I first became interested in construction when I was in high school. I’d helped some family members complete a few home renovation projects and really enjoyed the process. During that time, I was exposed to the planning, budgeting and execution required for even small construction jobs.
To prepare myself for this career in high school, I took a class called Construction Science Trade Academy, which showed me the different opportunities within the construction industry — there are tons! The class also taught me how to make a career out of construction and gave me several handy skills for fixing things around the house.
To get more training, I earned a degree in construction science and management. While in college, I did several summer internships working for different companies to gain as much experience as I could.
Today, I’m a project engineer for Wildcat Companies. I have a variety of responsibilities like tracking the progress of a project, monitoring daily costs, creating GPS surveying records and helping the superintendent and project manager. I also help with things like project management and estimations for Klaver Construction Co. — a business under the Wildcat Companies umbrella — for jobs across Kansas.
I love the freedom and independence I’m given in this position to do my job. I have coworkers and supervisors who are willing to give me responsibilities, but also guide and teach me how to be the best I can at this job.
As I advance in my career, I want to keep learning everything possible. I want to broaden my knowledge and sharpen my abilities to become better versed in the industry. I also hope to continue taking on more responsibilities and moving up within the company.
If you think you’d enjoy a career in the construction industry, then I would tell you to get out there and try it. There’s nothing better than hands-on experience.