From tinker toys to lincoln logs, you’ve always had a knack for building. Now that adulthood has hit and your toys have been taken away, you still want to get your hands dirty and create something new, all while living in a foreign land earning money. Since you’re looking to start a new adventure and a new job (and maybe get in a good workout), finding construction jobs abroad will be a great way to lay the foundation (pun intended) for your future career. Countries all over the world are looking for eager applicants of all experience levels to build, create, and share something exciting.
Why Work Abroad in Construction
Maybe you’ve volunteered with local organizations or had construction jobs before, or maybe you majored in construction management in college. Whatever your experience with construction, packing up your tool belt and heading to work in construction abroad will give you a new perspective on a country’s infrastructure, economy, and the little things we might take for granted day-to-day. You’ll have a hand in building something from the ground up that lasts well beyond your time in-country. Now that’s making an impact!
Through the process of working in construction abroad, you’ll not only build sustainable housing, a new fence, or a school, but you’ll build your resume as well. Employers love to see someone that isn’t afraid to step outside of their usual surroundings, put their back into it, and work hard.
Construction jobs are offered in all corners of the world. Whether you want to draw out your inner Steve Irwin in Oz, experience the traditions of the Mayan people, or get jazzy in New Orleans, there’s a spot for you to make a difference working in construction.
In Australia, one of the most popular countries for construction jobs abroad, positions offer individuals the opportunity to work in the Australian outback. You’ll learn how to ride horses, operate everything from tractors to chainsaws, build fences, and maybe even help wrangle the cattle working on an Australian ranch. They don’t promise to turn you into Crocodile Dundee, but they will guarantee at least one construction job offer by the end of the training period. Now that’s something you can’t find in your own backyard!
For a construction worker with a little more experience under their tool belt, New Orleans, located in the southern United States, has opened it doors to foreigners eager to fulfill construction jobs. Especially since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the jazzy city has welcomed all the help they can get to rebuild their city. You’ll get a good feeling helping out a community struck by a natural disaster, no matter how long ago it was, and you will get to enjoy the spicy French and Southern fusion of culture along the way. For foodies, jazz enthusiasts, and history buffs, New Orleans serves a hearty helping of all three of things that are unique to Louisiana’s Creole capital.
Guatemala provides great opportunities to build and work in construction abroad. Organizations in Guatemala often help indigenous Mayans to create shelter and sustainable communities for themselves. A wide variety of construction jobs can be found in Guatemala focused on improving the overall well-being of local communities. In your free time, brush up on your Spanish as you climb ancient temples surrounded by rainforest, explore coffee plantations, and hike to the top of volcanoes that tower over towns.
If these locations don’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t be discouraged. There are more opportunities for construction work abroad than there are nails in your toolbox, especially in developing countries across Africa and Latin America.
Construction Jobs Abroad
Most construction jobs abroad involve working on individual building projects, like building homes with local contractors and housing developers, working on larger scale projects building community centers, schools, or libraries, and/or repairing or rebuilding current structures. Get ready to mix concrete, lay rebar, and participate in everyone’s favorite task: demolition! Just be careful where you swing that sledgehammer.
Your construction job will provide extensive safety and skills training, room and board, and even the possibility of future job offers; some agencies will even guarantee you a job at the end of your training period, and not require any construction experience before they hire you (though it is preferred). In beginner construction jobs, you can earn about $300 of spending money per week, and some positions will also include free accommodation with your fellow construction workers.
If you’re looking for more responsibility to match your years of experience, you can work abroad as a site supervisor or foreman, but only if you are a construction pro. And if you are feeling generous, you could work with volunteers and local volunteer organizations to help rebuild communities torn apart by natural disasters or other tragic events.
Benefits & Challenges
Unlike volunteering in construction abroad, part-time or full-time paid construction jobs abroad will likely require previous experience. Though there will be on-the-job training, without prior knowledge of safety practices, tools, and techniques, it will be pretty hard to get into the swing of things. Keep this in mind if you’re looking to change occupations and find construction work abroad.
Our structures provide insight into individual cultures and how they interact with the environment around them. Working abroad you will be given a unique opportunity to learn new approaches to construction, city planning, infrastructure, and how all of this relates to daily life in your host country.
Remember that the operative word in construction work abroad is WORK. Unless you’re specifically looking to go on a working holiday, you likely won’t have as much flexibility for individual travel. Dedicate yourself to building your community, literally. If you’re jetting off every other weekend and constantly requesting time off, how much are you really accomplishing?
No matter where you take a construction job abroad, you’ll learn new skills, a new culture, and will see the physical results of your labor, resulting in a heartier life. In the end, traveling and working abroad has a way of making you realize that the world is a pretty cool place.