Construction professionals work on construction sites or within maintenance departments. They build, maintain, and repair residential, commercial, or industrial buildings/structures, as well as public roads and installations.
Safety and productivity are keywords in the Construction business. In order to prevent and avoid risks while remaining highly efficient, Construction workers strategically plan, measure, and think ahead. Most of their tasks require exceptional attention to detail, good hand skills, stamina, and physical strength.
Maintenance professionals share some responsibilities and skills with Construction workers; however, their work is more oriented towards ensuring the proper functioning of machines and systems, either by identifying and fixing malfunctioning parts or by cleaning specialized equipment and workspaces.
Both Construction and Maintenance professionals often work in uncomfortable conditions/positions, whether they are working at heights, outdoors, or both. Their schedules are very flexible and may include weekends and night shifts.
Construction and Maintenance professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Reading and understanding complex blueprints or instruction manuals relaying instructions on how to approach the work at hand.
- Building/installing, maintaining, repairing, and destroying structures and their components.
- Inspecting and testing equipment, systems/structures and their components, as well as providing an alternative solution when encountering malfunctions.
- Analyzing, collecting, calculating, and comparing data in order to keep track of equipment and structures’ status, as well as providing accurate job estimates.
- Picking up debris and cleaning up throughout the project.
All professionals working in the Construction and Maintenance fields usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Having exceptional attention to detail and good hand skills with a high regard for neat workmanship.
- Having great physical strength, being able to stand, crouch, kneel, and crawl for extensive periods of time.
- Having a strong work ethic, ensuring all operations comply with safety requirements and customer satisfaction standards.
- Being great at problem-solving, decision-making, and strategical/analytical thinking.
- Being creative enough to develop new insights and to apply new solutions to problems.
- Being great at multitasking and prioritizing, preventing errors and hazards by planning work activities efficiently.
- Being able to work independently, yet being able to work cohesively as a team.
- Having a strong sense of initiative, self-supervision, flexibility, perseverance, and commitment.
In Canada, most Construction and Maintenance positions require a trade school certification in a designated field of expertise (e.g. carpentry, electricity, mechanics). Some Construction jobs, however, require a higher degree of education, such as a college or university diploma in Construction and/or Engineering. Additional certifications, such as a Journeyman Certificate and a Red Seal Certification are often preferred.
All Construction and Maintenance workers must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of current health and safety standards, as well as construction codes, techniques, and tools, especially those related to their field of expertise.