Top Career Paths in the Trillion-Dollar U.S. Construction Industry

Top Career Paths in the Trillion-Dollar U.S. Construction Industry

The construction industry is one of the biggest sectors in the U.S. in terms of spending and the number of people employed in various careers in building and construction. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that there were at least 7.29 million people employed in the construction industry in 2018.

In the same year, the total spending on construction projects exceeded $1.29 trillion. However, even as the construction sector continues to grow and attract more investments, the labor shortage has been one of its main challenges.

As such, a career in the construction industry is a viable option for many people. When people hear about career paths in construction, they think of manual labor jobs. However, the construction sector is large and has diverse roles that are suitable for a wide range of people.

If you’re thinking of trying a career in building construction, read on to learn about different career paths construction you can take.

1. Plumbing

If you want to become a career construction worker in a field that’s relatively easy to join yet promising, try plumbing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plumbing, and other related fields will experience an average job growth rate of 14% over the next decade

Considering the fact that the average annual earnings for a plumber is $52,590, and one does not require a college education, it’s undoubtedly a worthwhile career in building construction for many.

Another factor that makes a career construction worker as a plumber more enticing is the fact that three-quarters of current plumbers are expected to retire in the next decade. As such, this, along with the increased demand, will leave a considerable labor gap, which may translate to higher incomes for practicing plumbers.

To become a plumber, you will need to undergo training, become certified and licensed, and then take up an apprenticeship role for a few years.

2. Electricians

In a US News & World Report, a career in a construction company as an electrician ranked fourth-best in construction jobs. This is because the sector is poised to experience a 10% job growth rate over the next ten years.

Electricians are mandated with designing, installing, and maintaining electrical systems and equipment. The requirements to become an electrician include a diploma or GED and apprenticeship along with certification and licensing.

Some of the critical skills required to succeed as an electrician include:

  • Problem-solving
  • High regard for quality and safety
  • Interpersonal skills

Similar to plumbers, an electrician should also be a handyperson since the role is highly mechanical. 

3. Construction Project Managers

Project managers are vital to the success of any construction project. Their primary objective is to ensure that construction proceeds without any issues or delays. Their role involves budgeting, planning, and coordinating other players in the project.

If you want a career in a construction company that offers many career progression opportunities, this is the one. The annual median salary for project managers is $91,370.

Some of the attributes necessary to succeed as a project manager include:

  • Ability to cope with immense pressure
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Budgeting skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Leadership skills

To become a project manager, you must possess a degree in surveying, construction management, construction engineering, or civil engineering, as well as a few years of relevant fieldwork experience. In addition to this, there are various certifications available that require you to pass the examination required by employers. This not only boosts your credibility but also enhances your knowledge of industry practices.

4. Civil Engineers

Civil engineering is another lucrative career in the construction industry. Civil engineers play an essential role in the design and supervision of the construction of bridges, roads, tunnels, sewer lines, etc.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% job growth rate in civil engineering up until 2026. On average, civil engineers earn $ 84,770 per year. 

To venture into this career, you will need a degree in civil engineering or a related field, such as urban planning or mechanical engineering. Other attributes you will require include excellent arithmetic skills, decision-making, and leadership skills.

5. Glaziers

If you prefer a career in building and construction that’s a bit unique, consider becoming a glazier. As a career construction worker in this area, your role will be installing window panes and other glass fittings for displays.

In addition to the physical requirements for this job, you will also need sound mathematical skills and creativity to help you design window panes for irregularly shaped spaces.

As a glazier, you can expect an average annual salary of $ 42,580. The best part of such career paths in construction is that you only need a high school diploma and an apprenticeship for on-the-job training to begin.

6. Solar Photovoltaic Installers

With an increasing need for a more environmentally sustainable approach to life, building owners are installing rooftop panels to supplement their electricity needs. This is why the job growth rate for this line of work is projected to continue at a whopping 63% up until 2028.

As such, photovoltaic installation is the fastest-growing career in building construction. You will need to enroll in a two-year college program followed by an apprenticeship to venture into this field.

The median annual salary for solar photovoltaic installers is $34,490. However, those who get into this field early and position themselves well can earn substantially more.

7. Elevator Installation and Repair

Elevator technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing elevators, moving walkways, escalators, and the like. This is one career in the construction industry that’s easy to frown on, but it’s highly rewarding, with a median annual salary of $74,480.

As long as you are not claustrophobic or afraid of heights, you should consider this line of work. However, it requires mechanical skills, critical thinking, and high regard for safety, as mistakes could be fatal. 

Why Consider a Career in Building and Construction?

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in the coming years, the demand for human resources in the construction industry will continue to increase. Since most of the jobs do not require highly specialized training, there’s little to no barrier to a career in a construction company.


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