Construction jobs that are currently available
The construction industry has seen sustained economic growth over the past 20 years and is creating a lot of construction jobs along with it. The South African government is pumping a lot of money into this industry in an attempt to grow the country’s infrastructure, and as a result, there are many job opportunities for people who have construction experience. Whether you have entry level or expert construction skills, there is definitely a role for you to play in South Africa’s construction industry.
We will now be going through the various construction jobs that you might encounter in this industry, from the most basic to expert level jobs. We will explain what the job entails and what kind of experience you will need in order to obtain these construction jobs in South Africa.
This is the starting position in the construction industry. You need little to no experience and you will be tasked with odd jobs around the construction site. A construction worker will perform all the tasks that don’t require skilled knowledge. You will be given many different tasks such as loading and unloading building material, digging ditches, and keeping the site tidy. Most training here will be done on the job. You will be given tasks to do and shown how to do them on a task-to-task basis. The pay here is low, but it is a great way to gain skilled knowledge as you will be working under people with a lot of experience and know how.
As a brick layer your job will be to, well, lay bricks. You will be responsible for creating and repairing all the masonry related features on and around a building. This include walls, fireplaces, stone floors, terraces, patios, and so on. This is normally the first job to be filled by construction companies because in South Africa we mainly build with bricks. This function is the basis of the South African construction industry, so you will find a lot of vacancies for these types of positions.
The nice thing about this industry is that you need little to no experience to become a painter. All you need is a little bit of experience and some aesthetic know how. You will be tasked with putting some colour onto the walls of the building. Due to the fact that we use so much brick to build in South Africa, painters are an integral part to completing construction jobs.
This profession is not for the faint of heart. As a glazier, you are responsible for installing, cutting and fitting all the glass in a building project. You can expect to be working at great heights and possibly under extreme weather conditions. To do this job you will need a three year national certificate in glazing or a four year working apprenticeship in the glazing field.
We all know what plumbers deal with, human waste. Plumbing however is not that simple, you need to be well versed in building blueprints and codes. You will need to have knowledge on how to install, maintain, and repair water and drainage pipes for everything from septic systems to small appliances. Good plumbers will always be in demand, probably more than any other construction job. If something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed right away and this means that plumbers will always have a job.
To become a plumber you will need to complete a three year apprenticeship that includes one year of practical work. Once this is complete, you can attend various courses that teach specialised skills such as solar geyser installation.
Diesel / Earthmoving mechanic jobs
An earth moving mechanic specialises in maintaining and repairing mechanical and electrical faults on heavy duty vehicles such as trucks, cranes and bulldozers. Construction companies cannot afford to have their machinery break down. These vehicles are very expensive and if they are sitting on the site and not running, then the construction company is losing money. In order to be eligible for this type of work, you will need to get a national diesel mechanic diploma which takes three years to complete. These types of mechanic jobs can be quite stressful as you are responsible for very expensive equipment doing their job. If the machinery is not working, then you are costing the company a lot of money. To obtain earthmoving mechanic jobs you can either do a 3 year FET course at a certified institution or a four year apprenticeship with a trade test being passed on its completion.
On the construction site, an electrician is responsible for things like laying power cables and connecting the site to the power grid. They have to install electrical components and wire these components to their respective power sources. You will be responsible for anything that has a current running through it on the site. To become an electrician you will need about three to five years in training. You will have to complete a trade test and have working experience in your chosen field.
This is a supervisory position as you will be responsible for overseeing the entire construction project. You will have to manage the team throughout the whole construction process, this includes hiring and firing staff. These managers are responsible for keeping schedules, delegating jobs and making sure that tasks are carried out by their workers. This is one of the most stressful jobs on the site as you are responsible for making sure everything is up to standard. If anything is not built properly then it falls on your shoulders. This position also requires you to have knowledge on every single aspect of construction jobs. You need to be able to scrutinize everything on the site. Due to this fact, you need a lot of experience before you will even be considered for this position. You will also need 3 year BSc degree in Construction Management.
Quantity Surveyor or Cost Estimator
This is one of the top construction jobs on the ladder and strangely enough it involves the least amount of time on a construction site. A quantity surveyor is responsible for estimating the costs of a building project. They use very complicated formulas to calculate how much a building will cost to build. They also manage the buying of materials and making sure that a construction job is profitable. As a quantity surveyor you will also have to liaise between the various players in a project like this. You are the mediator between what the client wants and what can be done within their budget.
There are two routes to becoming a quantity surveyor. You can either complete a four year (full-time) or a five year (part-time) BSc (QS) university degree which can be obtained at a few universities in South Africa, or you can do a three year University of Technology diploma advancing to a B-Tech degree after an additional year of study.
If the building project is a large one, like a skyscarper, bridge or a dam, then a civil engineer is needed to oversee, and sometimes design, the project. These are similar to construction managers, but they have technical, architectural and design knowledge. When Civil Engineers are brought in, they oversee everything from start to finish and are able to design anything from transportation systems to suspension bridges. You will be working mainly in an office, but sometimes you will have to put on your hard hat to monitor construction jobs on site.
To qualify as a Civil Engineer you will have to finish a three year course, including one year experiential learning, in Civil Engineering. Due to the ever changing world of civil engineering, you will also have to go on constant update and bridging courses to keep up with the industry.
Now that you have a better understanding of what construction jobs are available, here are some great construction job opportunities currently available on Job Mail:
We hope that this article will help you decide what kind of construction jobs are right for you. A construction career path can be incredibly rewarding. Looking for construction jobs in South Africa? Register your CV on Job Mail, browse through the jobs available and start applying for amazing career opportunities right now!