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Career spotlight: Advice for entering the construction industry 

Posted on May 13, 2019

The US construction industry is constantly growing. In New York City last year, projects have reached an estimated record high of $61.5 billion in 2018 according to a New York Building Congress report. If you’re a seasoned professional or thinking of entering this thriving industry, here are some career advice from leading construction experts in New York City.

What advice would you give to the next generation of professionals entering the construction industry?

Christa Forte, Senior Project Manager at Shawmut Design & Construction

"Work on building a network of industry contacts and don’t burn bridges! It’s important to leave a positive impression on those that you cross paths with. Trust me, you will run into them again on a future project. You can’t microwave your career. By that I mean don’t get caught up in moving up the ladder too quickly. You need hands-on experience to be respected at the next level. The only way to do that is to work in the weeds, make mistakes, and learn from them. It will pay dividends in the future."

Stephen Ryan, Senior Estimator at The Vorea Group

"I believe having some real work experience before graduating college will benefit you immensely when it comes time to enter the workforce. I’ve met some great professionals in my field who studied varying programs at school and have achieved many accomplishments. There’s no one recipe for success. Having said that, there’s growing awareness and interest in the US of professionals holding a Quantity Surveying degree. Very prominent national players are actively seeking out those types of qualifications from overseas."

Susan Fusi, Senior Project Manager at Vornado Realty Trust

"Become as well-rounded as possible; try working in departments or in roles that are outside of your comfort zone and to ask for the opportunity to be exposed to all facets of their company. I think that it’s important for someone with a civil engineering degree, for example, to learn the mechanical trades. Similarly, I believe that someone aspiring to be a superintendent should spend some time working in the finance group."

Angel Menendez, Site Superintendant at Racanelli Construction     

"Don’t waste time with negative people or hostile work environments. Always have set goals and write them down. This makes it more real whether it’s at work or in your personal life. Ask questions and don’t be put off if they’re not answered right away. I wish I had been more proactive and listened better to my mentors. By the way they were called bosses back in my day, not mentors!"

There are also many ways to advance your career in construction. The infographic below shows the different career paths you could take. 

 

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