Do you love to repair, fix or build? Do you find joy in starting a project from the foundation and working to finish it from the ground up? Then a job in construction work may be the right career for you. There are many different opportunities in the construction industry that may appeal to someone ready to work with their hands and comfortable with physical labor. Potential careers include highway construction, excavation, residential and commercial construction as well as demolition.
Before entering the construction field, there are many factors to consider—including your physical health and readiness to work on a team. Most construction jobs are done in groups and require physical labor, but any hard worker who can follow directions and work well with others can benefit in this industry.
How to Become a Construction Worker
There are many opportunities in the construction industry both for skilled and unskilled workers. For most construction labor positions, a high school diploma is the minimum education required. However, like with most jobs, more experience and education will yield more opportunities. Currently enrolled high school students looking to experience while still attending classes should consider vocational courses. That will help them develop skills appropriate for the construction industry. There are even some construction companies that will hire summer interns.
There are a range of options available when it comes to education including trade school, vocational school or earning a degree from a university. Trade schools will cover the basic concepts of construction and help prepare students through appropriate coursework for an internship or apprenticeship. A degree in construction engineering technology is recommended for those looking for a management position.
Once the appropriate level of education has been achieved, construction workers will learn their skills through on-the-job training. With the help and guidance from more experienced workers on the team, new construction workers tend to learn quickly, and those who master skills easily can move up into more advanced positions with more responsibility.
How Much a Construction Worker Makes
The national average salary for a construction worker is $27,250 in the United States. The states and districts that pay construction workers the highest mean salary are Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Alaska. Depending on your education background and experience, you can earn more from project to project.
What is the Highest Paying Job in Construction?
Construction managers make a median salary of $89,300 a year. Construction managers are in charge of work sites and are tasked with obtaining work permits, staffing and hiring for each project, scheduling walk-throughs with clients and keeping schedules and work timetables on track. Construction managers handle the logistical aspects that keep a construction site up and running on time and without injury.
Working in construction can be a valuable and worthwhile experience with opportunities for those looking for a career requiring minimal education and work experience. Those with relevant education and some experience can benefit from positions with more responsibilities and a higher salary. Fortunately, the Labor Department predicts overall employment growth of about 11 percent (or roughly 758,400 new jobs) by the year 2026 in this sector. For those living in cities enjoying periods of growth, this type of work has a lot of promise for long-term employment with opportunities for upward mobility.