Pursuing a Career in Building? Here’s What to Expect

Did you know that building and construction is one of the biggest industries in New Zealand? In fact, it’s part of the top contributors to the country’s GDP, alongside manufacturing, electricity, agriculture, forestry, and mining.

If you’ve decided to pursue a career in building and construction, congratulations! You have an exciting road ahead. Here are a few things you can expect to prepare and motivate yourself:

A Variety of Career Paths

What’s great about the building industry is that you aren’t limited to a singular career path. Aside from being a hands-on construction worker, you can also work as a site manager and coordinate the building process.

You can also choose to specialise in a trade, such as metal working or heavy equipment operations. Moreover, there are plenty of jobs in the construction industry awaiting professionals from IT, healthcare, and human resources.

That said, here are some of the most common careers in the building and construction industry that you may want to consider, depending on your background:

  • Architect
  • Bricklayer and stonemason
  • Building inspector
  • Carpenter
  • Drafter
  • Engineer (civil, electrical, structural, telecommunications)
  • Flooring installer and finisher (including carpets)
  • Glazier
  • Industrial designer
  • Metal fabricator
  • Scaffolder
  • Surveyor and surveying technician
  • Tiler for walls, floors, and roofs
  • Welder

These are just a few among the many roles you can take on in a building and construction career. Indeed, it’s an industry for everyone!

Continuous Training and Learning

If you want a career in building, be prepared for continuous training and learning. With construction technology continuously evolving, there are always new tools being developed with more and more advanced capabilities.

This, among other reasons, is why the industry requires its workers to not just upskill but also to reskill. What’s good about this is that you’ll always be properly equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to do your job well.

There are also a lot of cross-application with construction-related training. For example, taking an asbestos course can prepare you for both removal and supervisory work. Of course, first-aid training is valuable not just in construction but also in other industries.

A Stable Career

As mentioned previously, the building and construction industry in New Zealand is a significant contributor to the economy. Not only does it employ more than 250,000 people, its value also keeps on growing. As of 2019, the industry’s total value has reached more than $43 billion!

This means that there will always be a job for you in building and construction. More importantly, you’ll have job stability. Whether you’re looking for manual labour jobs or something a little more different, you’ll definitely don’t have to worry about job security in building and construction.

Good Pay

In relation to the above point, a career in building is not only stable but also quite lucrative. Of course, your pay will depend on your level of experience, the kind of work, and your location. Nevertheless, you can expect competitive salaries if you pursue a career in the industry.

In addition, you can earn a good living through a job in building and construction even if you don’t have a college education. Some posts do require degrees, such as engineering posts, but there are also a wide selection of jobs that accept NZQA certifications.

For a bit of an idea about how much you can earn in a building and construction job, see the list below:

  • Civil Engineer – up to $95,000 annually
  • Project Engineer – up to $115,000 annually
  • Project Manager or Construction Manager – up to $145,000 annually
  • Quantity Surveyor – up to $170,000 annually
  • Health and Safety Manager – up to $117,000 annually
  • Foreman – up to $108,000 annually
  • Structural Engineer – up to $103,000 annually

Again, there are many factors that can affect the range of your salary. However, as you can see, you can look forward to above-average to high annual earnings when you work in this industry.

Job Satisfaction

The usual “nine to five” career isn’t for everyone. If you’re part of the crowd that wants to break away from a desk job and prefers something highly active and engaging, then being in building and construction may be for you.

Do note that there are some jobs in the industry that are still performed behind a desk. Nevertheless, there are so many more roles that are performed in the field. What’s even more exciting is that the building and construction industry may afford you travel opportunities.

There’s also something satisfying about seeing a structure being built from the ground up. Whether you’re helping build someone’s dream home or a public school, there’s a unique sense of fulfilment when you see a project through.


Indeed, there’s so much more to a career in building than meets the eye. It’s tough work, requiring a lot of physical exertion; sometimes, you even have to be apart from friends and family for weeks at a time.

Still, there are plenty of benefits you can expect. If you think the above-mentioned are what you want, a career in building and construction awaits!