Despite a rough patch in employment during the recession, construction is still a promising sector. In its most recent projections report, the Labor Department predicted overall employment growth of 2.6 percent – or 1.6 million new jobs – for the workers who create, repair and enhance our infrastructure. And the opportunities aren't limited to hard hat-wearing occupations. Learn more about the construction jobs we consider a cut above the rest, and read more on how we rank the best jobs.
Best Construction Jobs
Best Construction Jobs
This is one of the hardest jobs on a construction site. A construction manager plans, helps budget and oversees the project from start to finish. The nearly 80,000 new managers expected to enter the field this decade should pursue a bachelor's degree in construction management, architecture or engineering.
Before the first hammer is swung, a cost estimator coordinates with engineers, architects and construction managers to determine the technical, mechanical and fiscal requirements of a project. These hyper-organized critical thinkers could see their workforce swell by more than 26 percent before 2022.
It's ironic that the Labor Department predicts faster than average job growth for glaziers, considering many people have never heard of this profession. Here's a hint: You look through their handiwork everyday. Glaziers are responsible for cutting and installing the glasswork on buildings, and there should be 8,000 new job openings before 2022.
What would we do without plumbers? (And gracious, what would our homes smell like?) These highly trained and extra essential professionals install, inspect and repair the pipes and fixtures that carry water, steam, air and gas.
This isn't an occupation for those afraid of heights. Structural iron and steel workers erect steel beams, girders and columns at towering heights and in nearly every type of weather. The Labor Department predicts there will be nearly 13,000 new openings created for this construction job by 2022.
There’s more to being a professional painter than having an eye for color. Those in the trade have undergone a three- or four-year apprenticeship that includes about 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to learn about paint, stain and coatings and how they interact with various surfaces. By 2022, there will be more than 62,000 new painter positions
Job opportunities in this field are best for sheet metal workers who complete a five-year formal apprenticeship. But don't worry about the length of training: The Labor Department expects this occupation to grow steadily for quite some time. By 2022, there could be 22,000 new job openings.
Carpentry is one of the most versatile occupations in construction, since its professionals are trained to handle both small tasks, like constructing kitchen cabinets, and large jobs, like repairing bridges. The Labor Department reports that by the year 2022, there should be an impressive 218,200 new workers in residential, commercial and industrial carpentry.
According to legend, Benjamin Franklin became our first electrician when he flew his 18th-century kite in a lightning storm. Today's electricians take a much safer approach to installing and maintaining electrical and lighting systems. The Labor Department forecasts nearly 115,000 new electrician job openings by 2022.
Do you like variety in where you work and what you do? If so, this could be the job for you. General construction workers help with digging tunnels underground, repairing highways on the ground and constructing skyscrapers up above. By 2022, there will be an astronomical 259,800 new positions in this occupation.
There's a shade of difference between these two construction workers: Cement masons generally work with cement in its final form, while concrete finishers are the ones who pour it. The Labor Department predicts that altogether this field should grow by nearly 30 percent before the decade's end.
Brickmasons perform mostly residential work and blockmasons primarily go the commercial route, but hiring for both types of masons – who build and finish brick and stone buildings – should blossom as the residential real estate and office markets bounce back. The Labor Department projects a growth rate of more than 35 percent.
We usually associate insulation with a building's temperature, but a properly insulated building is also effective for cushioning acoustics and external vibration. The workers who install this material in residential and commercial buildings make an average salary of $44,680 and should see nearly 20,000 new job openings this decade.