What Are the Different Types of Construction Jobs?

According to statistics, the US construction industry is expected to experience substantial employment growth in the next few years. Between 2016 and 2026, construction and extraction jobs are expected to boost by 11% which is higher than the average growth projection of 7% for all other industries. According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor, there would be about 758,400 new jobs in construction and extraction by 2026.

The major concern in the construction industry is the shortage of skilled experts that may hinder growth prospects. Construction jobs encompass a variety of roles related to different disciplines. Workers are hired by three types of employers: consultants, contractors, and subcontractors.

Consultants are the planners and designers of construction projects who translate the project into a workable plan.

Contractors work on construction sites to implement the plan. They interpret the outlined plan and execute construction until the project has been completed. Contractors cover a variety of roles such as equipment operators, masonry, and so on.

Subcontractors are hired by contractors to carry out specialized work that requires a high level of technical training and experience.

12 most common construction jobs and what they pay

What does the construction industry do?

The construction industry focuses on the ideation, creation and maintenance of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. They also work on creating and maintaining structures such as roads, bridges and utility systems. While many people may think of the construction industry only as it relates to new construction, professionals within this industry may also work on projects involving additions, remodels, repairs and maintenance of existing buildings and structures.

List of jobs in construction

The following list discusses the primary job duties and salary insights for 20 different career paths within the construction industry:

Primary duties: Construction workers perform the primary physical work most people associate with construction such as clearing, digging and building. Their duties include manual labor such as transporting supplies and materials to the job site, preparing the job site, testing and operating machinery and equipment, measuring and cutting building materials to exact specifications and using various hand tools and mechanical tools. They also read blueprints to understand project requirements and ensure they follow all health and safety policies and procedures on the job site.

Primary duties: A construction inspector is an employee of the local government who visits job sites and inspects the work being performed to ensure all buildings and structures comply with contract specifications, zoning regulations, building codes and ordinances and safety regulations.

Primary duties: Flooring installers lay and finish the floors inside buildings according to project specifications. They work with various flooring types including wood, carpet, tile, laminate, linoleum and vinyl.

Primary duties: A surveyor visits potential job sites before construction begins to inspect the site and measure and record data about the sites location, elevation and contour. They then use this information to compare their data to existing records, draw and update boundary lines, determine locations for buildings and structures and outline the projects foundation requirements. Surveyors also present their findings to government agencies and other clients.

Primary duties: A glazier cuts and installs glass for windows, skylights, storefronts and display cases. They use project specifications to cut the glass to the required size, shape and thickness. Glaziers also remove old or broken glass before installing the new glass and add weather seal around the edges of the glass after installation.

Primary duties: Tile setters cut and install tiles on floors, walls and ceilings in residential and commercial buildings. They also prepare the surfaces they work with and use care to lay each tile evenly before applying grout and sealing the tile.

Primary duties: Brick masons create and build walls, fireplaces, patios, walkways, fences, decorative trims and other structures using bricks, concrete blocks and man-made stones. They also cut or break each brick or stone to the correct size and shape and mix and apply the grout to finish the structure.

Primary duties: Roofers install and repair roofs on residential and commercial buildings. They also inspect and maintain roofs on buildings to maximize the durability of the roof.

Primary duties: Concrete finishers follow the trucks that pour cement to ensure the cement is smooth and level. They correct high spots, fill depressions, finish the corners and wash away the excess cement.

Primary duties: Ironworkers use iron and steel to help build commercial, industrial and public structures such as roads, bridges and large buildings. They work with crane operators by moving the iron or steel into the right space by hand and then signal the crane operators to lift and position it into the right placement. Ironworkers need to know how to read blueprints and sketches to ensure they follow the correct project specifications.

Primary duties: Crane operators use various types of crane machinery to move heavy or large materials from one place to another and to position the materials in very high or low spaces. They work alongside other construction professionals who guide their work from the ground by using hand signals and radios for voice commands. Crane operators also inspect cranes and their hydraulic systems before operating them, make minor repairs when needed and record the materials they move in logs.

