Construction Courses: Building your future

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Architect, builder, civil engineer, draughtsman, environmental specialist… the number of careers linked to the construction sector is almost endless and enrolling in a construction course is the best way to learn. There are career options for all sorts of people: whether you like to work with your hands or your imagination, prefer to be on-site or in the office, are practical or creative, there’s a career in construction for you.

Why do it?

For several years Ireland’s construction sector was quiet. However, the cranes have returned to our skylines and construction is one of the largest growth areas of the economy. A huge €15.6 billion was earmarked for construction projects in Ireland during 2016.

In July 2016, Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation, said the construction sector was buoyant.

“We’re hiring at a rate of about 1,000 jobs a month,” said Parlon. “There has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of architectural roles available this year.”

The Irish economy is certainly in recovery mode. Twelve of the 14 areas of the economy monitored by the CSO showed growth in employment in 2016. However, construction posted some of the largest increases.

Given this, it is no wonder that there has been a surge in college applications for architecture, engineering, construction and related courses.

What’s involved?

Construction courses encompasses a range of different subject areas. There’s building itself, as well as all the trades required to finish a building, such as plastering, electrical and landscaping. In addition, the sector requires professionals such as architects, quantity surveyors, civil engineers, urban planners and environmental specialists. Let’s take a brief look at some of these.

Courses in construction technology take one to three years to complete. Graduates typically find employment as site technicians, quantity surveyors, programmers, or site managers.

Sustainable construction technology focuses on environmentally-friendly building practices. Green buildings emphasise energy, insulation, conservations and sustainable living.

All construction projects need to take safety seriously. Therefore, safety management courses teach students all aspects of health and safety legislation relating building.

For those interested in buildings, but less keen on working hands-on in all kinds of weathers on building sites, there are courses in architecture, interior design and Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM encompass 3D building modelling as well as architectural visualisation.

Did you know?

Preparing the venues for the 2012 summer Olympics in London was a pretty big operation. How big? Well, let’s just say that, in all, some 75,000 firms were involved throughout the process. It did not come cheap either: the price of the London Aquatics Centre alone was somewhere in the region of £6 billion.

For more information, take a look at the courses listed under Science and the Built Environment.

Frank Bolger

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