After suffering a horrible downturn during the Great Recession, the construction industry is now beginning to pick up and is in fact expected to be one of the most in demand in the years to come. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts an overall employment growth of 2.6 percent annually, yielding almost 1.7 million jobs from 2012 to 2022.
What does this mean to you?
Well, if you’re interested in working in the construction industry, it only means one thing: A great opportunity for you! So gather your things and start applying for training that will help you acquire one of these common and rewarding careers in the industry.
Civil engineers plan, design, construct, and manage a variety of construction projects. Usually, they work indoors in offices, but you can also find them outdoors at construction sites to monitor operations and troubleshoot any problems. Most civil engineers work on large construction projects, such as dams, buildings, bridges, roads, and mines. Civil engineers are considered one of the top-paying careers in the industry, having an average annual salary of $87,130 in 2014. To become one, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, pass the licensure exam, and gain some work experience. Generally, you would need to also have excellent math and computer skills.
As the name implies, construction and building inspectors inspect worksites to ensure that they meet the building codes and requirements set by the authorities. Most of them work along with a team, but you can also find them working solely. The average annual wage for building inspectors was $58,430 in 2014. You can become a building inspector even if you don’t have a college degree. The minimum education requirement for this job is having a high school diploma or GED; but to get considered by employers, you must have considerable knowledge of construction trades. In some cities and states, a license or certification is required.
Also known as site or project managers, construction managers plan, budget, supervise, and monitor construction projects to ensure that they will be completed satisfactorily, on time and within budget. They are also responsible in getting work permits, hiring staff, and troubleshooting any emergencies. Generally, project managers have the full responsibility of the entire projects that’s why they are also one of the top-paid workers, earning an average annual pay of $94,590 in 2014. To get into this job, you would typically need a bachelor’s degree related in the construction field and several years of experience in the industry. And since this job requires a lot of negotiating and talking, you need to have strong problem-solving and communication skills.
Also called as brickmasons, blockmasons, or simply masons, these workers are responsible in building structures that require the use of bricks, blocks, and stones, such as walls, fences, and roads. Since more schools, hospitals, and concrete buildings are needed in the future, masons are expected to be increasing in demand in the years to come. Basic mason knowledge can be gained on the job, but formal trainings are also available to become more skilled in the field. The mean annual wage for these workers was $42,130 in 2014.
Carpentry is considered one of the oldest, versatile, and more secure professions in the construction industry. Carpenters erect, construct, install and repair structures that are made from wood and other building materials, such as building frameworks, stairways, partitions, and doorframes. Depending on their skills and specialty, they may also install kitchen cabinets, hardwood floors, and siding. Similar to stonemasons, carpenters also learn on the job, usually starting as helpers. But there are also trainings available that help them gain more knowledge in the field, and eventually give them an opportunity to get a higher role. The average annual pay for carpenters was $45,590 in 2014.
Plumbing is also a very common profession in the construction industry. Plumbers install, assemble, and repair pipe systems that carry water, steam, and gas in houses, offices, schools, factories, and other buildings. Most plumbers work on an irregular schedule, as most of them are just often on-call during emergencies. But if employed with regular working schedules, the benefits could be rewarding. The annual average salary for these workers was $54,620 in 2014. Just like carpentry and masonry, you can get into the plumbing industry even without a college education as the skill for this profession can usually be learned on the job. However, there are also technical schools offering special training programs so interested individuals can gain more knowledge about the job.
If you’re looking for a rewarding and stable career, then entering the construction industry can be a great option as there’s always a need for new buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures. However, it’s important to realize that this industry is also considered one of the riskiest, so it pays to be insured, licensed, and bonded. Before you offer your service, make sure that you have the proper coverage policy and bonding requirements, such as a California general contractor liability insurance (if you’re working in California) to protect yourself.