Construction Careers of the Future

  04 March, 2021      CareersIndustry Insights
Construction Careers of the Future

This week is National Careers Week, and whilst there are lots of opportunities currently in construction (and at Novus) we started thinking about what careers in construction are yet to exist, but might in the future.

The Role of Technology in Future Construction

With an ever growing and ageing population, coupled with the pursuit of green buildings, significant demands are being made of construction at present.

The sector is looking towards new and modern technologies to meet contemporary challenges imposed on construction and with that, comes the opportunity for new careers to be forged.

Advancements in technologies such as AI and machine learning, robotics, drones, next generation materials, and 3D printing are already having useful applications within construction.

So, as these technologies become even more integrated into the modern and future construction site, what future careers in construction might become commonplace on the job board?


Drone Fleet Manager

As drone technology has already been around for some time, construction site drones are already being used by some to survey sites, conduct inspections, and monitor project progress without the person inspecting the site physically being there.

Drones can potentially make site inspections safer when it comes to accessing potentially hazardous areas of the work site, such as those at great height.

The drone or drones can reach the area quickly, from multiple angles, and capture the inspection via photograph or video relatively easily.

Like many instances, the requirement for remote solutions has never been more important than in today’s Covid-19 pandemic climate.

There is also the potential for so called “Drone Swarms” working in tandem to complete specific tasks on the construction site.

These tasks could range from small tasks such as cleaning and exterior painting, to small build projects.
It is the management of these Drone Swarms where we envisage a Drone Fleet Manager being required on the construction site.

The role would include such tasks as planning where and when the drones were used, what type of drones were required, and in what quantity.

Alongside great project management skills, The Drone Fleet Manager would need good analytical skills for analysing performance, seeking out efficiencies, and a technical knowledge of maintenance requirements.

No doubt, this career path would require a blend of classroom, simulation, and real-world on-site training.


Robotic Unit Manager | Construction Robot Maintenance Specialist

The use of Robotics in one form or another on the construction site is hardly a new thing but it’s generally agreed that their use and complexity will likely become more widespread as time goes on.

Robots are ideal for dangerous or repetitive tasks for obvious reasons and construction might increasingly turn to robots for tasks where there is a massive shortage of human labour to keep up with demand. Professions such as Bricklaying for example.

As this industry grows, thus new professions will unquestionably emerge, offering opportunities to retrain or undertake apprenticeships in these emerging careers.

Even as robotics becomes more and more sophisticated, there will still always be a requirement for a human to control, supervise, and coordinate the robotic activities on the construction site.

In a similar role to the Drone Fleet Manager, we envisage a Robot Unit Manager(s) will eventually become a mainstay of the construction site in years to come.

This role would entail the planning, scheduling, logistics, the organisation of maintenance (completed by a new Construction Robot Maintenance Specialist), and a kill-switch in times of malfunction.

What about Artificial Intelligence, could there be AI Trainers in the future?

Imagine a student that hangs on your every word, are perfectly behaved, and you only have to show how to do something once?

It is only a matter of time before Artificial Intelligence becomes an everyday visible presence in practically every walk of life, including on the construction site.

The mark of artificial intelligence is to learn and problem solve. Therefore, in the first instance, the machine will need to be taught the desired set of skills or techniques in order to do its job adequately on the construction site.

Just like a human, right? Well sort of.

Teach one robot and every other unit connected to that intelligence learns the same set of skills, in the same level of details, and never forget how to do a task.


Oceanic Architect | Oceanic Construction Engineer | Oceanic City Planner

Increasing population, depletion/inaccessibility of land resources, and rising sea levels are all factors which might make the human race look towards the sea to construct their cities in the future.

With this major shift, a whole raft (pun intended) of new professions will certainly arise.
Although still largely science fiction at the moment, a quick look around the web will show you that quite a few companies are serious about the concept.

Whether the settlements are based on the ocean’s surface, within the water or on the seabed, there are no shortage of ideas out there.

An entirely new class of engineers, architects, planners, and material specialists will be required to build these settlements.

We have suggested just a few above but there are sure to be hundreds more.


How to prepare for a construction career that doesn’t exist yet

Keep researching, practicing, and believing in yourself.

Create a toolkit of related and transferrable skills for the potential career you are passionate about.

An apprenticeship or training course in one of these new fields is going to be new, exciting and probably very competitive – so you have to show that you’ve been interested in the field for a while, are passionate, and have some of the raw qualities in order to succeed.

Keep an eye on the horizon, look out for the latest technologies and ask yourself, always ask yourself; what’s coming up next?

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