Construction Jobs: An Industry Worth Pursuing?

Date: 23 Mar 2022

The market for construction jobs is thriving and employment rates are higher than ever. Read on to find out all about the industry and how to get your first foot on the ladder.

It’s a good time to be in construction. In February 2022, careers in construction surged by 60,000 across all industries, with specialty trade contractors recording the highest upturn, adding a huge 44,200 positions. Despite common conceptions, the construction industry isn’t just made up of builders and surveyors. There are lots of different construction roles available, each with a different specialism.

Read on to discover all there is to know about a career in construction and the wider industry plus how to take your first step into your next role!

What job roles are there in construction?

Though most people associate construction with manual labor, there’s actually a wealth of different jobs out there to suit many skill and experience levels. Below are just some of the job roles available in the construction industry. 

Architect. The designers of the construction world, architects are responsible for planning, developing and implementing building designs. Their role includes making reports, considering the environmental impact of a building, creating project proposals, and estimating costs.

The average salary for an architect in the US is $105,869 per year. Not bad! 

Building surveyor. Surveyors are in charge of giving clients professional advice on property and construction projects. They pay attention to factors affecting building defects, costs, and renovations of new buildings. Building surveyors are also responsible for making sure projects are completed on time and within budget.

The average salary for a building surveyor is $52,430 per year. 

Construction site manager. Responsible for overseeing and directing construction projects from start to finish, site managers have a deep insight into building projects. They oversee all onsite and offsite constructions and carefully monitor safety regulations.

The average salary of a construction site manager is $86,994 per year. 

Construction worker. In charge of on-site tasks like placing scaffolding, moving building materials, and operating heavy equipment, construction workers have a physically demanding job. They may work on lots of projects, such as building construction, temporary structures, or roadworks.

The average salary for a construction worker is $34,174 per year. 

Estimator. You guessed it, estimators are in charge of estimating the overall costs of new or existing construction projects. They’re in charge of listing all the materials needed and giving the client a detailed cost estimate.

The average salary of an estimator is $79,209 per year. 

Landscape architects. Responsible for designing outdoor spaces such as public parks, playgrounds, and college campuses—predictably, landscape architects focus solely on the outdoors. They use natural features like trees and shrubbery to make spaces visually appealing.

The average salary of a landscape architect is $94,100 per year. 

Quantity surveyors. Similar to an estimator, a quantity surveyor estimates the costs of building projects. They work alongside builders and architects to assist in design, construction, extension, refurbishment, maintenance, and demolition.

The average salary of a quantity surveyor is $93,496 per year.

Structural engineers. In charge of creating drawings and specifications, calculations, and reviewing the work of others, structural engineers are the overseers of a building project. 

The average salary of a structural engineer is $86,214 per year. 

What qualifications do I need to work in construction?

Construction suits a variety of qualifications, from high school diplomas to bachelor’s degrees and above. The type of qualification you need entirely depends on what area of construction you’re interested in.

If you want to work on the labor side of construction, such as construction workers or demolition workers, you’ll need a high school diploma and some relevant experience on a construction site.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree for certain construction careers, for example for site managers, surveyors, and estimators, as you’d often be in charge of the technical aspects of construction. 

Other qualifications like a professional degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or a license to practice is required for certain careers, for example to be an architect or a structural engineer. 

What is the easiest construction job?

A career in construction isn’t plain sailing. Construction workers have a physically demanding job, while the top quantity surveyors deal with highly pressured environments and a lot of responsibility resting on their shoulders.  

If you’re looking to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience, we’ve compiled a list of three construction jobs that only require entry-level experience:

Carpentry laborer. Your day-to-day consists of maintenance duties such as setting up tools, carrying equipment, and clearing debris and trash. You’ll be based on a job site. Carpentry laborers do have the chance to work up to a full carpenter. 

Roofing laborer. As a roofing laborer, you’ll mainly work on the roofs of new buildings or repairing old roofs. Other tasks could include clearing debris, carrying materials, and some basic roofing techniques. After some hands-on experience, you could become a roofing surveyor and get involved with estimating costs and dealing with contracts. 

Painter. You’ll either be working on public or private buildings painting and decorating and learning how to use proper techniques. You could also be laying out painting sheets on the floor or covering furniture.

What is the best paid job in construction?

The pay for construction workers varies depending on their work location, with Alaska, Hawaii, and the Northeast states paying significantly higher wages than the rest of the country, with the average hourly wage being around $34. The Southern states pay a lot lower, around $18 per hour. 

Now we’ve established that pay can vary depending on your location, here are the top three highest paying construction jobs: 

Elevator installers and repairers. The highest-paid job in the construction industry, elevator installers are responsible for (yes, you guessed it) installing and maintaining elevators in commercial and residential buildings. The average salary for an elevator installer is $89,990 per year.

Boiler makers. In charge of making the large containers that secure liquids and gasses in buildings and ships, boiler makers are paid very well! They spend their working day building and maintaining boilers by hand. The average salary for a boiler maker is $63,100 per year

Building inspectors. With an average salary of $60,710 per year, inspectors work beside construction managers and watch over the safety of job site workers as well as oversee the structure of buildings. 

Clearly construction jobs pay well, with a lot of career progression options. There are lots of different job types within the construction industry, and if you’re interested in this kind of career, make sure to do some further research into what qualifications you’ll need and how to start getting some relevant experience.

Are you interested in applying for construction jobs?

SSA Recruitment Group is a highly dedicated firm of recruitment and search consultants in the United States. We connect our clients to the best talent, and have placed thousands of professionals in their dream jobs. Take a look at our available career opportunities here.

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