A shared goal of many people in the construction industry is to break into development. Development jobs are actually some of the most coveted jobs on the market, and people in these positions typically earn a six-figure annual income.

There’s quite a gap between the income of an employee of a general contractor and a developer. For example, someone making $140k could increase that to $200k or more on the owners’ side. This creates a lot of competition for a few positions.

Because of this high level of competition, only the top 20% of candidates will achieve this goal.

So with competition so fierce, how will you get there? Here’s our advice.

Set the Foundation

The only way to advance in your career is to achieve everything you possibly can in your current position. That means not only completing your projects on time and under budget, but also advocating for yourself.

Make it known that you want to work on bigger and better projects until you’re the go-to person for the biggest and the best. To make the move to a developer more feasible, you’ll also want to gain experience on the appropriate types of projects. Once you make it on to those sites, be on top of your game always.

If you prove that you can handle yourself in high-stress, high-visibility jobs, you’ll leave no doubt that you have the chops and the drive to take it to the next level.>

Build It Up

In order to gain all of this experience, you’ll have to put in a lot of time and effort. Without that, you’ll have nothing to advocate for in the first place.

You can start to gain construction experience by working for a general contractor for at least 5-10 years. The best course of action is to pursue jobs in the field you eventually want to be a developer in; a developer that is involved in luxury apartment buildings, for example, will hire people who have built them for GCs.  Become a specialist in that area, and make sure your expertise is sharpened and refined.

With this knowledge, you’ll not only build earn the trust of your colleagues, managers, and future employers, but also develop confidence in your own abilities.

Reinforce Relationships

Networking is just as important in development and construction as it is in any other industry. The word of your clients and your reputation are of paramount importance.

The odds are, the people you work with as a general contractor will end up being the same people you work with as a developer  – the companies you bid against as GCs will become the people who build your projects once you’re on the owner’s side, as well. That’s why it’s not only important to get those high-profile jobs while you work your way up, but also to do an excellent job while you’re in their employ, as well as establish relationships with your competition.

The work you put in today can pay off down the line if you make and maintain those relationships throughout your career.

Cut No Corners

Because you never know who exactly could help you on your path to development, always bring your best.

As with any goal of importance, you’ll want to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. You may only get one chance to prove yourself in your desired field. But the effort you put in now could set you up for substantial financial gains down the line.

If you want to improve your chances of landing your dream development job, get in touch with the expert construction recruitment team at Michael Page.