CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 16, 2014
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How to Become a Building Technician in the US

Building technicians work in the building and construction industry where they help site managers to perform a number of technical and administrative tasks. If managers are unable to detect a problem during the construction process, these technicians offer another pair of eyes. With excellent practical skills and a post-secondary qualification in a construction field, joining this profession can be quite straightforward.

What Do Building Technicians Do?

The duties of building technicians include:

  • Estimating and procuring quality and cost-effective labour and construction materials
  • Lending a hand in designing building plans and presenting them to clients
  • Helping managers and engineers to choose the most appropriate construction method
  • Ensuring construction sites are accessible and well supplied with water and power
  • Ensuring the project is on course for completion within the set timeframe
  • Supervising electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other workers
  • Compiling project progress reports on behalf of the manager.

Source: Education Portal

Work Environment

Building technicians work for 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. When chasing tight deadlines, they may be forced to extend their work into evenings and weekends.

This is not a ‘blue-collar job.’ So aspiring building technicians must be prepared to spend most of their time at project locations, where they can be exposed to harsh weather.

While at work, it is important to wear protective gear, such helmets and hammered boots, to avoid injuries.

Salary

How much do building technicians make in a year? Find out below:

Occupation

 

Annual average wage

Building technician

 

$35,000

Source: Indeed

Click here to view more salary information on related job titles

Entry Requirements

There are two ways to become a building technician. You can either:

  • Pursue an associate degree in building technology, construction science, building inspection or any other closely related field or,
  • Join an apprenticeship program offered by a building company – With this option, you will learn on the job from experienced construction professionals, earning valuable building expertise in the process.

Skills, Qualities and Abilities

To do the roles of a building technician effectively you need:

  • Strong teamwork skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good project management skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Basic blueprint reading skills
  • The ability to follow instruction closely
  • Knowledge of laws and regulations governing the construction industry
  • A general understanding of construction methods
  • Practical skills.

Career Development

There are plenty of career progression opportunities for building technicians. Being an entry-level role, you will naturally develop the motivation to seek advancement avenues. Here is what you should do:

  • Pursue a bachelor’s degree in construction management or construction science
  • Earn a professional certification, such as the Certified Construction Manager, which is offered by the Construction Manager Certification Institute (CMAA)
  • You also join CMAA as a member and access other professional development resources, such as training workshops and conferences.

If you are ambitious enough, you can pursue further degrees in project management or business administration.

Job Opportunities

As a building technician you can work for:

  • Construction firms
  • Manufactures and retailers of construction materials and equipment
  • Electricity generation and water supply companies
  • Mining companies

With vast experience and a bachelor’s degree, you stand a great chance of getting hired as a construction manager. A master’s degree can enable you to work as a project manager for large industrial projects. It is also possible become an engineer or architect by earning a degree in civil engineering and architectural science, respectively.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of construction workers will grow by 24 percent (more than twice the average growth rate for all jobs) between 2012 and 2022.

So if a blue collar job is not in your mind, becoming a building technician can prove to be a sound career decision.

 

Image: Job Mail

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