Best Construction Jobs
From plumbing to painting to cost-estimating, the type of work available in construction does not begin and end with a hard hat. Indeed, there are a wide range of tasks completed by laborers in the industry, all for the purpose of keeping our society humming. Despite a rough patch in employment, the Labor Department still projects that construction will be one of the fastest-growing sectors this decade, spurred on by the need for repair to and advancements in our infrastructure. Read more on how we rank the best jobs.
Before the first hammer is swung, a cost estimator must coordinate with engineers, architects, and construction managers to determine the technical, mechanical, and fiscal requirements of a project. These hyper-organized critical thinkers could see their workforce swell by 36 percent this decade.
The construction manager has one of the hardest jobs on a construction site. He or she plans, helps budget, and oversees the project from start to finish. The nearly 90,000 new managers entering the field this decade should pursue a bachelor’s degree in construction management, architecture, or engineering.
Where would we be without plumbers? (And goodness, what would we smell like?) These highly trained professionals install, inspect, and repair the pipes and fixtures that carry water, steam, air, and gas.
Falling off of ladders. Enduring cuts. Braving high-rise buildings to install glass. There's an action hero-like quality to being a glazier. However, the job does have a more pedestrian side, like when you're installing windows at residences. As the demand for energy-efficient glass products and window systems increase, so too will the number of jobs. The Labor Department predicts a 42 percent growth rate in the industry over the next decade.
Who knew that pouring cement could be such a high-stakes game? But the margin of error is less than zero for both cement masons and concrete finishers. The shade of difference between the two: Cement masons generally work with cement in its final form while concrete finishers are the ones who pour it.
Becoming a professional painter requires more than just an eye for color. Those in the trade have undergone a three- or four-year apprenticeship that includes about 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. By 2020, there will be more than 72,000 new electrician positions.
Ably working with your hands isn't the lone trait needed to succeed as a brickmason or blockmason. While brickmasons do mostly residential work and blockmasons primarily go the commercial route, both must have a talent for following instructions carefully, as both realms feature nuanced steps. As residential real estate and office markets begin to slowly bounce back, the Labor Department projects a growth rate of a little more than 40 percent.
As legend teaches us, Benjamin Franklin became our first electrician when he flew his 18th-century kite in a lightning storm. Today's professionals take a much safer approach to installing and maintaining electrical and lighting systems. The Labor Department predicts more than 130,000 new electricians will join the construction industry by 2020.
Carpentry is one of the most versatile occupations in construction, since workers must master a variety of skills. Carpenters are trained to handle both small tasks, like constructing kitchen cabinets, and large jobs, like repairing bridges. The Labor Department reports that by the year 2020, there should be 196,000 new workers in residential, commercial, and industrial carpentry.
Variety is one of the pluses of working as a general construction worker. These laborers could help with digging tunnels underground, repairing highways on the ground, and constructing skyscrapers up above. By 2020, there will be an astronomical 212,400 new positions in this occupation.