Despite being hit hard from the Great Recession, the last few years have shown us that construction jobs are on the rise. Not only has the industry recovered from its worst unemployment dip in the post-war era, there are a number of construction careers that are proving to be viable long-term options. The construction industry remains incredibly diverse, with jobs available in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors. In addition, renovation, repair and maintenance careers have become a consideration for entrepreneurs or tenured construction professionals. With so options to choose from, we have narrowed down 10 of the most profitable and highly-demanded construction careers.
Construction Project Manager
Construction project managers are highly demanded, but the problem lies in the number of qualified individuals available. Construction project managers are often in charge of planning, and organizing projects, while coordinating with foremen and supervisors as well. Moreover, construction managers must work with cost estimators in the overall budgeting of a project. To become eligible to become a construction manager, a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related program will suffice, in combination with years of construction experience. If you are new to the industry, this job title may be far down the line for you. Construction management is better suited for professionals who have been involved with numerous projects, have experience budgeting and have been given managerial duties. The average salary for a construction manager ranges from 90,000 to 95,000, one of the highest paid positions in the industry.
The financial and accounting sectors of construction is also seeing growth, which seems to diverge from traditional blue-collar construction jobs. Cost Estimators are invaluable partners with any construction company as they can advise you on all of a project’s budget, ranging from the overall budget to the planning of each small cost. There are a number of types of cost estimators, including professionals who oversee entire projects, to ones who only focus on certain aspects of a job, like plumbing or electrical. A bachelor’s degree in a related field is a good start, but couple that with accounting experience, certifications and knowledge of BIM (Building Information Modeling) make for the perfect cost estimator. In a world where budgets are shrinking, and costs are going up, cost estimators are needed now more than ever.
Jobs in the glazier industry are quite rare, but can be extremely profitable for the right person. Essentially, a glaziers’ main job is installing and fitting glass into windows and doors. It may sound simple, but glaziers are needed for everything from commercial high-rises to retrofitting and repairing old homes or buildings. The most job openings for glaziers are in cities and metropolitan areas. Becoming a Glazier is a skilled trade so if you select this route, apprenticeship and general installation or construction experience is your best bet.
Another skilled trade you may be interested in is painting. Becoming a painter is typically an entry-level position into the construction industry, and you can do so with a GED or high school diploma. For those who want to get in construction, and are not the academic type, painting provides an ideal alternative. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on tuition fees, becoming a painter, even at a young age allows you to get paid right away and get your foot in the door as either an independent contractor, or contract worker within a larger firm. In the four years you could be spent buried in text books and lectures, a three to four year apprentice ship that provides you with a certification.
It’s been well known that jobs in plumbing are fairly profitable. A 3 to 5 year apprenticeship with a plumber will provide an array of skills that go far beyond the stereotypical role of a plumber. After an apprenticeship, plumbers gain knowledge in installation and repair of water and drainage systems, septic tanks and even small appliances. Furthermore, plumbers must be knowledgeable in building blueprints, and safety codes. With the wide set of skills and knowledge plumbers have, they can make an annual salary of $50,000 to $55,000 a year.
Another sector seeing growth is the mechanical trades. Anyone who owns a car knows that having a trusted mechanic is essential. The number of cars on the road only continues to increase, which also gives way for a greater need for vehicle repair workshops and mechanics. In addition, with many people leaning towards more inexpensive vehicle repair options, independent run shops are becoming more popular than dealership or manufacturer-run shops. Getting a job as a mechanic can be done with a high school diploma, but to get a leg up or gather greater skills, many colleges offer an Automotive Service Technician program that can help you land an apprenticeship down the road.
There are many labels for this construction job, but heavy machine operator and heavy equipment operator are the most commonly used ones. Seen in all sectors of construction, like residential, commercial or infrastructure – like roads and bridges – it is common to see a heavy equipment operator nearby. These machines, like backhoes and bulldozers, are often needed for newly paved roads or new built construction sites. There are plenty of jobs in this field, the only downside would be that they are typically seasonal.
Electricians require a wide range of knowledge and skills that are applicable to many facets of construction. Once you are licensed, electricians are needed to lay out, assemble, install and repair electrical wiring. In addition they need to know how to control certain devices and large amounts of equipment in buildings. Because electricians are required in so many parts of the construction industry, you will be able to find jobs in electrical contracting and maintenance. If you have ample experience and expertise, becoming an independent contractor may be an option.
As the economy continues to recover, the number of residential projects are also on the upswing. In addition, with a number of different types of materials available, brick remains popular because of its durability and affordability. In addition to apprenticeship in this skill trade, a certificate or degree in masonry at a technical institute is a common way to get your foot in the door.
A construction laborer remains a profitable job, with many openings available. Without the need for formal education, it is relatively easy to enter into the construction labor force. Once you are in however, you may want to begin honing in on what specific trade, or aspect of construction you are interested in. Your first duties on a construction site may be loading and unloading materials, digging ditches, operating simple machines and cleaning up. The best strategy to move up in construction would be to gain experience in as many areas as possible with skilled trade experts like with plumbers, electricians and carpenters, which can help you focus in on what area of the industry you see yourself working in.