If you have been in the construction industry for quite awhile now you may be wondering why continuing education would ever be needed. The fact of the matter is that like everything else (healthcare, politics, internet, etc…) the construction industry changes every year. Continuing education is the way to keep on top of all of these changes. Continuing education is actually so important that the major event, the “World of Concrete”, has continuing education as a major part of it. Contractors from around the world join up to preview the latest trends, equipment and topics that the concrete world has to offer. Also the biggest names in concrete actually provide classes and certifications here as well. We will go into a few topics that continuing education can help with every year to make sure you stay on top of the latest construction industry trends.
#1: Stay up to date with the latest rules and regulations
How up to date are you on the latest OSHA regulations? Every year there are numerous changes to these regulations to help keep the construction worker the safest they can be on the job. Safety is something not to be taken lightly, and that is a fact well known in the industry. You can learn the latest changes to regulations very easily with continuing education. Classes that involve safety will be a huge part of completing this education and even then, yearly renewals are still required. Many classes are offered around the country. Even certificates are offered. These are sometimes mandatorily assigned by a company but they are also offered at local colleges or events like the 2014 WOC.
#2: Learn about the latest technologies
What kind of equipment do you use? The latest and greatest construction industry technology is yet another quickly changing aspect. With continuing education you can learn about the latest and greatest technologies that come out every year. You will also more than likely be trained with these instruments also. One of the best new concrete technologies to help make a job easier and to follow along with standards in concrete is ACI’s T-Meter. For the longest time the standards of polished concrete were actually estimated and estimation in the construction industry leaves room for mistakes to be made. Because of innovation and an ever changing market ACI saw an opportunity to make a difference in the construction industry. They took the estimation out of the equation and made a new technology that measures concrete for its surface texture value (Ra). With this meter, contractors can easily follow the ST-115 standard and make sure they give consistent and valuable results to every customer they have.
#3: Keep track of competitive markets
It’s no secret. Everyone is out to be the best company for their customers. Its great for the customers also. They can shop around for the best price, or the highest rated company. Do you know where you stand in relation to your competition? Continuing your education can help you with your competition in many ways. Maybe they are not following a new regulation the best way, or even at all. They might have an old piece of equipment or use an old system that is not as efficient as yours. Doing research and keeping up to date with your competition can give you that edge you need to offer better value. Ratings and word of mouth are powerful in building up your reputation or in damaging it. Knowing what is being said about your competition can help you fill the gaps they leave or knowing what is said about your company is a great way to find the gaps you leave. Follow your competition, follow the market then build a strategy around your findings.
Today, continuing education has never been easier. The internet has made it possible to attend classes without ever leaving your home. It has also made it cheaper as there are numerous free courses you can take. Continuing your construction education can pay off in many ways but you have to take the first step.