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Training Required for Construction Work
Construction site work to be done by any engineer will depend on the size and complexity of the project. Smaller projects may require a single engineer who would have to handle all aspects. As project sizes grow, workloads in various branches of the project increase and may require an engineer to supervise and oversee only the particular department to which he is assigned. Engineers during their professional education and training are given the necessary skills and knowledge in all aspects of engineering and the trades to provide supervisory and supporting roles in the construction field. In addition they also have knowledge of scheduling, planning, design, surveying, management, and the cost aspects of a project. One thing that has to be constantly kept in mind by anyone seeking opportunities in construction is that such works are of a temporary nature and only last until the completion of the project.
Image source: Wikimedia: Construction
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Field Work on Construction Projects
Engineers concerned with direct field work have to allocate the work to the various agencies under their control, arrange for materials and equipment, and ensure that the works are carried out by the workers as per the specifications laid down and as per drawings given to them by the planners. They would have to also ensure that the work is carried out as per the given schedule, and this would require constant monitoring of the productivity of the workers under their control. The safety aspect of the workers has also to be ensured by the engineer. On larger sites, separate engineers would be concerned with the laying out of the work and the measuring it after it is completed. A separate QA QC section would also oversee the necessary quality.
Image source: Wikimedia: Workers
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Offsite Work and Coordination
There is also a substantial amount of work that has to be done off site in any construction project. This can involve detail scheduling and monitoring of progress to ensure that the work is within the time schedule envisaged by the owners or stakeholders. Attention is also required to be paid to procurement of the materials to ensure that the schedule of construction is not interrupted. Provision of temporary facilities like offices, storage space, water supply, electricity, and security may require the attention of the engineer.
Any construction site generally involves a number of activities, which besides the construction can also require installation of equipment and machinery, like in factories or electro-mechanical work in buildings. An engineer’s work will require him to coordinate with the various agencies concerned, so that this work proceeds smoothly.
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Opportunities in Construction for People in Trades
Opportunities in construction depend on the educational background and vocational training people have acquired before their entry into the industry. Unskilled and semi-skilled site labor, which is required on most project sites, form a large part of the workforce on any construction project. There is no educational or vocational training required if you are looking for opportunities to work at construction sites. However, contractors who hire such labor will give preference to people who have experience in working on similar projects. Thus experience becomes a must when you look for such opportunities.
For opportunities for construction project in skilled occupations, an educational background of basic schooling with vocational training comes in handy. Skills such as masonry, carpentry, and ironwork are quite often picked up by persons by working as apprentices with other skilled persons for a number of years, and this is quite often acceptable to people looking for skilled workers. These skills may be tested at the site of work and accepted as qualification where vocational training has been missing. There are certain skills like welding, electrician’s work, plumbing, and some specialized categories where the recruitment is done based on the certification obtained by the person from accredited institutions. These certifications ensure that the qualified person has the necessary skills that enable the person to do the quality of work required on the construction site.