Careers in Construction

OccupationJob Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2018 MEDIAN PAY

Architectural Drafters

Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.

Boilermakers

Construct, assemble, maintain, and repair stationary steam boilers and boiler house auxiliaries. Align structures or plate sections to assemble boiler frame tanks or vats, following blueprints. Work involves use of hand and power tools, plumb bobs, levels, wedges, dogs, or turnbuckles. Assist in testing assembled vessels. Direct cleaning of boilers and boiler furnaces. Inspect and repair boiler fittings, such as safety valves, regulators, automatic-control mechanisms, water columns, and auxiliary machines.

Brickmasons & Blockmasons

Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.

Carpet Installers

Lay and install carpet from rolls or blocks on floors. Install padding and trim flooring materials.

Cement Masons & Concrete Finishers

Smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. Align forms for sidewalks, curbs, or gutters; patch voids; and use saws to cut expansion joints.

Civil Drafters

Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.

Civil Engineers

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

Construction Carpenters

Construct, erect, install, and repair structures and fixtures of wood, plywood, and wallboard, using carpenter's hand tools and power tools.

Construction Laborers

Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

Construction Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation. Includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.

Control & Valve Installers & Repairers

Install, repair, and maintain mechanical regulating and controlling devices, such as electric meters, gas regulators, thermostats, safety and flow valves, and other mechanical governors.

Cost Estimators

Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.

Crane & Tower Operators

Operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.

Dredge Operators

Operate dredge to remove sand, gravel, or other materials in order to excavate and maintain navigable channels in waterways.

Drywall & Ceiling Tile Installers

Apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound. Materials may be of decorative quality. Includes lathers who fasten wooden, metal, or rockboard lath to walls, ceilings or partitions of buildings to provide support base for plaster, fire-proofing, or acoustical material.

Earth Drillers

Operate a variety of drills such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic to tap sub-surface water and salt deposits, to remove core samples during mineral exploration or soil testing, and to facilitate the use of explosives in mining or construction. May use explosives. Includes horizontal and earth boring machine operators.

Electrical Drafters

Develop specifications and instructions for installation of voltage transformers, overhead or underground cables, and related electrical equipment used to conduct electrical energy from transmission lines or high-voltage distribution lines to consumers.

Electrical Power-Line Installers & Repairers

Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.

Electricians

Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

Electronic Drafters

Draw wiring diagrams, circuit board assembly diagrams, schematics, and layout drawings used for manufacture, installation, and repair of electronic equipment.

Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers & Repairers

Repair, adjust, or install audio or television receivers, stereo systems, camcorders, video systems, or other electronic home entertainment equipment.

Elevator Installers & Repairers

Assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters.

Excavating & Loading Machine & Dragline Operators

Operate or tend machinery equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets, to excavate and load loose materials.

Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, & Blasters

Place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials. May perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures. Includes seismograph shooters.

Fence Erectors

Erect and repair fences and fence gates, using hand and power tools.

Fire-Prevention & Protection Engineers

Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.

First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades & Extraction Workers

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, & Repairers

Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of mechanics, installers, and repairers.

Floor Layers

Apply blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing, sound-deadening, or decorative coverings to floors.

Floor Sanders & Finishers

Scrape and sand wooden floors to smooth surfaces using floor scraper and floor sanding machine, and apply coats of finish.

Glaziers

Install glass in windows, skylights, store fronts, and display cases, or on surfaces, such as building fronts, interior walls, ceilings, and tabletops.

Heating & Air Conditioning Mechanics & Installers

Install, service, or repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences or commercial establishments.

Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, & Tile & Marble Setters

Help brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Helpers--Carpenters

Help carpenters by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Helpers--Electricians

Help electricians by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Helpers--Extraction Workers

Help extraction craft workers, such as earth drillers, blasters and explosives workers, derrick operators, and mining machine operators, by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying equipment or cleaning work area.

Helpers--Installation, Maintenance, & Repair Workers

Help installation, maintenance, and repair workers in maintenance, parts replacement, and repair of vehicles, industrial machinery, and electrical and electronic equipment. Perform duties such as furnishing tools, materials, and supplies to other workers; cleaning work area, machines, and tools; and holding materials or tools for other workers.

Helpers--Painters, Paperhangers, Plasterers, & Stucco Masons

Help painters, paperhangers, plasterers, or stucco masons by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, & Steamfitters

Help plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, or pipelayers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Helpers--Roofers

Help roofers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Industrial Safety & Health Engineers

Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.

Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, & Wall

Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.

Insulation Workers, Mechanical

Apply insulating materials to pipes or ductwork, or other mechanical systems in order to help control and maintain temperature.

Manufactured Building & Mobile Home Installers

Move or install mobile homes or prefabricated buildings.

Mechanical Door Repairers

Install, service, or repair automatic door mechanisms and hydraulic doors. Includes garage door mechanics.

Millwrights

Install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings.

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul mobile mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, and conveyors, used in construction, logging, and surface mining.

Occupational Health & Safety Specialists

Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector. Includes environmental protection officers.

Occupational Health & Safety Technicians

Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.

Operating Engineers & Other Construction Equipment Operators

Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.

