If you have always been good at building things and working with your hands, a career in the construction industry could be rewarding for you. There are even different trades you can choose from depending on which one appeals to you most – carpentry, electrical, mechanical and painting are just a few examples.

You’ll need to go through months of training before you’re ready to start working on your own, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared long before you fly solo. That being said, here’s a list of some basic tools you’ll likely need once your career takes off.

Top Tools You Need For A Construction Career

Protect yourself

Don’t even think about starting construction work without purchasing the necessary safety equipment. The required safety equipment depends on your employer’s rules and the job you’re working on, but a hardhat, safety goggles and steel-toed boots are typically needed for every job. A face mask that covers the nose and mouth, or a plastic one that covers the entire face might be necessary on jobs where harmful chemicals or fumes are involved.

Cut through Anything

There are dozens of types of saws out there to choose from. Luckily, you only need a few in order to get the job done — whatever it might be.

  • Circular saw: Best for cutting through logs or beams, and you can choose from corded or cordless depending on your needs.
  • Jigsaw: A small saw that’s best for cutting curves, not straight lines
  • Reciprocating saw: A powerful saw with a large blade used for cutting through pipe and other demolition material
  • Miter saw: A suspended saw that allows for accurate angled cuts
  • Table saw: A saw fixed on a table so the material that needs cut has to be moved toward the saw
  • Hand saw: A basic portable saw that’s run manually

Get Accurate Measurements

“Measure twice, cut once” isn’t just a figure of speech — it’s a phrase carpenters live by. Careful measuring prevents inaccurate cuts and wasted material, which is why you should equip yourself with the necessary measuring tools for the job. A 30-foot tape measure is the most basic measuring tool you can start out with, and one you’ll use throughout your career. A framing square is needed for marking accurate 90-degree angles. Laser line levels ensure that anything you’re placing on a wall is centered.

Other Essentials

It’s easy to remember tools you’ll use often; however, there are other tools you might not use as frequently, but are just as important. A tool belt — while not a requirement — makes carrying tools from one end of the building to the other a breeze. Construction pencils are essential for marking measurements on wood and walls. Metal fastening pins are used to safely hold two parts together, such as nuts and bolts. A hammer or nail gun, along with various sizes of nails; a cordless drill with a variety of drill bits; and an orbital sander are also needed to complete a typical construction job.

It’s sometimes impossible to predict exactly what you’ll need for each job, but coming prepared with the basics allows you to get a head start on construction. And starting your first job with a go-getter attitude shows your supervisor that you’re committed to succeeding in your career.