One would think that construction would be a less promising sector, after an extended difficult period during the recession, but it has been doing quite well. The Department of Labor estimated the growth of employment of over 2.5% – more than 1,610,000 additional jobs – for workers enhancing, repairing and creating our infrastructure. The occupations requiring a hard hat only make up a few of the possibilities. Choosing which of these jobs fits your personality can be a trick – but one that is worth exploring.
A few factors to consider, other than personal preference, are: the general advancement possibilities, how many new jobs are expected in the area, how satisfying a career is it likely to be and, of course, income expectations.
One criteria is to look at the expected number of jobs, and the growth of these jobs for the next ten years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles such a list that can be reviewed. Starting with the top 10 or so categories from this list is a sound practice.
These jobs can be broken down by the overall list or by sector which might include “Best Construction Jobs” or “Top Tech Jobs”. Components to consider are the average salary expectations, % of employment rate, the amount of stress, projected growth over ten year period as well as the likelihood of your being able to keep some balance in your life with a particular job. You can create a scoring system with relative percentages assigned to each of the above.
Some of the top picks are:
Estimating Project Costs – Cost estimators carry a highly important job in any construction, or other, job. There must be a detailed plan in place to ensure an accurate assessment of project costs has been determined. Estimating manufacturing costs for bridges, cars, residential construction, commercial construction all the way up through skyscrapers, manufacturing facilities, university buildings etc.. is a daily part of the cost estimators existence. They do not create financial projections or recommendations for making investment decisions but in a sense they do this for specific projects.
Top quality estimators will only rise in a healthy economy. The Bureau of labor stats sees growth of 26 percent in the next ten years which would be over 50,000 new jobs in this sector. The average current salary is around $60,000 with the upper end exceeding $95,000. Gas and Oil companies, Cellular, and construction are some of the area that compensates estimators well. A bachelor degree in building sciences management with extra training in accounting, business and finance is helpful.
Glass Worker – A Glazier is required on many jobs, from residential projects to skyscrapers, there is the requirement of having a skilled craftsman trim and install glass in a wide variety of buildings. It requires a very physical workload. It is routine for a glazier to handle large pieces of glass, that can weigh quite abit. The work can be stories above the ground with exposure to the elements. Higher quality equipment has allowed women to enter the field with more frequency even though the work is typically pretty physically demanding. This is a job that suffers higher occurrences of injury from cuts or falls.
Green construction awareness has helped boost the Glazier trade. Environmental sensitivity has led to a boom in double pane, or even triple pane, windows which are highly efficient. This is somewhat offset by the amount of standard or prefab windows being manufactured these days.
The BLS reports earnings for Glaziers above $37,000 for 2012. This amounts to around eighteen dollars and hour. The highest range is almost $70,000. Training is typically on the job or apprenticing with over one hundred and forty hours of study and 2000+ hrs on the job required.
Construction Management – This is one of the top jobs in terms of compensation and in difficulty. A-Z is a good description for this job. The Manager has his fingers in every aspect – the entire construction process as well as responsibility for the full budget falls on his/her shoulders. The construction manager must have a well-rounded knowledge of carpentry, architecture, engineering (civil) and estimating costs or he may not be able to properly manage any project. The manager, or General Contractor, will be responsible for sub-contractors, troubleshooting on the fly, obtaining permits as well as interfacing with clients regarding quality and timelines. The good news is that the Bureau predicts and increase of over 1,500,000 jobs in this area, and 80,000 construction management jobs specifically, over the next ten years.
The higher responsibility yields higher compensation with the average being in the mid 90k range. The upper end of the range is over $140,000.
Plumber – Few structures can go long without a plumber. Plumbers are more highly trained than many attribute this unglamorous profession. These pros repair, install and have inspections for the components carrying gas, air, steam and water throughout a new building. In addition to installation, plumbers are trained in mapping out plumbing plans & blueprints. They need to be strong problem solvers. They plan out the flow of water through a building which are directed via piping and fixtures including bathes, toilets, sinks, showers but they also ensure delivery of water to water heaters, maybe providing radiant to the house, and dishwashers as well. 80,000 + jobs are anticipated over the coming ten years. $49,000-85,000 is a current salary range.
Painting- Learning about stains, coatings and how these, and paint, interact with various surfaces is part of the three to four year apprenticeship with two thousand hours on the job experience required. With 60+ thousand new jobs anticipated this is expected to see over nineteen percent growth going in to 2022. $38k – 60k is the current salary range.
More to come: Steel working, Sheet Metal, Carpentry, Electrician, General Construction Worker, brick/block masonry, Concrete Finishing, Insulation Contracting and others.
- Project Director
- Estimation Manager
- Business Dev Management
- Marketing – Sales
- Superintendent Positions
- Office Manager
- Construction Managers
Architectural and Engineering Category
- Engineers for geo technical applications
- Engineering for actual construction
- Design Engineering
- Mechanical & Electrical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Cost Engineers (cost analysis again)
Various Trade Workers
Electricians, HVAC experts, Pipe workers, Welding, Foremen, Painters, Roofers, Masonry workers, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Plumber, Plaster/stucco and drywall workers, Landscaping, roofing and others..