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Advice for Entering the Construction Industry

The Stafford Construction Group takes great pride in being a Macon business, and as residents of Macon, we are committed to the growth and enrichment of our community. One of our favorite organizations here in Macon is M.A.G.I.C. Camp (Mentoring A Girl In Construction). In fact, we love working with youth any way we can, and we believe anybody willing to work hard should have a future in Macon.

We are often asked how to get started in construction. It’s a field that can be very attractive to young people eager to finish school and get to work, and there are low barriers to entry: You don’t need a college degree, necessarily. You don’t need a lot of “start up” money or even experience. What you do need is a willingness to work hard and learn.

Most young builders enter the industry by working for an existing builder as an apprentice of some kind to learn the ropes on the job. Then they may choose to go out on their own, or simply join a team.

High school students interested in the construction industry should focus on mathematical skills and honing their attention to detail. They should seek out any construction work they can find, including internships, school clubs, or work task forces. And they should read contractor magazines and become familiar with the industry. While construction can be lucrative, it’s not always stable in the way an office job might be, so it’s important for young people to educate themselves about the realities of this lifestyle before committing to it.

Construction is not a 9-5 job, and it’s not for everybody. The work can be spotty and unpredictable. The hours can be grueling, the weather not always favorable. But if you’re a person who enjoys working with your hands, who takes pride in building something from the ground up, it can be enormously rewarding.

But not all construction industry jobs involve a hammer and a hard hat. There is always a need for smart, driven people in more traditional office roles within the industry. As technologies advance, we need people skilled in a variety of areas to help keep the company going. There are also contract administration jobs that require deep organizational skills and attention to detail; no construction company can survive without smart, capable employees managing contracts, permits, and other vital paperwork.

Finally, construction is an industry that’s very friendly to entrepreneurs. If you’ve dreamed of owning your own business, being your own boss, that’s achievable in the construction industry. If you own a truck, a little know-how and experience, and a license, you own a construction company. It takes work to build up clientele and win jobs, but if you have the drive and are willing to take some risks, it can pay off.

We encourage young people in the Macon area who have questions about the field to contact our office to discuss apprenticeships, internships, and other opportunities for learning the trade.