Careers In Construction: Putting It Together

careers in constructionAs long as people need houses to live in and structures to work and play at, there will always be a need for people to build them. While there are some people who would consider a career in the construction industry, there are more who wouldn’t. This is probably because they think that the only jobs available in this line of work require heavy manual labor. That’s just one of the many myths about construction.

But if you’re just looking for tips on starting a construction project of your own, this course will give you the head start you need.

It Ain’t All That! – Myths and Facts

Before deciding whether a career in construction is something you’d consider or not, let’s take a second to fact check what you really know about the industry.

  • Myth # 1: People end up in construction because they have no other choice.

Truth: Many people do choose to be in construction. It’s being able to use their hands, as well as certain skills, equipment, and tools that make their jobs more interesting than working in an office. It’s the feeling of accomplishment behind being a part of the team that put up the community hospital, a historical landmark, a school, or even an architectural masterpiece that drives people to stay in the industry.

  • Myth # 2: Construction work is seasonal and it pays poorly.

Truth: In this day and age, only the worst weather can stop a project from pushing through. With advanced techniques and equipment, employers pay a premium for the knowledge and skills you use. Construction laborers could earn even more than a university graduate taking an entry-level desk job.

  • Myth # 3: Construction is an ordinary job. All you need to know is how to use tools.

Truth: Careers in construction aren’t limited to what we commonly see in movies or TV. There are trades that require specialized skills, certification, and even licenses. You can even start earning while learning. As you build on your expertise, you increase your chances of getting a pay raise and getting promoted. Some occupations in construction include managerial and highly technical jobs. These are careers that would require not just experience but a college degree to boot.

There you have it. We now know that working in construction isn’t as bad as we thought it was. It isn’t a dead-end job for people who have no future. In fact, it’s the opposite, because there is plenty of opportunity for growing your knowledge and skills. The next section gives you some information on the industry’s top occupations.

Cool Careers in Construction

Because there are a lot of job types in construction, we’ve narrowed down the list to jobs that most people are familiar with and might consider. The salary figures are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and reflect data from May 2013. Take a good look at this list, because one of these jobs just might be exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Construction Manager

Planning, budgeting, and directing – these three words pretty much sum up what a Construction Manager does for a project. He’s the go-to person when decisions have to be made, and problems have to be fixed. As the person responsible for so many moving parts, a successful candidate would most likely have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree relevant to the job. Throw in managerial experience, analytical thinking, and strong communication skills to the mix, and you have a highly effective Construction Manager.

For more on how to manage a project of your own, check out this awesome course.

Average Annual Salary: $92,700

  • Civil Engineer

For small projects, Civil Engineers can simply serve as consultants with minimal involvement. However, bigger projects such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, and large buildings have these professionals engaged full-time. They’re responsible for planning, designing, and overseeing the construction of these structures.

Being a Civil Engineer is more than just a career. It’s a service rendered to the public. Because this job is critical to people’s safety, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and a license. For some valuable lessons in quality management for construction jobs, give this course a shot.

Average Annual Wage: $85, 640

  • Cost Estimator

Because construction projects try to stick closely to their budgets and meet deadlines, the need for people to focus on just these factors of a job is pretty obvious. Cost estimators collect and analyze data to provide estimates on cost, time, and other resources to management. Although a degree isn’t a must-have for this job, applicants with a background in finance, accounting, or economics would certainly find adjusting to the job a lot easier.

However, anyone who’s interested in becoming a Cost Estimator can learn the skills needed through on-the-job training, hands-on experience, and proper coaching. This course is an excellent tool for getting you acquainted with everything that goes into managing project costs.

Average Annual Salary: $63,660
Average Hourly Rate: $30.61

  • Plumber

Hate ‘em or love ‘em, at the end of the day, it’s because of plumbers that you can take a hot shower after a bad day at work. These professionals are masters at problem-solving and customer service. Aside from troubleshooting water system problems and hearing out their customers plumbing issues on the daily, they also install and connect water and gas piping and fixtures.

A plumber usually starts out as a paid apprentice for 4 to 5 years. He or she also takes classroom training on safety and plumbing-specific topics. After the apprenticeship program, you become a journeyman plumber with some states requiring 2 to 5 years of experience and a license.

Average Annual Wage: $53,820
Average Hourly Rate: $25.88

  • Electrician

Adding some shock value (literally) to the world of construction, electricians are the answer to problems with faulty wiring. They’re also crucial when a new house or facility needs electricity. Similar to plumbers, electricians go through an apprenticeship program, then move on to journeyman status after passing the board examination for electricians.

This blog post can fill you in on more of the details of electrician jobs and salary.

Average Annual Wage: $53,560
Average Hourly Salary: $25.75

  • Mason

Using bricks, tiles, and blocks as decorative material, brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons add some flair to homes and buildings. More importantly, they lay out sturdy foundations for building stone walls, bridges, and fences, as well as repair damaged ones.

After graduating high school, you can immediately start learning the ropes. Being a mason begins with apprenticeship and/or attending trade school, and ends after 3 to 4 years of training. The good news is that a lot of masonry contractors and unions will sponsor you through these apprenticeship programs.

Average Annual Salary: $50,700
Average Hourly Rate: $24.37

  • Carpenter

A lot of carpenters are self-employed and have gone through an apprenticeship. It takes both brains and brawn to be a good carpenter since the job is all about building and repairing using a variety of materials. You’re be cutting and shaping wood, installing fixtures, and the like.

Average Annual Wage: $44, 980
Average Hourly Wage: $21.62

  • Painter

The minimum qualification to wield a paintbrush is a high school diploma and no allergic reactions to paint. However, those who attend 3 to 4 year apprenticeship programs, just like in most other construction trades, get the better job offers. It’s in those four years that you’ll learn how to use the right tools and mix paint to get the right shade and consistency.

Average Annual Wage: $39,290
Hourly: $18.89

  • Construction Worker

Considered as the jack-of-all-trades type of job, being a construction worker can help you decide which path to take later on. Although this occupation involves a lot of manual labor and a relatively low pay rate, it’s great exposure to all sorts of construction careers that can be your golden ticket to greener pastures.

Average Annual Wage: $35,020
Hourly: $16.84

Get To Work

A career in the construction industry may not be a first choice for some people. However, once you’re actually in it, you may find yourself a lifelong passion. Just make sure to do your homework and get some exposure so you can find the right career for you. I

And if you’re ready to get a project started, check out this course on construction contracts to help you out.