Get These Construction Credentials For Your First Job

Workers Earning Construction Credentials

Your first job in construction will probably be different from jobs you had in the past.

By “different,” we’re not just talking about hardhats and working outside. You already know about those aspects of the job. What we mean is that your employer likely has expectations for what you need to know before your first day. It’s not a job many employers are comfortable letting someone walk into without any training or experience.

Not all first-time applicants to construction jobs will meet those employer expectations. But you can.

Start by earning these key construction credentials

When we started the Construction Ready construction job training program in 2014, we worked closely with industry leaders. These individuals put their heads together and came up with a list of key construction credentials they’d like every worker to earn before setting foot on a construction site.

Some of these credentials relate to skills. Others are all about safety. Regardless, they’re the ones that construction companies think are the most important.

In addition to showing that you possess some core knowledge, the construction credentials help set you apart from other people applying for the position. Most of those people won’t have the credentials, which means the employer has to take on more risk if they choose to hire them.

As a credentialed applicant, you’re a lower risk. That makes you more likely to get the job.

Everyone who participates in our fully funded 20-day Construction Ready program exits having earned the following critical construction industry credentials:

1. NCCER Core Credential

The National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) designed this credential as a rigorous overview of construction safety, math, communication, and equipment. The handbook describes it as an “Introduction to Basic Construction Skills,” but don’t let the term “basic” make you think it’s an easy breezy course!

NCCER Core is a widely recognized construction credential that covers a lot of material. When you’ve earned this one, your employer knows you’re a lot more ready for work than a more run-of-the-mill applicant.

2. OSHA 10-Hour Card

This is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s training program for workers entering the labor force for the first time. Here’s how OSHA describes the training:

The 10-hour class is intended to provide workers with awareness of common job-related safety and health hazards. […] Through this training, OSHA helps to ensure that workers are more knowledgeable about workplace hazards and their rights, and contribute to our nation’s productivity.

Essentially, the 10-hour training is your first job site safety crash course. You may receive additional OSHA training in the future, especially if you work your way into a managerial or supervisory role, but this initial training can help you secure your first position at a construction company.

3. First Aid/CPR/BBP/AED Training

The better trained workers are, the less dangerous every construction site will be. But that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen.

For this reason, construction employers value certification in first aid and CPR. If someone gets hurt, your employer wants you to know exactly how to help that person — quickly. And in the rare event that an accident causes someone to stop breathing, it’s imperative that the people around that person know how to administer CPR.

BBP refers to “bloodborne pathogens.” In this aspect of the training, workers learn how to behave around potentially infectious bodily fluids and what to do if they or someone else is exposed. AED training relates to the use of defibrillators. You’ll learn how to use one in the event someone enters cardiac arrest on a job site.

4. Powder Actuated Tool Certification

On many job sites, you will use powder actuated tools. These powerful nail guns can fasten wood or other materials to harder surfaces, such as concrete or even steel.

Needless to say, these tools can be extremely dangerous — even deadly — if handled improperly. For this reason, construction employers want workers to earn this construction credential before beginning their first construction job.

5. Laser Tool Certification

Some types of lasers are dangerous when used improperly. On a construction site, workers frequently use lasers to aid in measurements, leveling, and other tasks. They’re generally safe to use, but you need to know about the different kinds of lasers, the potential safety risks, and how to avoid harming yourself or others with a laser. This credential provides that information.

6. Forklift Safety Awareness Credential

Forklifts are everywhere on construction sites.

In order to be a safe construction worker, understanding how to safely operate a forklift and how to behave around forklifts is essential. From the protective equipment you need to wear to maintenance checks to keeping your loads the right weight, this credential ensures you can perform your forklift duties without risks to the safety of yourself or others.

7. ATSSA Utility Flagger Certification

Here’s what the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) says about their Flagger Certification Training course:

The flagger’s role is to protect project personnel and provide safe, courteous, and authoritative directions to traffic seeking passage through the work area. This course will teach students standard flagger control references, proper flagging signals procedures, and standard flagger practices for various situations.

On a construction site, flaggers have an important role to play. This certification is one of the most important construction credentials and ensures workers can carry out flagging duties effectively and safely.

8. Competent Person in Fall Protection Credential

This is an OSHA credential that:

  • Helps you identify potential fall hazards
  • Shows you the right ways to prevent falls
  • Provides fall safety instruction
  • Offers ways to avoid working at potentially hazardous heights
  • Shows you the materials and equipment you can use to prevent falls

There’s a good chance you’ll be working high off the ground at some point in your construction career. And “high” doesn’t have to mean 10 stories above the ground. Fall protection safety is important even if you’re just a few feet off the ground!

Working at heights can be perfectly safe if you follow the protocols you learn in this course. That’s why employers consider it such a valuable credential for a first-time applicant to have.

You can get all of these  construction credentials without paying for a training course

The Construction Ready 20-day training program is fully funded by a combination of government grants and private donations. That means you don’t have to pay for the training. It’s already paid for.

During the program, you will earn all of these credentials and meet future employers during a hiring fair just for program participants. 97% of our graduates get their first construction job before training is over, in part because of the credentials they earn as part of the training!

If you’re interested in exploring the construction field and earning these key construction credentials, get in touch today to learn more about Construction Ready!

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