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How to discover if a career in architecture and construction is right for you

by StudyMalaysia on October 31, 2016 | Top Stories, Career Guide

How do you find out if a career in architecture and construction is right for you? Is it enough that you grew up playing Lego or that you were hooked on Minecraft for months? Do you like making things with your hands? Are you constantly observing your surroundings, both indoors and outdoors? Do you often do repair work or home improvement projects? Do you enjoy beautifying your garden or helping friends redecorate their homes?

To find out if the field of architecture and construction is a good fit for you, let’s spend some time looking at what this career cluster is all about. There are three pathways in the architecture and construction field: construction, design/pre-construction, and maintenance/operations.

Construction Career Path

People in this area turn plans into reality. Depending on the area in which they work, they build, renovate, and restore houses, office buildings, factories, bridges, highways, and just about any other structure. Many of the jobs in this area require skills or vocational training or an apprenticeship period, and some require a diploma or bachelor’s degree.

Design/Pre-construction Career Path

People in this area take the idea for a structure and turn it into a set of detailed plans. Once a construction project gets underway, other workers use these plans as the basis for their work. In Malaysia and many other countries, those who hold jobs in this area are required to pass certain tests and obtain a license.

Maintenance/Operations Career Path

People who work in this area keep buildings and other structures running smoothly. They ensure that a structure meets all government codes and that it is safe and comfortable for those who use it. Some of the jobs in this field overlap with those in construction, but people in maintenance/ operations work on structures that have already been completed.

Career cluster

Architecture and construction

Career pathway Construction Design/Pre-construction Maintenance/Operations
Career examples
  • Carpenters
  • Construction and building inspectors
  • Construction labourers
  • Construction managers
  • Electricians
  • General contractors
  • Iron or metal workers
  • Plumbers
  • Safety managers
  • Solar energy installation managers
  • Architects
  • City planners
  • Civil engineers
  • Computer-aided design technicians
  • Computer information system managers
  • Cost estimators
  • Landscape architects
  • Surveying technicians
  • Surveyors
  • Electricians
  • Elevator installers and repairers
  • Environmental engineers
  • Floor covering installers Heating and cooling technicians
  • Highway maintenance workers
  • Janitors and cleaners
  • Security and fire alarm systems installers
How to discover if a career in architecture and construction is right for you

Skills, interests, qualifications and what to expect…

Do you want to design, build, and maintain buildings and structures that serve as spaces for people to live, work, and play? If the answer is yes, read on….

  • You like fixing things, doing projects and finding ways to make things work or look better.
  • You’re more observant than your friends when it comes to the surroundings and buildings around you, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Historical and/or modern buildings fascinate you to no end.
  • You enjoy decorating your living space, working in the garden or carrying out home improvement projects.
  • When you go to a mall, you like browsing at a hardware or DIY store.
  • Good math skills is important. You don’t have to love math but knowledge in algebra, trigonometry, and geometry will prepare you for many of the jobs found in the architecture and construction cluster.
  • If you’re interested in the design/ pre-construction pathway, a strong grasp of visual detail is important.
  • Attention to detail is vital for all careers in architecture and construction.
  • In terms of the Holland Code (RIASEC), many of the careers in architecture and construction fall under the ‘REALISTIC’ personality.
  • Some careers may require working outdoors in all weather conditions. Some jobs also involve lifting heavy objects, operating machinery, tools or equipment, as well as standing on your feet for many hours at a time.
  • Jobs in this cluster are available at all education and/or training levels – some jobs require only a period of training or an apprenticeship; some require technical or vocational training, while others may need a bachelor’s degree followed by licensing examinations.

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