Here’s How 8 Jobs Are Capitalizing on the Rise of Construction Technology

When most people think about the construction industry, what do they picture? Hard hats. Sledgehammers. Cranes and heavy equipment. Dusty boots. Hard work and manual labor. Soaring skyscrapers and planned communities.

All of these images are fair representations, but they don’t tell the whole story. As technology has evolved over the past few decades, every industry has adapted to incorporate new tech into their processes - and construction is no exception. The rise of construction technology has transformed the industry and made it safer, less expensive, and more efficient to accomplish industry goals.

Of course, the core of the industry is the same: construction workers are still working hard and performing manual labor to build, repair, renovate, and replace structures from high-rises and warehouses to bridges and roads. But the proliferation of construction management technologies is changing how that work is being done, and technology has also upgraded the tools being used by construction workers.

For long-term construction pros who are used to traditional approaches, all this new technology can seem overwhelming. On the other hand, for up-and-coming workers from tech-savvy generations, it presents a great opportunity to merge the noble work of construction with a passion and aptitude for technology. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that construction technology can help those on both ends of that spectrum.

Here’s a look at eight construction jobs that can both capitalize on the rise of construction technology and helpless tech-savvy workers reap the benefits.

Construction Technologist

Of all the roles mentioned here, Construction Technologists are the newest. The truth is, the landscape of construction technology is so broad and so detailed that it’s a full-time job to keep track of all the options at a construction company’s disposal. That’s where a CT comes in: someone in this role serves as a tech evangelist, working at every level of a construction organization to find opportunities for technological integration. And most importantly, they help identify the best construction technology for a company’s needs, budget, and capabilities. Because they work with everyone involved in construction, CTs need to be well versed in everything from construction project management (CPM) technologies to safety and cybersecurity advancements to scheduling software and more.

Construction Safety Manager

There was a time when hard hats were the height of construction safety innovations. But today, Construction Safety Managers have a wide range of technologically enhanced safety tools at their disposal. For example, drones are now used across the country to monitor construction workers on site and check for potential hazards. In addition, virtual reality is coming into play in construction training, giving workers the opportunity to engage with a construction environment virtually and identify potential issues before they set foot on a construction site. Yet another example is wearables, which help track the location and monitor the safety of workers on site; some even come equipped with airbags to prevent fatal falls! These are just a few of the safety innovations brought about by construction technology, which Safety Managers can take advantage of as they keep their crews and sites safe.

Construction Equipment/Fleet Manager

Construction equipment has evolved in a major way over the past several years. For starters, Construction Equipment Managers and Fleet Managers monitor their equipment and employees more accurately than ever before because most company equipment comes loaded with GPS tracking. In addition, autonomous equipment is on the rise, with drones already taking flight across the country and driverless machines such as dump trucks and earth-movers coming into play in some sectors of the industry.

Construction Project Manager

Nearly every aspect of a Construction Project Manager’s job can benefit from advancements in construction technology. CPM programs such as Procore and PlanGrid provide comprehensive construction program management solutions, with features allowing Project Managers to upload documents, track punch lists, review field reports, track inventory management, and more. These programs help improve efficiency by making communication between the office and the field a snap, and by keeping all of a Project Manager’s relevant documents and data in one location, easily accessible from smart devices.

Construction Superintendent/Foreman

Even field-based construction workers like Superintendents and Foremen now have the opportunity to utilize construction technology in their day-to-day jobs. These crews are responsible for knowing exactly how a building goes together and how to keep a job site running safely and efficiently. Programs like Rhumbix can help with this, letting field workers keep track of scheduling, production, and progress via data and photos right from their phones. This information is also made available to executives who aren’t on site, helping everyone communicate quickly and clearly from the field to the office.

Construction Estimator

In a high-pressure job like construction estimating, advancements in construction technology have provided a competitive edge to companies that are staying up to date. Estimating software (including industry leaders such as Timberline and HCSS) helps Construction Estimators track industry standards for material and labor costs, share information quickly and easily between departments, improve the accuracy of conceptual estimates, and compare current and past bids. It also improves the speed of putting a bid together and submitting it, making sure that companies can stay ahead of the curve with both the quality and speed of their submittals.

Construction Scheduler

As any construction worker knows, sticking to a tight schedule is a necessary component of any successful construction project. Schedule delays are costly, both in terms of budget and potential owner dissatisfaction. So software that can help with scheduling (such as Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project) is a huge benefit to Construction Schedulersthroughout the industry. As programs like these have evolved from their early stages, they’ve become easier to use, and since they’re cloud-based, they’re easy to use from the field.

BIM/VDC Manager

Of course, the construction industry has always relied on designers. But consider how far we’ve come from the pen-and-paper days of construction design. Now, construction companies have whole departments dedicated to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) technologies that have drastically improved BIM/VDC Managers’ job to provide high-quality designs. AutoDesk is one example of that provides a whole suite of BIM/VDC solutions that make it easy to create, share, and edit construction designs across departments and locations.

Advancements in construction technology have impacted every corner of the industry, from the field to the C-suite. And because of these new technological career opportunities, the construction industry has the ability to recruit and retain non-construction professionals who are looking for unique and exciting ways to contribute their skills to a booming industry.

How is your company utilizing advancements in construction technology? What construction technologies do you find most helpful in your construction career? What ongoing technological changes are you most excited to see?