HeadshotTara Callinan • 

#17001 Construction trends

Construction technology, according to the Construction Institute, refers to the collection of innovative tools, machinery, and software used during the construction phase of a project. Examples of construction technology include mobile apps, VR headsets, automated machinery, drones, and more! Two of which we’ll get to later…

in a nutshell, technology refers to the products and processes you use each day to efficiently accomplish tasks. When technology is absent, productivity flatlines and projects often get delayed. Hence why there is a push for craftspeople to adopt construction technology at a much faster rate.

But you shouldn’t rush to buy the latest gadget just because it looks ‘cool.’ Research and evaluate the different types of construction technology available and find something that works for you, not against you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the whole process, seek professional advice from construction technology companies like Fieldwire that are here to help you adapt to change and progress with real confidence.

It’s important to note that while new technology might seem overwhelming at first, it is the key to longevity in this industry. In fact, 70 percent of construction companies that don’t adopt technology will go out of business, meaning it’s more critical than ever before to embrace innovation.

Here are two examples of construction technology that are changing the way our industry operates.

Construction Technology Example #1: Mobile Apps

With 93 percent of craftspeople already using a mobile device on-site, it’s clear why mobile apps have one of the highest adoption rates in construction. Mobile construction apps like Fieldwire give jobsite teams the tools they need to communicate in real-time across a jobsite, view and manage plans from the field, and instantly share important data (files and photos) with the office team. This way, projects can progress without any email miscommunication that has real costs — far worse than many construction companies realize. In the U.S. alone, an estimated $31 billion each year and four hours each week is lost to rework caused by miscommunication. Mobile construction apps that support the real-time flow of information have the power to reduce this loss significantly!

“A mobile app makes it easier to communicate with the general contractor because all of the information is right there at our fingertips. Within seconds, we can pull up anything on an iPad and hash things out with them.”

Phil Blake, Senior Project Manager at Colt Builders

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Construction Technology Example #2: Drones

No longer just a high-tech military device, drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles) have emerged as an essential part of the construction process. Not yet fully autonomous, but almost there, today’s drone technology can be scheduled at select times to monitor and record site activity across multi-billion dollar construction sites, including Microsoft’s Redmond campus. From capturing aerial videos to transporting equipment and materials, there are many uses for drones across a variety of industries. In the construction industry, the technology has become particularly useful for monitoring project progress and tracking material quantities.

DroneDeploy CEO and Founder, Mike Winn, said the two most broad ways of thinking about how drones are used on a construction site include “understanding construction progress — using drone photos, drone maps, and 3D models to map exactly what’s happened on a construction site, [and] using drones to help with site modeling — understanding the topology of the land before something gets built.”

With an estimated market value of over $127 billion in commercial applications, it’s clear that drones are making the transition from novelty item to indispensable business tool.

To optimize construction technology, synchronize and standardize

Without standardization, the positive impact of construction technology is lessened. If you have contractors and owners using different software, communication will be disconnected and the prevalence of double data entry will sky-rocket.

In fact, a recent study by Dodge Data & Analytics found that 42 percent of contractors use both the owner’s project management system in addition to their own, which increases the likelihood of risk as they duplicate efforts.

Without synchronization and standardization there is a real disconnect on the jobsite. Construction companies should look for technology with open API architecture that can seamlessly integrate with other systems to streamline and simplify daily tasks.

Burnham Nationwide, a building permit expediting and code compliance consulting firm, uses Fieldwire’s open API to integrate directly with its ERP system in order to manage access to each project and set of documents the company is working on.

“The capabilities of the Fieldwire platform are superior to the likes of PlanGrid. Fieldwire’s task management, customer service team, and it’s easy-to-use APIs allowed us to use it as a solution across the country.”

Carson Kyhl, Co-Founder and President at Burnham Nationwide

As investor momentum continues to build for construction technology, examples of construction technology will continue to emerge and propel the industry forward. If you’re excited to start working with construction technology that’s easy-to-use and affordable, please request a free demo of Fieldwire’s mobile app today.

Webp.net resizeimage.jpgMatt Schneiderman • 

CM-salary

Construction management salaries in the US are typically between $95,000 and $126,000 a year with an average of approximately $110,000 annually (Salary.com), but top earners make more than $160,000 a year.

