Careers

EXPLORE CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION

Career options in construction are unlimited

TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION

The construction industry offers a ton of career choices. We’ll explain some of them here. Once you’ve discovered what interests you, call local construction companies to ask if you can tour a job site, or call local training facilities to make arrangements for a tour. They may even be able to put you in touch with a journeyperson in your chosen trade so you can ask them about their job.

TO DIG DEEPER INTO THESE PROFESSIONS AND OTHERS, SEARCH O*NET ONLINE: http://www.onetonline.org

JOBS VS. CAREERS

The difference between a JOB and a CAREER
• A job can be taken away. A career cannot.
• A job is fixed and can’t change – that’s why jobs can become obsolete. A career is adaptable. It can take many twists and turns to follow personal, social, and technological changes.
• A career encompasses our whole lives. When one career avenue is closed to us we need to take stock of the skills and experience we have built up in other areas over our whole career.

Brick/Block Mason

The Job: Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.

The Skills: Plan layout of construction, installation, or repairs, Measure and mark reference points on construction materials and/or objects for installation or assembly; install masonry materials & apply mortar/binders.

The Pay: $50,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Building Inspector/Plans Examiner

The Job: Works for the city or county; makes sure the building plans or the actual construction meets the requirements of the building codes. Kind of a narc, but essential to the health and safety of the people who will live or work in the building.

The Skills: Problem-solving; attention to detail

The Pay: $60,000 per year

What’s Required: Associate’s (two-year) degree from an accredited college

 

Carpet/Flexible Flooring Installer

The Job: Install carpet and other flexible flooring material from rolls or blocks on floors. Install padding and trim flooring materials.

The Skills: Prepare surfaces for finishing; measure, mark and cut carpet, vinyl or other flexible materials to fit precisely; inspect work sites to determine condition or necessary repairs.

The Pay: $39,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Cement Mason & Concrete Finisher

The Job: Form, pour, smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. 

The Skills: Position construction forms or molds; spread or pour concrete or other aggregate mixtures; finish concrete surfaces; inspect completed work to ensure proper installation.

The Pay: $41,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Construction Carpenter

The Job: Construct, erect, install, and repair structures and fixtures of wood, plywood, and wallboard, using carpenter’s hand tools and power tools. (Note: there are about 25 different types of “carpenter” specialties.)

The Skills: Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements, mark reference points on construction materials, measure and cut all varieties of material or objects for installation or assembly.

The Pay: $45,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Construction Manager

The Job: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation.

The Skills: Negotiate project specifications; develop operating strategies, plans, or procedures; prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets; supervise employees; manage construction activities.

The Pay: $91,500 per year

What’s Required: Bachelor’s (4-year) degree

 

Cost Estimator

The Job: Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining the price(s) of product or service.

The Skills: Analyze business or financial data; collaborate with others to coordinate business operations and financial matters; estimate costs of goods or services; assess the cost effectiveness of products, projects, or services.

The Pay: $63,000 per year

What’s Required: Bachelor’s (4-year) degree

 

Drywall & Ceiling Installer

The Job: Apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound.

The Skills: Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements; measure & mark reference points on construction materials and/or objects for installation or assembly; install building materials.

The Pay: $43,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Electrician

The Job: Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

The Skills: Plan layout of construction, installation, or repairs; create construction or installation diagrams; install electrical components, equipment, or systems; test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning; inspect electrical or electronic systems for defects.

The Pay: $54,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED + post-secondary certificate & apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Elevator Installer/Mechanic

The Job: Assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters.

The Skills: Evaluate construction projects to determine compliance with external standards or regulations; assemble & install products or production equipment, including electrical components; inspect and/or maintain industrial or commercial equipment to ensure proper operation

The Pay: $79,500 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Foreman/Supervisor

The Job: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers

The Skills: Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements; evaluate projects to determine compliance with technical specifications; inspect equipment or tools to be used in construction or excavation; coordinate construction project activities & direct construction or related personnel.