Painters, Construction & Maintenance

Paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.

Paperhangers

Cover interior walls or ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces such as walls and billboards. May remove old materials or prepare surfaces to be papered.

Paving, Surfacing, & Tamping Equipment Operators

Operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways, or equipment used for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials. Includes concrete and asphalt paving machine operators, form tampers, tamping machine operators, and stone spreader operators.

Pile-Driver Operators

Operate pile drivers mounted on skids, barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes to drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and piers.

Pipe Fitters & Steamfitters

Lay out, assemble, install, or maintain pipe systems, pipe supports, or related hydraulic or pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, sprinkling, or industrial production or processing systems.

Pipelayers

Lay pipe for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains. Perform any combination of the following tasks: grade trenches or culverts, position pipe, or seal joints.

Plasterers & Stucco Masons

Apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, stucco, or similar materials. May also set ornamental plaster.

Plumbers

Assemble, install, or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, or drainage systems, according to specifications or plumbing codes.

Product Safety Engineers

Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

Pump Operators

Tend, control, or operate power-driven, stationary, or portable pumps and manifold systems to transfer gases, oil, other liquids, slurries, or powdered materials to and from various vessels and processes.

Radio Mechanics

Test or repair mobile or stationary radio transmitting and receiving equipment and two-way radio communications systems used in ship-to-shore communications and found in service and emergency vehicles.

Radio, Cellular, & Tower Equipment Installers & Repairers

Repair, install or maintain mobile or stationary radio transmitting, broadcasting, and receiving equipment, and two-way radio communications systems used in cellular telecommunications, mobile broadband, ship-to-shore, aircraft-to-ground communications, and radio equipment in service and emergency vehicles. May test and analyze network coverage.

Rail-Track Laying & Maintenance Equipment Operators

Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.

Refractory Materials Repairers

Build or repair equipment such as furnaces, kilns, cupolas, boilers, converters, ladles, soaking pits and ovens, using refractory materials.

Refrigeration Mechanics & Installers

Install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

Reinforcing Iron & Rebar Workers

Position and secure steel bars or mesh in concrete forms in order to reinforce concrete. Use a variety of fasteners, rod-bending machines, blowtorches, and hand tools. Includes rod busters.

Riggers

Set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.

Roofers

Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, or related materials. May spray roofs, sidings, and walls with material to bind, seal, insulate, or soundproof sections of structures.

Rough Carpenters

Build rough wooden structures, such as concrete forms, scaffolds, tunnel, bridge, or sewer supports, billboard signs, and temporary frame shelters, according to sketches, blueprints, or oral instructions.

Roustabouts, Oil & Gas

Assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools. Perform other tasks as needed.

Segmental Pavers

Lay out, cut, and place segmental paving units. Includes installers of bedding and restraining materials for the paving units.

Sheet Metal Workers

Fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings. Work may involve any of the following: setting up and operating fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal; shaping metal over anvils, blocks, or forms using hammer; operating soldering and welding equipment to join sheet metal parts; or inspecting, assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces. Includes sheet metal duct installers who install prefabricated sheet metal ducts used for heating, air conditioning, or other purposes.

Solar Energy Installation Managers

Direct work crews installing residential or commercial solar photovoltaic or thermal systems.

Solar Photovoltaic Installers

Assemble, install, or maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs or other structures in compliance with site assessment and schematics. May include measuring, cutting, assembling, and bolting structural framing and solar modules. May perform minor electrical work such as current checks.

Solar Thermal Installers & Technicians

Install or repair solar energy systems designed to collect, store, and circulate solar-heated water for residential, commercial or industrial use.

Solderers & Brazers

Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.

Stonemasons

Build stone structures, such as piers, walls, and abutments. Lay walks, curbstones, or special types of masonry for vats, tanks, and floors.

Structural Iron & Steel Workers

Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. May erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.

Structural Metal Fabricators & Fitters

Fabricate, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products.

Tapers

Seal joints between plasterboard or other wallboard to prepare wall surface for painting or papering.

Telecommunications Equipment Installers & Repairers

Install, set-up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends. Service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications equipment on customers' property. May install communications equipment or communications wiring in buildings.

Telecommunications Line Installers & Repairers

Install and repair telecommunications cable, including fiber optics.

Terrazzo Workers & Finishers

Apply a mixture of cement, sand, pigment, or marble chips to floors, stairways, and cabinet fixtures to fashion durable and decorative surfaces.

Tile & Marble Setters

Apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, ceilings, and roof decks.

Transportation Engineers

Develop plans for surface transportation projects, according to established engineering standards and state or federal construction policy. Prepare designs, specifications, or estimates for transportation facilities. Plan modifications of existing streets, highways, or freeways to improve traffic flow.

Weatherization Installers & Technicians

Perform a variety of activities to weatherize homes and make them more energy efficient. Duties include repairing windows, insulating ducts, and performing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) work. May perform energy audits and advise clients on energy conservation measures.

Welders, Cutters, & Welder Fitters

Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

Wind Turbine Service Technicians

Inspect, diagnose, adjust, or repair wind turbines. Perform maintenance on wind turbine equipment including resolving electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic malfunctions.

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