Though salaries vary by region, experience, and certification (among other factors), the growing demand for construction managers is likely to drive salaries even higher for the foreseeable future — the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than 46,000 construction management jobs will have been added by 2028, a 10% increase.

Here’s how construction management education and degrees can affect how much you make and how experience and certifications can improve your prospects for even better pay. For a breakdown of construction manager salaries by location, check out the best states for construction management jobs.

Getting a degree in construction management

A degree in construction management pays for itself — the highest construction management salaries go to those with formal education and additional certifications. And as construction continues to become more complex and automated, learning the latest technologies will definitely set you apart.

You can earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in construction management or related field like engineering or architecture. The average cost of a bachelor program in construction management is about $141,000 for four years.

A master’s degree can earn you even more, as construction managers with advanced degrees make as much as 10% more than those without.

Courses related to construction management - business services engineering - construction law - construction methods and materials - construction project management - contract administration - cost estimation - design - estimating and bidding - international construction management - mathematics - project management - statistics - sustainability

Trade schools for construction management

College isn’t the only place to get a construction management education. Trade schools for construction management provide future construction managers opportunities to learn the latest practices and tech without costing as much as a 4-year degree. And trade school grads are likelier to earn more than the average college grad in their first 10 years in the workplace.

If you’re looking into trade school for an associate’s degree in construction management, make sure they have specialized, accredited programs in various construction fields.

Top three trade school construction programs, according to Learn.org - Florida State College (Jacksonville) - Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale) - Portland Community College (Portland, OR)

Construction management certifications

Getting certified in construction management and related fields is another way to max your earning potential. Not only do employers favor certified candidates for construction management jobs, you can earn an additional 10%, on average.

The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) awards the title Certified Construction Manager to those who fulfill the experience requirements and pass a technical exam; certification fees range from $325 and $425 with a $275 exam fee for a total of $600 (for CMAA members) or $700 (non-members). Recertification every three years is $200.

The American Institute of Constructors has certifications for Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor, both of which have education or experience requirements for taking the qualifying exams. The AC exam fee is $165; the application fee for Certified Professional Constructor certification is $575 (for ACs) or $675 (non-ACs), renewable yearly for $75.

Keep in mind, there are many other specialized certifications and licenses you can earn; occasionally, these are required by employers depending on the job or location.

Construction management starting salary

On average, an entry-level construction manager makes about $55,000 a year, or nearly $20/hour, according to CollegeGrad.com. That’s nearly twice the average entry-level salary in the US, $28,000.

Even better, experience relates to more money quickly for construction managers. A construction manager with one-to-four years of experience averages $61,500 a year while a construction manager with between five and nine years of experience averages $74,000 a year (Payscale.com).

It’s a good time to be in construction management!

Ready to get started in a career in construction? Fieldwire is hiring!

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

Construction internships

It’s been almost ten years since I completed my first internship. I did it not to gain course credits or impress my teachers, but to gain on-the-job experience I couldn’t get in the classroom.

Like most, construction internships come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on where your interests lie, you could find yourself splitting time between the field and the office, watching construction projects evolve before your very eyes, or helping design teams make dreams become realities.

However, no matter the size or shape of your internship, the rewards will be the same. But, before we jump into that, what is a construction internship?

What is a construction internship?

Unlike a construction apprenticeship, a construction internship, in most cases, is for undergraduate students eager to learn specific skills or gain work experience in a particular field, including:

  • Civil engineering, where you can learn about the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment.
  • Sustainable construction, where you’ll learn to design and build in a way that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient.
  • Construction management, where you learn about the role of a construction manager and the work that goes into executing a construction project on time and on budget.

How long is a construction internship?

A construction internship can be anywhere from one week to three months or one week every three months for a year. There are no set timelines or requirements; the time period is based on the type of internship you’re applying for and is usually set by the employer.

As an intern, you are not bound to work for the employer after your internship is complete, though many do. According to the NACE 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey, almost 60 percent of interns become full-time hires where they’ve interned.