The Pay: $64,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED + apprenticeship or similar skills training; some college a plus.

 

Glazier/Window Installer

The Job: Install glass in windows, skylights, store fronts, and display cases, or on surfaces, such as building fronts, interior walls, ceilings, and tabletops.

The Skills: Communicate with clients about products, procedures, and policies; install metal structural components; fabricate parts or components; verify alignment of structures or equipment; install glazing units.

The Pay: $42,500 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation (HVAC) Technician

The Job: Install, service, or repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences or commercial establishments.

The Skills: Determine proper sizing/capacity of HVAC equipment & distribution systems (ductwork); follow building & energy codes; test electrical circuits or components for proper functioning; install, service and/or repair/replace HVAC systems, components and parts.

The Pay: $47,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED + post-secondary certificate & apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Heavy Equipment Operator

The Job: Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.

The Skills: Position & operate heavy-duty construction or extraction equipment; locate equipment or materials in need of repair or replacement; monitor construction operations.

The Pay: $47,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Insulation Installer

The Job: Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.

The Skills: Measure, mark & cut materials or objects for installation or assembly; install insulation in equipment or structures; apply sealants or other protective coatings.

The Pay: $37,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Ironworker

The Job: Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. May erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.

The Skills: Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements; signal equipment operators to indicate proper equipment positioning; operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment; install metal structural components; verify alignment of structures or equipment.

The Pay: $52,600 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Plumber/Pipefitter/Steamfitter

The Job: Assemble, install, maintain or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, natural gas or drainage systems, commercial or industrial pipe systems, pipe supports, or related hydraulic or pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, sprinkling, or industrial production or processing systems.

The Skills: Create construction or installation diagrams; cut and/or weld metal components; install plumbing or piping; record operational or environmental data; inspect plumbing systems or fixtures.

The Pay: $53,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED + post-secondary certificate & apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Roofer

The Job: Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, or related materials. May spray roofs, sidings, and walls with material to bind, seal, insulate, or soundproof sections of structures.

The Skills: Inspect work sites to determine condition or necessary repairs; remove debris or vegetation from work sites; assemble temporary equipment or structures (scaffolding); estimate construction project labor and materials requirements; install & inspect materials.

The Pay: $39,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Safety Specialist

The Job: Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector.

The Skills: Advise communities or institutions regarding health or safety issues; inspect work environments to ensure safety; design public or employee health programs; conduct health or safety training programs; test facilities for environmental hazards.

The Pay: $72,000 per year

What’s Required: Bachelor’s (4-year) degree

 

Sheet Metal Worker

The Job: Fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings.

The Skills: Create construction or installation diagrams; review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements; measure & ark reference points on construction materials or objects for installation or assembly; assemble products or production equipment.

The Pay: $48,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED; apprenticeship or similar skills training.

 

Surveyor

The Job: Make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, gravitation, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, mining, land evaluation, construction, and other purposes.

The Skills: Verify mathematical calculations; direct surveying activities; document technical design details; create maps; gather & report physical survey data.

The Pay: $61,000 per year

What’s Required: Bachelor’s (4-year) or Associate’s (2-year) degree

 

Welder

The Job: Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

The Skills: Lay out parts to prepare for assembly; operate welding equipment to align and assemble metal or plastic parts or products; measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.

The Pay: $40,000 per year

What’s Required: High school diploma or GED + post-secondary certificate & apprenticeship or similar skills training.

MORE JOBS IN CONSTRUCTION!

MANAGEMENT

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Foreman/Construction Manager

Project Engineer

Project Manager

Safety Director

Scheduler

Superintendent

ADMINISTRATIVE & PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT

Accountant

Administrative Assistant/Executive Secretary Arbitrator/Mediator

Bookkeeper/Accounting Clerk

Construction Building Inspector

Estimator

Expeditor/Purchasing Agent

MIS Manager

Marketing Manager

Office Manager

Production/Planning/Expediting Clerk

Purchasing Manager

DESIGN & ENGINEERING

Architect

Drafter

Engineer

Landscape Architect