Malaysia’s construction industry is one of the fastest-moving sectors and with major projects going on around the nation, the industry is not forecasted to slow down anytime soon. The construction industry is expected to grow by 8.3% in 2017 making the industry worth a whopping RM170bn.

Demand for construction professionals are higher than ever with Malaysia currently facing a shortage of supply of these professionals. When supply doesn’t meet demand it usually means one thing - more money. Candidates with relevant experience and skills can expect a big bonus, pay rise and strong interest from construction companies! 

So, what are the most in-demand construction jobs? 

1) solar

With the Malaysian government target that 11% of all energy will come from renewables by 2020, the Solar industry is going through a major surge. The problem is that the new Solar plants are up to 50Mw in size (10 times bigger than what we currently have) and there are 460Mw of new projects already confirmed!

With local talent already in short supply candidates with Solar experience are being offered expat packages to return to Malaysia to work in the industry and many are looking to hire Civil Engineers and Electrical Engineers with transferable skills.

key skills needed

  • solar or renewable energy experience
  • electrical Engineering
  • ability to work outstation

what you can earn

  • MYR 220, 000 - 240, 000 per annum - project managers
  • MYR 145, 000 - 180, 000 per annum - contract managers

2) quantity surveyors 

Quantity surveyors are a key part of any project, whether that be appointing sub-contractors, pricing tenders or dealing with claims. With many graduates moving to Singapore, it has left a chronic undersupply of good quantity surveyors in the market so employers are turning to work life balance to retain their best staff.

Five day weeks have always been the norm in Property Developers and Consultancies with a growing numbers of Main Contractors are following - especially for Head Office Positions.

While most QS / Senior QS candidates are happy to work 5.5 days or 6 days alternative - Main Contractors who insist their contracts team work 6 days per week might have to deal with high turnover rates and less choice when looking for new hires.

key skills needed

  • strong Letter Writing
  • bidding for tenders /pre-contract
  • happy to work 6 days per week

what you can earn

  • MYR 72,000 - 90,000 per annum - senior quantity surveyors
  • MYR 120,000 - 160,000 per annum - contract managers
  • MYR 160,000 - 200,000 per annum - senior contract managers

3) precast

With the ever-tightening schedules, it is no wonder that contractors are looking at Precast. After initial investments in a factory and machinery, Precast is by far the fastest way to construct. We are seeing Precast being used for high rises, low cost housing and LRT columns.

Of course planning is critical - you need to know exactly what pieces you need on site and when, so you can give your factory the time to cast each piece. Planning Managers and Project Managers are in particular demand.

key skills needed

  • experience in Precast methodology
  • planning using Primavera or MS Projects
  • precast Design Experience
  • overseas experience favourable

what you can earn

  • MYR 120, 000 - 180, 000 per annum - production managers
  • MYR 180, 000 - 240, 000 per annum - planning managers
  • MYR 180, 000 - MYR 240, 000 per annum - project managers

4) high rise project managers

When looking to hire a Project Manager for a high rise project, many would expect that their job would not complete until the project is complete...or so you would think. Unfortunately there has been a trend of Project Managers leaving mid way through a project (usually for a better remuneration package) meaning there is a shortage of “end to end” project managers.

Being able to secure the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) are all key parts of being a good project manager - and there is a shortage of them!

key skills needed

  • degree in Civil Engineering
  • end to end project completion
  • highrise project (30+ Storey)

what you can earn

  • MYR 150, 000 - 180, 000 per annum - project managers
  • MYR 180, 000 - 220, 000 per annum - senior positions
  • MYR 240, 000 - 360, 000 per annum - project directors

5) bridge/elevated structure

What happens when you build an LRT, MRT, DASH and SUKE all at the same time? All of which have elevated sections. Contractors specialising in Elevated Structure are in high-demand at the moment.

The major players in the Rail Industry typically have a non-poach agreement set up meaning it is common for candidates to move between Highway, LRT and MRT projects as their skills are transferable.

key skills needed

  • degree in Civil Engineering
  • box girder / Precast / Post Tensioning
  • elevated structure experience
  • strong co-ordination
  • strong letter writing

what can you earn

  • MYR 140, 000 - 180, 000 per annum - contract managers
  • MYR 100, 000 - 140, 000 per annum - design managers
  • MYR 180, 000 - 240, 000 per annum - project managers

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