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Working in construction

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A construction site in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

In Cambodia, the construction sector is often associated with high-risk accidents and low wages. Accusations are rife that construction companies do not implement enough safety measures for their employees.

James Loh K.H., native to Singapore, works as a technical advisor for construction companies. He says this stigma is not necessarily true.

“Good construction companies operate on honesty and discipline. Hard, good working employees are taken care of by these types of companies and can be moulded into skilled workers.”

For those who wish to work in a position beyond manual construction, architecture and engineering degrees are good options to get started. While a degree in architecture takes six years, an engineering degree takes three or four.

From his experience working in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Mr Loh said that “those working in the construction field can be paid more than in many other professions, especially if they’re knowledgeable and hard working”.

Mr Loh continued: “In today’s Cambodia, an engineer or a foreman with eight to 10 years of experience can make over US$1000 per month.”

“With the construction industry on the rise, I foresee an even higher salary in the future,” he said.

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