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Skills needed for the construction industry

In this article from the Go1 experts, we’ll look at what skills are needed to work in the construction industry, and why they’re so important.
Mike Jeavons, Content Writer

Many might consider the skills needed to work in the construction industry to be rather simple, requiring workers to prioritize physical strength and endurance over other skills. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as construction workers need to possess a wide range of skills and knowledge to ensure work is completed safely, on time, on budget, and to a high standard.

What skills are essential in construction?

Construction skills are the skills needed by professionals to work in the construction industry. These skills are generally required of all workers, from those just starting their career to senior level staff. These skills vary wildly, from undertaking manual labor through to communication and problem-solving.

Below are the skills construction workers need in order to start and progress their careers.

Building and engineering knowledge

First and foremost, two of the major skill sets required for construction are building and engineering knowledge; after all, this is what many in the industry spend the majority of their time doing.

Without the correct training or knowledge, deadlines may be missed, work won’t be completed to a high standard, and may not be completed at all. Not understanding the correct processes and tools required to complete a job can also lead to safety risks.

Health and safety

While it is of course important that deadlines are met and budgets are not exceeded, the health and safety of everyone on a construction site, including any visitors, should be top priority. On top of being a moral requirement, it’s also required by law that every effort is made to keep people safe. Identifying risk, knowing safety processes, and basic first aid knowledge should be known by everyone who works in construction.

Knowledge of codes and regulations

Without knowledge of codes and regulations, it’s impossible for construction workers to know what they can and can’t build. This includes safety codes, environmental regulations, and labor laws. A lack of knowledge in these areas could potentially lead to major problems down the line - including major expenses.

Time management

As the old saying goes, time is money. As a result, if deadlines are missed, it’s going to cost - and that will have a big impact on profits. For that reason, construction workers must have good time-management skills, as there are often numerous deadlines within an overall project, which if missed can have a knock-on effect.


In order to have strong time management, construction workers also need strict organization and planning skills. A worker may be efficient, but if they’re poor at planning then this will impact their time.


Communication is one of the most important skills needed by a construction worker. Without solid communication between colleagues, there is a higher risk of mistakes and misunderstandings, which can lead to delays and the need for reworks.


In a fast-paced industry such as construction, problems can arise on an almost daily basis, and range from major to minor inconveniences. Being proactive and knowing how to solve problems can ensure delays are kept to a minimum and the safety of everyone on the site is kept a priority.

Reading and math skills

Before any type of manual work can start, plans, documents, blueprints, and measurements must all be carefully considered. This requires reading and math skills: and not just at basic levels. Skills such as geometry and algebra are needed to ensure enough materials are ordered for even a simple construction job.


Very few construction projects require just one worker, with larger-scale projects requiring hundreds if not thousands of staff who may all be on-site at the same time. Because of this, collaboration is required from all members of the team, regardless of seniority.

On top of these skills, there are also many tech skills that are equally as important. For more information, check out our post on tech skills that are helping the construction industry.

What skills are essential for construction supervisory and management roles?

As well as possessing all of the above skills, senior construction workers such as supervisors and managers will require additional skills.

Project management skills

A key skill of a senior-level construction worker is project management. Project management requires strong leadership skills, which includes having to delegate, motivate, and inspire. On top of this, many other skills are necessary for good project management, including:

  • Strategizing and planning
  • Risk assessment
  • Budget management
  • Customer service
  • Stakeholder management and communication
  • Life-cycle management
  • Giving and receiving feedback

These responsibilities, and more, all contribute toward making sure that a project runs smoothly. Upskilling project managers is also a great way to further boost your teams.

Decision-making skills

Being able to confidently and competently make decisions is important so projects remain on time and on budget. It’s also important that some decisions are made quickly, however, will need to be done so based on clear rationale. Wrong or poorly-considered decisions can cost a project time, budget, quality, and even relationships.


Despite meticulous planning, there can sometimes be unforeseen delays. When changes do occur, the ability to adapt and be flexible will minimize the impact. As part of this flexibility, it may also be necessary to re-strategize and communicate these changes to various teams.

Conflict management

Construction is a stressful and often exhausting industry to work in, which means conflicts can sometimes occur. When they do, senior workers will need to oversee these conflicts to resolve them and make sure they don’t happen again.

Where can you learn more about construction skills?

As we’ve highlighted, the skills required to work in the construction industry are vast. It’s also important for workers to upskill and regularly refresh their knowledge so they can remain at the top of their field. One of the main causes of performance issues in the construction industry is inadequate training.

Go1 has a wide range of online courses available to access right now, from project management through to health hazards in construction.

For more insights, subscribe to the Go1 newsletter to stay on top of all the latest L&D trends. Or, you can book a demo today to find out how Go1 can help with your team’s learning needs.

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