The use of technology in construction has aided the industry in ways that go largely unnoticed by those who do not spend time on job sites or work in the industry. And despite these technological advancements, construction jobs are not going anywhere.
According to a Jan. 2019 Brookings Institute report titled “Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places,” 25 percent of American jobs are at “high-risk” for becoming automated.
Although such a statistic might seem grim, the construction industry is not in this “high-risk” category.
While technology is a major contributor to the loss of some jobs in almost every industry, technology in construction has made building relatively easier and more efficient.
Through advancements in architectural technology, among others, construction projects are completed faster. Take blueprints for example: these detailed plans used to be hand drawn. Thanks to technology, blueprints are now created through computer software that allows for precise marks and easy editing.
It is common to see foremen walk a job site with a computer tablet that contains each individual print, allowing for instant edits and modification of plans. Foremen can easily work together and collaborate so that construction can be completed with minimal confusion.
Even with more technology on job sites, tradesmen and tradeswomen are still in high demand. Technology may simplify certain work, but somebody still needs to wire circuits and hang drywall.
Power Magazine notes that there is a distinction between routine tasks and non-routine tasks.
“Construction is interesting in that it represents a series of routine tasks structured in a very non-routine way,” the article states.
This means that tradesmen and tradeswomen complete routine tasks on a daily basis. Every task must be done in a non-routine manner because of the uniqueness of each construction project.
In spite of the predictions on automation and technology, construction jobs are here to stay. There is job security in the construction industry that is not found in many other professions. Although technology is used to improve the quality and speed of construction, it will never replace the tradesmen and tradeswomen who show up to job sites every day.
If you are interested in beginning a career in construction, the best starting point is learning about registered apprenticeship programs. For more information, please fill out the form below.