Walk past tall, impressive skyscrapers and think: "I helped build it" - that would be it, wouldn't it? If you think like that and are interested in a job in the construction industry, an apprenticeship as a construction worker is exactly what you need. The advantage: in the first year of training you will learn the basics of the building trades, while in the following year you will specialise. Depending on the specialisation you choose, you can then graduate as a bricklayer, concrete and reinforced concrete builder or furnace and chimney builder. So don't worry if you don't yet know exactly what direction to take on the building site - nothing has been poured into the concrete yet. Here you can find out if your apprenticeship as a construction worker will be useful to you.
What does a construction worker learn during training?
As a future structural engineer, you have to prepare yourself for a two-year apprenticeship and training. On the one hand, you work practically in construction and on the other hand you go to vocational school. In the first year of training you will receive a basic type of training similar to all apprenticeships in the construction industry. To keep with the jargon of house building: you lay the foundations. At the vocational school, you will learn, among other things, general knowledge about building construction and the various working materials you will have to deal with in construction. In the second year of training, you will then learn a subject in greater depth, so build on your foundations. What exactly comes out of this naturally depends on the area you have chosen to specialise in. There are basically three options: bricklayers, concrete and reinforced concrete workers, and furnace and chimney builders. Depending on the direction you choose, after your two-year apprenticeship you can start the third year of the traditional apprenticeships mentioned above. This means you can get another degree in one year. You can not only designate yourself as a bricklayer, for example, but also belong to the so-called Chamber of Crafts, in which the craft companies and the trained apprentices are listed.
What does a construction worker do?
Your daily routine will of course also be different later on due to the different specialisations. As a bricklayer, your main occupation is bricklaying. This includes laying screed, fixing prefabricated reinforced concrete parts and creating formwork into which the liquid building material is poured. After solidification, the shell is removed again. If you do not like masonry work, you can specialise in chimney construction. Tasks in the field of installation and maintenance of combustion systems await you. Flues may also need your help. If you decide to specialise in concrete and reinforced concrete construction, you will - as the name suggests - mainly be involved in reinforced concrete work. You are responsible for repairing formwork and installing steel reinforcement systems. You fill your fresh concrete into the casting mould and then compact it.
However, there are also many similarities between the specializations. No matter which one you choose, you'll be working on construction sites later on. The construction trade is not for the faint of heart! In the summer, you may work out around the scaffolding in 40-degree shade, and in the winter, you're also driven to icy heights. So you definitely need to be weather resistant and dizziness free. Especially as a furnace and chimney builder, because working on industrial chimneys and furnaces is not easy. Training to become a construction worker is also a physical challenge: although there are now many devices to make the work easier, muscle strength is still required. It also takes brains: In addition to a good knowledge of mathematics and physics, you need to have a good technical understanding, manual dexterity and spatial imagination.