Working in the construction industry can offer rewarding and exciting careers. However, it is human nature to strive for progression. You may currently be seeking pathways to unlock new opportunities to progress in your construction career, but unsure how to do so. Whether you’re working as a general labourer or already have some specialised skills, there’s always room for growth. In this blog, Resourcing Manager, James Drew, shares a comprehensive guide on how you can navigate your way through the construction career ladder: 


General Laborer:

If you’re currently in a general labourer role, you’re at the foundation of the construction industry. While it may seem like a starting point, it’s actually an ideal position to explore various trades and identify your areas of interest. Take the initiative to observe different trades on site and interact with your peers to learn more about their roles. 

Once you’ve identified a trade that sparks your interest, think about targetting companies you’re familiar with or have previously worked for to enquire about trainee opportunities. Express your willingness to learn and grow within the company and focus on gaining valuable experience to build your skill set. 


If you’ve already honed your skills in carpentry, painting, or drylining, the next step is to elevate your role within the construction hierarchy. Transitioning into an internal finishing foreman position can provide you with greater responsibility and leadership opportunities. Consider obtaining Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) certification to enhance your managerial skills and increase your employability whilst advancing your career. 

Ground Workers/Bricklayers:

For those specialising in groundworks or bricklaying, diversifying your skill set can open doors to more lucrative opportunities. Try exploring the realm of external construction, including projects involving reinforced concrete (RC) frames, timber frames, and commercial buildings. Pursue certifications such as Triple Site Management Safety Training Scheme (STS) to advance into roles as foremen or supervisors within the groundworks sector. 

Traffic Marshals:

As a traffic marshal, expanding your skill set beyond basic duties can lead to career progression. Obtain additional certifications such as slinger and banksman tickets to increase your versatility. These certifications are for personnel who work on sites where lifting operations is part of the job. These tickets will make you a valuable asset to construction projects, with roles providing progression and higher renumeration. 

Further Qualifications for All:

Regardless of your current role or specialisation, continuous learning and skill development are essential in the construction industry if you are hoping to progress your career. You can consider acquiring certifications such as International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) Operator tickets, forklift driver tickets, 360 driver tickets, and crane supervisor tickets. These qualifications not only enhance your expertise but also increase your employability across a wide range of construction projects. 


In conclusion, upskilling is a crucial aspect of career progression in the construction industry. Whether you’re starting as a general laborer or already have specialised skills, there are multiple opportunities for growth and progression. By identifying your interests, pursuing relevant certifications, and seizing new opportunities, you can have a successful career path in construction.