Primary duties: Plumbers install, maintain and repair the pipes and fixtures that make up the plumbing systems in residential and commercial buildings. They inspect fixtures such as sinks, showers, toilets, garbage disposals and sewage lines to ensure they work properly and make repairs and recommendations when needed.

Primary duties: Carpenters use a variety of materials such as drywall, wood and fiberglass to build, remodel, install and repair frameworks and structures such as doorframes, counters, cabinetry, rafters, partitions, molding and stairways in residential, commercial or industrial buildings.

They need to know how to read blueprints and building plans, prepare drawings and drafts of their plans for their client to review and how to correctly measure, cut and shape the materials they work with. Carpenters may also use cranes or rigging hardware to install or level framework.

Primary duties: Painters prepare surfaces in residential and commercial buildings that need paint and then mix and apply the paint to the surface. Preparing surfaces for paint involves cleaning, repairing holes, removing chipped or cracked paint already on the surface and taping off areas as needed. They also cover and protect objects such as flooring, furniture, lighting fixtures, electronics, windows and doors near the painting area before they paint and uncover, remove tape and clean their work area when they finish painting.

Primary duties: Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical systems and wiring in residential and commercial buildings. They also make sure all electrical systems and wiring works correctly and finds and repairs the source of an issue in broken electrical systems.

Primary duties: Pipefitters manipulate metals into the correct shape and form, transport pipes to the correct location and install them in residential and commercial buildings. They use a variety of techniques such as welding, cutting, soldering, grinding, rigging, bending and threading.

Primary duties: Cost estimators determine the cost of a potential construction project and communicate expectations for costs and project timelines to their customers. They find the estimated cost of a project by visiting the potential job site and gathering and analyzing data about the costs of material, labor and time needed to complete the project. Cost estimators also make recommendations for how to reduce costs and maintain detailed records comparing actual costs to estimated costs throughout the project.

Primary duties: Safety managers create and implement safety rules, regulations and procedures to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries occurring on the job site. They inspect the worksite each day to ensure the site is safe to enter and work in, conduct routine safety audits to ensure all personnel, materials and equipment are in compliance with government safety regulations, provide safety training sessions, analyze and investigate accident reports and incident inquiries and keep track of incident metrics.

Primary duties: Construction managers, sometimes also called project managers, plan, coordinate and oversee all aspects relating to a construction project. The duties of a construction manager vary based on the size of the project and whether they are working alongside other managers but can include hiring and training all workers and subcontractors, creating project timelines and worker schedules, coordinating daily activities for all workers, negotiating project costs, communicating project progress updates to clients, ensuring everyone on the job site works together as a team and supervising all workers to ensure the project remains compliant, on schedule and within the budget.

Primary duties: Civil engineers design construction projects and ensure the projects goals are both achievable and feasible. They do this by analyzing budget requirements, reviewing design practicality, evaluating the projects environmental impact and sustainability and ensuring the project meets all health and safety regulations and legal requirements. Civil engineers are also responsible for identifying and resolving any issues that occur during the design and development phase.


What are occupations in construction?

List of jobs in construction
  • Construction worker.
  • Construction inspector.
  • Flooring installer.
  • Surveyor.
  • Glazier.
  • Tile setter.
  • Brick mason.
  • Roofer.

What is the most common construction job?

The 15 Most Popular Jobs in Construction
  • Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers.
  • Highway Maintenance Workers. …
  • Roofers. …
  • Sheet Metal Workers. …
  • Construction and Building Inspectors. …
  • Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers. …
  • Helpers–Electricians. Total employment: 73,920. …
  • Structural Iron and Steel Workers. Total employment: 71,490. …

What are the types of construction?

In addition to the 5 types of building construction, there are different types of construction projects. These include residential building construction, industrial construction, commercial building construction, and heavy civil construction.

What is the easiest job in construction?

8 Entry Level Construction Jobs
  • Carpentry Laborer.
  • General Contractor’s Laborer.
  • Landscape Laborer.
  • Painting Laborer.
  • Commercial Construction Laborer.
  • Flooring & Tile Laborer.
  • Masonry Worker.
  • Roofing Laborer.

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