If conversion to part-time or full-time employment isn’t on offer as part of your internship, ask your employer to consider the possibility once they see how passionate and hard-working you are. Even if there is no formal internship program, offer your services on a schedule that works for you — without impacting schoolwork or other commitments.

The benefits of an internship in construction

A construction internship is the best way to get a taste for construction without making any long-term commitments. This is why students interested in a career in construction do internships — to figure out what field they want to work in post-graduation.

Construction internships allow you to explore a career path, develop new skills, build professional relationships, and gain confidence, all while getting paid (in some cases). Let me explain…

An internship may or may not be paid. After all, you’re there to gain knowledge and experience, not money. Despite this, NACE reports that the average hourly wage for an intern in 2019 is $19.05; the highest reported hourly wage in history.

While an internship may not provide any formal industry qualifications, it will set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs. Most construction jobs require applicants to have previous industry experience, which is pretty hard unless you’ve completed an internship. If you have an internship under your belt, you may also receive a higher starting wage than those who have no experience at all.

Where to find construction internships

Most leading construction firms offer internship programs. Bechtel, one of the most respected engineering, construction, and project management companies in the world, posts their internships online — check out Bechtel’s internship opportunities!

If you’re dying to intern for a specific construction company but don’t see any internships advertised on their website, reach out and express your interest. Try emailing the company directly or connect with them on LinkedIn. Most people will be thrilled to hear you want to offer your services to them!

Sometimes looking offline is just as worthwhile. Keep an eye out for notices on student job boards and ask your professor or classmates if they know of any upcoming opportunities. That’s how I found my first internship!

What to look for in an internship

Unfortunately, interns are sometimes under-utilized and even bored if they’re not proactive. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your construction internship, ask about the following things when applying:

  • An assigned mentor. It’s important to have someone you can shadow, learn from, and approach with any questions or concerns should they arise.
  • A diverse task list. To fully understand the construction industry, you need to be assigned a wide range of tasks, both in the field and at the office. You may decide against a career in construction if all you do is update RFIs from behind a desk, day in, day out.
  • A seat at the table. Interns should be welcomed into an office and treated like a regular employee. For example, you should be interviewed for your intern position, invited to present at meetings, and have your work reviewed. This goes a long way in making sure you feel responsible, motivated, and excited to learn more.

If you’re eager to immerse yourself in the world of construction technology, we’d love to hear from you!

At Fieldwire, we value our interns and on-the-job training as much as we do our customers. In the past, we’ve had members of the Navy intern at our headquarters as part of the U.S. military’s innovation initiatives. You can read all about it on our blog!

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

Listen to “The ConTechCrew 189: Service Time, Not Scooter Time with Yves Frinault of Fieldwire” on Spreaker.

Starring in The ConTechCrew’s 189th episode was Yves Frinault of Fieldwire! In this episode, Yves spoke about his professional experience in the military and tech and expressed his strong opinions on amateur scooter riding.

Until just recently, there had been 3 years and 160 episodes between Yves Frinault’s appearances on The ConTechCrew podcast

And boy have things changed in that time!

Since Yves last spoke with host James Benham, he’s raised a record amount of funding and become a U.S. citizen; news James thought was well worth opening with:

“We’re thrilled to have you as part of the American team and we’re excited to have you back on the show.”

Throughout the latest ConTechCrew episode, Yves spoke about his career in tech, military experience, approach to developing Fieldwire’s app, and more! You can hear all about it online.

Don’t have time? Here is a list of key takeaways, quotes, and insights from the podcast:

  • It wasn’t until Yves served a year in the French military that he learned the importance of efficient communication.
  • While working in tech at Ubisoft, Yves realized there was a high bar set for products in Silicon Valley. He said: “I realized a product must be enjoyable to use. So when Javed and I started Fieldwire we told ourselves we were going to make a product that’s truly enjoyable for craftsmen on-site.”
  • Yves is a strong believer in ‘the Freemium model,’ confirming that there will always be a place for small teams to use Fieldwire for free.

“We’re seeing a lot of freemium models flushed and it really upsets construction companies.”

