ember duties, as well as the timeline for the project and the allotted budget
- Team up with the accounting and sales department to prevent delays in the filing of preliminary notices, requisition forms, payment letters, and other legal documents
Junior Financial Analyst
Construction projects are huge financial investments. That is why stakeholders should first ensure that a project will turn a profit before they commit to it. This is where financial analysts come in. Here are some of the duties of a junior financial analyst:
- Develop forecast models and analyze the financial performance of the project
- Analyze financial data to identify trends and provide recommendations to management
- Perform ongoing and ad-hoc reporting and analytical projects
Construction Marketing Specialist
The more marketing-oriented business graduates can land a marketing specialist role in construction. Marketing strategies in construction are different from business-to-consumers advertising, giving business graduates familiar with business operations an advantage. The duties of a construction marketing specialist include:
- Develop and maintain a calendar of marketing activities such as trade shows, industry events, and other trade media opportunities
- Assist with marketing research to identify consumer requirements, habits, and trends
- Track and analyze the company’s marketing data to shape future marketing strategies
B2B Account Executive
Business-to-business (B2B) account executives reach out to potential construction clients and offer the products and services of the company they represent. The responsibilities of B2B account executives that fresh graduates can expect include:
- Manage the sales cycle, from reaching out to prospective clients to closing the sale
- Build a relationship with current clients as well as suppliers and other project stakeholders to aid revenue growth
- Provide after-sales support, respond to clients’ questions, and resolve issues immediately to preserve customer loyalty and the company’s reputation
Human Resources Assistant
Human resources assistants are responsible for attracting qualified candidates and matching them with the right jobs. Here are some of the usual duties of this construction role:
- Reach out to potential job candidates and facilitate human resources processes, including administering tests, conducting employee orientation, and maintaining their records
- Record employee hours and distribute salaries among the company’s employees
- Coordinate training sessions and seminars to maintain workforce competitiveness
Despite all the negative stereotypes and the perceived stress in construction jobs, the construction industry remains to be one of the best choices for finance and business graduates. Not only does it let you be a part of building something from the ground up literally, but it also provides a diverse range of career paths with plenty of room for fresh graduates to specialize.
Chris Woodard is the Co-Founder of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with late payments. Handle.com also provides funding for construction businesses in the form of invoice factoring, material supply trade credit, and mechanics lien purchasing.