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Careers Involved With Building a Home

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Like many construction projects, home building requires intricate planning and close supervision. It also involves activities such as blueprint drawing, cost estimation, acquisition of building permits and regulatory inspection. For successful completion of these projects, prospective homeowners or residential property developers must call on a range of professionals, including architects, cost estimators and construction managers.

Design Development

Architects create the designs for a wide range of dwellings, from single-room houses to multistoried mansions. They consult with the project owners to determine their specifications, produce technical drawings detailing the size of the planned house and the quality and quantity of the construction materials required for its completion. Aspiring architects must earn at least a bachelor’s degree in architecture and hold a professional license. The mean annual wage for architects, excluding naval and landscape architects, was $79,650 in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Cost Estimation

Cost estimators help project owners determine the total amount of money they need to build a home. They consider factors such as size of the house, quantity of building materials and size of labor force required, using with market prices or rates to give an accurate estimate of the total costs. Cost estimators also provide recommendations on the most cost-effective building materials. Prospective cost estimators require a bachelor’s degree in building science or civil engineering to qualify for employment. The average annual salary for cost estimators in 2013 was $63,660, the labor statistics bureau reports.

Construction Inspection

Building inspectors ensure all homes are built in compliance with local and national building codes. They examine the building blueprints to determine the structural quality and safety of the planned houses. While governmental inspectors have a duty to reject building plans that are not compliant, non-governmental inspectors advise architects and construction managers on how to improve compliance. Although individuals who are looking to become building inspectors can find a job with at least a high school diploma, an associate degree in building inspection enhances their prospects. The bureau reports that the average annual salary for construction and building inspectors was $56,430 in 2013.

Laborers and Trade Workers

Construction laborers do the physical work involved in building a home. They remove debris from the construction site, unload building materials from delivery vehicles and operate construction machines, such as hand-operated cement mixers. Laborers and skilled trade workers, such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers, generally need to be high school graduates. According to the bureau, the average annual salary for construction laborers in 2013 was $35,020. In the same period, carpenters, electricians and plumbers earned a mean annual wage of $44,980, $53,560 and $53,820, respectively.

Project Management

Construction managers oversee the construction of homes from concept through completion. They hire laborers, supervise subcontractors and collaborate with engineers and architects to deliver a home that meets the client's needs. When the client wants to know the progress of the project, the construction manager provides this information. With construction activities becoming more complex, aspiring construction managers must have a bachelor’s degree in construction managements or a closely related field such as construction science and vast work experience. Construction managers earned an average annual salary of $92,700 in 2013, according to the bureau.


Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

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