James Benham, ConTechCrewChief

  • Fieldwire’s task dashboard is used to track any piece of work that needs to be dispatched and inspected. When talking about Fieldwire’s task dashboard, co-host Rob McKinney told Yves: “It sounds like you’ve taken the two-week lookahead, the project plan, and even some lean methodology and baked it into this new online experience for the office and field to convey productivity and profitability.”
  • Yves and his staff use Fieldwire internally to manage and view all of their tasks by priority each day.
  • Fieldwire is used on a variety of projects to track and manage the construction of airports, hospitals, highways, and even prefab structures.
  • Originally, Yves pitched Fieldwire as ‘the Jira for Construction’ due to its open API which allows one piece of software to integrate with another. Yves said this capabilty is being more utilized as construction companies start to hire in-house developers to build integrations.
  • Yves predicts that the convergence of construction hardware and construction software is coming and that it has the potential to take a lot of burden off field-workers.
  • By 2025, Yves predicts that 80 percent of Fieldwire’s revenue will come from subcontractors.

“It’s hard to build software that can be used by both GCs and subs but It appears you’ve been able to thread that needle pretty well, Yves.”

Rob McKinney, ConAppGuru

  • Yves believes there are better long-term financial benefits for skilled craftspeople than Uber drivers, who tend to focus on the immediate deposits in their bank accounts rather than the depreciation of their car.
  • Fun fact: Yves is not a fan of electric scooters. He said his co-founder, Javed Singha, once rented a scooter and face-planted in the streets of Oakland, CA.

Want more? Listen to episode 189 to hear more from Yves about founding Fieldwire, plus his fresh-takes embedded apps, scooters, and more!

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Looly circleLooly Lee • 

Looly lee, Fieldwire.

Growing up in Manhattan, I was fascinated by the towering skyscrapers I passed on my way to school each day. My hobby of sketching buildings around New York City led me to take technical drawing classes, then create Revit models for my high school internships, and eventually manage MEP BIM coordination processes on large project sites. So it’s no wonder I found my natural fit in VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) because it combined my two passions — building things and using the latest technology to do it.

The problem with building things

One of the biggest challenges, for me, was helping my fellow teammates see the value in modern technology. Because for too long construction professionals had been sold on heavy, clunky tech, and burned by “Hollywood BIM” which made it hard for me to convince a superintendent with 30+ years of construction experience that there was a way to resolve issues faster and better than before.

“I grew passionate about bringing technology and innovation into an industry that so desperately needs it.”

Looly Lee, Construction Solutions Manager & Product Specialist at Fieldwire

To get around this roadblock, I learned to speak to my teammates about issues in “construction-speak”, not BIM-speak. For example, asking a superintendent “how are we rerouting the gravity line on L01 if a cable tray is at the same elevation in the doorway,” was more effective than “that’s wrong. That’s not what the BIM is showing”.

I also made it my mission to find technology that served a real need rather than just “look cool.” While the possibilities for technology nowadays is infinite, there’s the reality of what’s directly applicable now, and what will be in the next 20 years. Focusing on the wins I could get my most senior superintendents buy-in on was more of a priority than pitching how AR/VR is the next best thing. For example, proving the value of a mobile plan viewer was a no-brainer for me!

“Why would anyone choose to push a trolley of half sets around a jobsite when they could access all of their plans from the device in their pocket?”

Looly Lee, Construction Solutions Manager & Product Specialist at Fieldwire

Focusing on these wins first and having zero tolerance for clunky technology made the adoption easier in the long run. And, while I’m no longer in VDC, I’m still helping construction professionals adapt to innovative solutions as a Construction Solutions Manager & Product Specialist at Fieldwire.

Realizing the solution is Fieldwire

Every day, I get to speak with PEs, supers, and PMs who are just realizing that tools like Fieldwire exist to solve our industry’s common problems. My team and I pay great attention to our customers and their feedback to improve the usability of our platform in the field.

Since we’re so focused on helping our end-users work more efficiently, we make it our mission to incorporate their feedback into our product roadmap (see my latest update here). And that’s one of the best parts, in my opinion, about working at Fieldwire.

If you’d like to join Fieldwire on its mission to change construction through software, I’d love to hear from you! We’re actively seeking people with industry backgrounds to join our Construction team (but also have open roles across all other teams). Apply online and make the switch to technology today.

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