Friday, April 20, 2007

Exploring Careers in Construction

Without the construction worker, the new hospital across town would not exist, nor the local grocery store, mall, or bridge. The house you live in would cease to decorate your street where a dozen more two-story dwellings thrive. Construction workers are responsible for the establishment of many different kinds of structures that are used on a daily basis. They bring buildings to life, work on heavy construction sites and highways, as well as handle industrial projects.

Different Types of Construction Careers

When it comes to construction work, there is a wide-range of areas that an individual may pursue. Under the umbrella of construction careers, a person may choose to study the ins and outs of becoming an electrician, bricklayer, carpenter, ironworker, heavy equipment operator, or landscaper (amongst other things). Design teams and project managers also find a place within the world of construction as they draw up the plans for a new building and direct workers throughout an assignment.

To get a sense of the type of jobs available in construction, below are a few careers to ponder:


Individuals who like working with their hands, are physically fit, enjoy precision tools, and have a knack for proportion, line, and color usually fit into the scheme of bricklaying. The duties of a bricklayer may include installing or repairing brick structures; building chimneys or fireplaces; creating patios, walls or walkways; or installing industrial furnaces. Vital skills for a bricklayer include the ability to read and interpret documents; perform calculations; problem-solve; and organize daily tasks. The typical salary for a bricklayer ranges from $60,320 to $70,720.

Blasters and Drillers

A blaster and driller may work side-by-side and will sometimes perform the same tasks. Blasters are responsible for filling holes with explosives and setting off triggers that will dislodge coal, rock, or ore. Their skills are also used to demolish buildings. Drillers control portable drilling machines that create holes in open-pit mines and quarries, or help build the foundation of a construction site. Both occupations could be employed in new home construction or renovation, heavy industrial sites, commercial building, or civil engineering. Both jobs require oral communication, problem-solving skills, job planning, and working well with others. The typical salary for a driller or blaster ranges from $35,360 to $62,400.

Heavy Equipment Mechanic

The equipment associated with this type of mechanic involves the repair and maintenance of heavy-duty machinery that allows the construction of oil, gas, landscaping, and other sites. Sometimes mechanics will also find a place working on railroad construction sites or subway repair. Heavy equipment mechanics may find a job within the new home construction or renovation, heavy industrial sites, commercial building, or civil engineering world. They may fix the power shift transmissions, hydraulics, or fuel injections; inspect bulldozers and cranes; clean or test machine parts of heavy equipment. Mechanics should possess skills, such as working well with others, a sharp memory, and is good with numbers and calculators. The typical salary for a heavy equipment mechanic ranges from $39,520 to $70,720.


Roofers are responsible for installing, repairing, and replacing roofs, and they may also fit in at waterproofing basements, decks, or foundation projects. Some roofers work on their own, while a roofing or general contractor employs others. They often find work on new home building and renovation sites, or in the commercial construction sector. Some of the duties connected to a roofer include replacing shingles, repairing metal roofing, estimating required materials and costs, and working with asphalt, gravel, or concrete. Since roofs are constantly in need of repair, roofers are able to find steady work throughout the year, especially since roofing materials need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. The typical salary for a roofer ranges from $43,680 to $62,400.


The general duties of a welder are to join metal parts together, such as pipes or vessels. They often find work in the construction or manufacturing scene, employed by construction companies, welding contractors, or welding shops. Jobs for a welder are scattered about the new home construction or renovation, heavy industrial sites, commercial building, or civil engineering fields. They may shape metal parts, repair worn metal products, read and interpret blueprints, as well as operate manual or semi-automatic welding equipment. The job sometimes entails working for long periods of time or in uncomfortable positions and is often seen as physically demanding work. The typical salary for a welder ranges from $47,840 to $72,800.

Construction Career Qualifications

In order to pursue a career in construction, there are a few qualifications that an individual must have under his or her belt. Depending on the line of work you are interested in, various skills, training programs, certifications, and studies are required. One of the most common hands-on learning comes from apprenticeships, where one person shadows another in their line of work to gain experience.

Additional qualifications include foundation certificates, NVQ's and SVQ's, national certificates, national diplomas, foundation degrees, and an overall demonstration of skill. Some construction workers have undergone course instruction, such as the bricklayer that receives work experience from a college or technical institute. Some careers require at least 1,600 of on-the-job training before a final certificate is received. For example, certified bricklayers in Canada must complete three to four years of an apprenticeship program.

It is important to keep up with the trends and acquire additional study in the construction field because with each varying level of instruction received, the annual salary of a worker is increased.

No comments: