Which will be the Jobs of the future in the construction sector?

By Javier Remón, HHRR Coach
  • According to a study led by University of Oxford in 2013, 47% of the current job positions will disappear in the coming years.
  • The World Bank goes even further with higher estimated percentages for Argentina (65%), India (69%) or China (77%).
  • Peter Senge, MIT professor and, considered by The Economist as one of the most influential thinkers in the world in terms of entrepreneurial management, claims: “the teacher in the 21st Century will have to teach “things he doesn’t know”,
  • 85% of the Jobs that will become necessary by 2030 have not been invented yet, Institute for the Future for Dell Technologies.

Experts are still uncertain of when, but what is for sure is that both Engineers and Architects will have to reinvent their jobs to adapt to a new building environment where it is already possible to build on 3D printers or to combine lightness and endurance with laser cutting. No sci-fi.

“The professional of the future must be very familiarized with technology, the digital world and connectivity, and must be proactive for constant communication.

In terms of competences, they must be decisive and result-oriented, ready to live in an environment of constant change, with a high level of empathy and emotional intelligence, ready to work in multidisciplinary environments, in constant collaboration with all departments and a global vision.

Alexandra Andrade, Head of HHRR Spring Professional in Spain

These are some of the new jobs that are beginning to appear in the construction sector

Architecture

Sustainable architecture is the area of this sector that will demand more professionals, especially in the renewable energies. An MA in this arena will turn Architects “greener” and prepare them for this environmentally-concerned area that has already permeated the construction sector. Another profession with high demand is BIM (Building Information Modelling) modelers. These professionals are imbued in this methodology that consists on generating a realistic and complete representation of an infrastructure in 3D.

3D Printing professionals

For buildings and other concrete massive structures, as well as singular pieces.

Structures

With lighter materials, more powerful software and a growing demand for singular structures, the requirements are oriented to solving more complex structural problems. BIM and 3D printing will be the new methodological moulds to build bigger and more astonishing architectural designs. In a not-too-distant future, structures that rethink the laws of physics or that rise beyond limits will be down to earth options.

Facilities

Calculations for facilities will also need to be reinvented, oriented towards zero-energy consumption buildings and self-sustaining buildings. Energy efficiency and sustainability are of paramount concern: future buildings are not meant to consume energy, they are rather expected to produce it. Thus, all buildings must have passive system for the correct acclimatization of spaces, and intelligent homes will demand new type of facilities during construction.

Planning and Management

The new BIM methodology will permeate all contracts, processes and phases of the construction. Consulting, budgets and other aspects of the company will also need to be updated to the new formats. Since managing information is now a must-have, experts on the ground of Big Data are rising on demand. And it goes beyond that: these experts will be enacted to use the data to extract conclusions and automatize processes in order to optimize costs, taskforces and time. Two prominent profiles are the BIM Manager, closely related to the construction works, and the Project Manager, a round and more complete profile than the prior Head of Projects, since they must know more about how BIM works for  all the agents involved in construction and how to manage each of them.

Programming

The growing consumption of leading-edge technologies implies that more devices will need to be programmed. For construction, this means that more technologies and programming are demanded, leading to the reconversion from architecture or engineering to IT. Two other related positions will be parametrical designer and visual programmer, both profoundly technical profiles- these are not strictly programmers but will need to connect preformatted codes that will help to automatize and optimize architectural processes. If the frenzied pace of smartphones continues, we will soon see more APP designers oriented to domestic homes and other APPs to maximize construction.

Graphic representation

Infographics to create spaces in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are two ways that are going to revolution the ‘connected’ world, enabling to “be” in remote places in a 360º view as real as physical presence. Not so long ago, spaces were re- created using images. Now it’s the video that is bringing reality and virtual worlds together.

Domotics and imnotics

Domotics (systems that are able to automatize home buildings in order to achieve energy efficiency, safety, improved wellbeing) as a crucial  element in the maintenance of an energy-friendly home, and Inmotics, which automatizes commercial buildings based on parameters of energy saving are two new areas oriented to sustainable Buildings.

Automatic Programming

Is related to the above. Experts in this area manage the functioning of all automatic systems within the constructions, such as lights, temperature regulations, Anti-theft systems, among other systems that contribute to comfort and wellbeing in spaces.

BIM applied to a smart cities

Connecting all elements that make up Smart cities means going a step beyond and using an Artificial Intelligence to associate it to a BIM model. These new professionals will control the sensors located in smart cities and supervise the changes they undergo.

Data Hunter

New expert analysts that manage massive quantities of information.

Legal BIM

With the expansion of BIM models in the construction sector, Legal issues are going to concern both buildings itself and will involve different agents. Projects using BIM are going to be even more complex (and complete at the same time), and more agents will intervene on limited functions. The new role in this scenario is a profile to legally define competences and establish responsibilities for each of the agents, a legal professional in charge of explaining what a contract under BIM methodology implies, also in terms of risks and limitations, to legally Secure this new collaborative environment.

Energy transition

Is one of the specialized areas of knowledge that will demand more professionals of the future. Here are 8 jobs under this category

  • Installation technician specialist in self-consumption with storage and micronetworks in buildings, SMEs and agricultural holdings.
  • Specialist in energy rehabilitation and zero-consumption buildings, capable of integrating renewable energies and intelligent devices.
  • Specialist in efficient urban networks for heating and cooling in quarters using renewable energies, biomass or geothermal energy, and closed networks.
  • Energy manager specialized in audits, energy certification of buildings and evaluation of energy efficiency projects.
  • Manager for electrical vehicles and infrastructures, charging points in buildings and car parks.
  • Installation technician using biomass for heating and cooling
  • Technical manager in demand management, energy services, intelligent devices and aggregators that facilitate consumers’ participation in the electricity market.
  • Specialist in carbon footprint and circular economy

On the other hand, in a world that’s becoming more technological than ever, the abovementioned studies highlight that “advisors” of different natures (psychologists, coaches, even spiritual guides!) will have a long life of work, since family alienation and loneliness are already some of the visible consequences of the digital era. They will play a crucial role in helping us find our path through life.  The advances in Artificial Intelligence are empowering virtual assistants- they will soon have all the answers- but they won’t be able to connect with humans in a humane (personal and comforting) way.

In a world that is evolving at a turn of absurd speed, those who believe they have all answers, will be perfectly prepared for a world that will no longer exist tomorrow. Thus, either you learn to perceive things with an open mind and dance at the speed of changes, or you will end up crashing against yourself.

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