How Do I Become a Construction Trainee?

Erik J.J. Goserud

If you want to become a construction trainee, you need to become educated in the field. The best way to learn these manual tasks is to gain some sort of hands-on experience. Additionally, it is very beneficial to network because, the more people you know, the greater the likelihood that an opportunity will come your way. It may also be useful to identify specifically the area of construction that you want to train in.

Construction trainees may learn how to operate various types of excavators.
Construction trainees may learn how to operate various types of excavators.

A trainee is basically an employee, intern, or volunteer who is willing to work under an experienced supervisor while learning a specific skill. In the context of construction, this trainee could be out in the field, in management, or performing another function of the construction business. This is why it is so very important that you, as a potential trainee, figure out exactly in what capacity you want to become a construction trainee.

A construction management trainee may prepare and review contracts, update the project budget, and draft letters and correspondence.
A construction management trainee may prepare and review contracts, update the project budget, and draft letters and correspondence.

After you have figured out where you belong, it's time to start making yourself appealing for the job. Construction trainees exist in many forms. They may be volunteers thinking about getting into the field, students hoping to work over break or a summer vacation, or experienced construction workers looking to move on to a management or consulting position.

The best way to market yourself as a potential trainee, bottom line, is to know your stuff. This knowledge can come from education and experience. On the education side, there are a number of opportunities to gain a degree, such as construction management. These programs may be expensive, but they place students on regimented tracts for success, which is something that may not be guaranteed otherwise.

On the experience side, if you hope to become a construction trainee, you should do everything possible to work on site. This is difficult because, without any experience, not many employers will hire you. This catch-22 seems like a valid excuse for not being able to find a job, but in reality, hard workers find their way around it.

One way to avoid falling into this trap is to volunteer your time. Volunteering gives you experience at no cost the the employer — it's a win-win situation. Networking is also vastly important. Look at every job not only as an opportunity to gain experience but also as a means to make connections in the field. Knowing people provides more opportunities to become a construction trainee.

A construction trainee learns basic techniques under supervision.
A construction trainee learns basic techniques under supervision.

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