After the economic downturn and subsequent recession, construction jobs suffered greatly. But they are now making a comeback, and New York is leading the charge. In fact, over 8.5 billion dollars of new construction projects were launched in New York in the first half of 2013, much more than in any other state. In 2011, the New York Bureau of Labor Market Information predicted that improving credit and job markets, as well as planned university and college expansions, would lead the surge in construction growth. Those who want to get in on the ground floor could find the best job prospects after graduating from construction schools in New York.
Specializations for construction workers in New York
The world of construction offers a wide variety of opportunities for those who want to earn the education and put in long hours of work to hone their expertise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes 20 broad occupations in the construction and extraction profession, but that number goes up when other specializations are included. Here are a handful of occupations that might be available to graduates of construction schools in New York:
- Construction managers
- Brickmasons and stonemasons
- Building inspectors
- Equipment operators
In most cases, a high school diploma is required to start work, but those who hold a higher degree might see better job opportunities. Some advanced positions, like that of construction manager, might require a bachelor's degree or higher. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) currently recognizes 49 accredited programs in the state of New York related to construction professions, including construction technology and construction management. Many other programs might fall under regional or national accreditation.
Certifications and degrees through construction schools in New York
Many construction positions begin with a high school diploma and on-the-job training. Those who want to advance faster in the field can opt for a certificate or degree. According to ABET, 18 schools in New York offer associate's degrees in construction-related fields, 36 schools offer bachelor's degrees, and two offer master's degree programs in fields related to construction. Keep in mind that numerous community colleges and vocational schools offer many opportunities for those who want to earn a certificate in their chosen specialization.
There are also numerous possibilities for those who want to enter the construction trades but aren't quite sure which specialization they might want to take. A good example is the BuildingWorks Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program, offered by Brooklyn Workforce Innovations. This 17-week training program exposes students to a wide variety of job sites in the New York City area. Designed for low-income high school graduates, the program is free to those who qualify.
Those who choose to earn certifications might also see better job opportunities. There are numerous possibilities, including certifications to handle hazardous materials, asbestos and lead mitigation, forklift operation, OSHA safety training, green building and more. Some colleges prepare students to sit for certification examinations; for example, the Institute of Design and Construction in Brooklyn offers Architectural License Preparation classes, targeting each of the nine sections of the Architect Registration Examination.
Career outlook for construction jobs in New York
Construction schools in New York can be a starting point for many different professions in the construction world. The following construction jobs in New York are expected to have the highest rates of employment growth from 2012 to 2022, according to Projections Central:
- Insulation workers, mechanical: 44.3%
- Brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters: 34.4%
- Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners: 34.2%
- Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic: 29.3%
- Electricians: 28.2%
- Brickmasons and blockmasons: 27.5%
- Stonemasons: 23.3%
- Hazardous materials removal workers: 22.9%
- Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters: 22.4%
The annual mean wage for construction workers in the state of New York was $58,880 in 2013, according to the BLS. Some of the highest paying construction jobs in the state included:
- Reinforcing iron and rebar workers: $92,290
- Structural iron and steel workers: $80,050
- Elevator installers and repairers: $79,940
- First line supervisors of construction trades: $78,860
- Operating engineers: $70,610
- Electricians: $70,560
- Boilermaker: $70,300
- Brickmasons and blockmasons: $66,200
As New York continues to grow, the construction industry will grow with it. New initiatives in the state are pushing for even more money dedicated to improving residential homes, business areas and infrastructure. The Rebuild NY Now campaign points out that for every $1 billion poured into infrastructure repair and development, 28,000 new jobs are created.
Accredited Programs Search, ABET, http://main.abet.org/aps/Accreditedprogramsearch.aspx
Architectural License Preparation, https://www.idc.edu/academics/are-preparation-courses.php
Construction and Extraction Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/home.htm
Free Job Training in Construction Trades, New York Public Library, http://www.nypl.org/blog/2012/08/16/free-job-training-construction-trades
Long Term Projections, New York, Projections Central, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New York, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ny.htm#47-0000
"New York Leads U.S. Construction Comeback," Statista, June 24, 2013, Niall McCarthy, http://www.statista.com/chart/1209/new-york-leads-us-construction-comeback/
Rebuild NY Now, http://www.rebuildnynow.org/
Significant Industries: A Report to the Workforce Development System, New York City, 2011, Bureau of Labor Market Information, https://labor.ny.gov/stats/PDFs/Significant-Industries-New-York-City.pdf