The construction industry employs almost 6 million workers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) notes, and mainly entails civil engineering and building construction projects. Construction trade schools may be of interest to those interested in the building side of construction for a number of professions including carpentry, roofing and construction management.
Construction education requirements and specializations
Education requirements vary depending on individuals' intended career. For example, the BLS states that prospective construction laborers may attend a trade or vocational school or a community college. Apprenticeship programs are common for carpenters, and construction and building inspectors may need an associate degree with relevant coursework.
Available career specializations differ by construction profession. Below are potential specializations for a few construction-related professions:
- Building roads and highways
- Building homes and businesses
- Removing hazardous substances
- Demolishing buildings
- Digging mine shafts and tunnels
- Residential, industrial and commercial buildings
Construction and building inspectors
- Public works
Depending on the type of construction work students decide to pursue, they may need to earn licensing or certification. According to the BLS, construction laborers may need certification in specialty work areas, some of which are listed below:
- Radiological work
- Energy auditing
- Asbestos removal
- Work zone safety
Construction Workers: Career and Salary Outlook
The BLS projects the national job growth of several construction occupations for the 2012-22 time period as follows (with May 2013 BLS national median hourly wage):
- Brickmasons, stonemasons, blockmasons, and tile and marble setters. 43 percent, $13.59
- Construction laborers. 24 percent, $14.64
- Roofers. 17 percent, $17.08
- Pipelayers. 10 percent, $17.44
- Carpenters. 24 percent, $19.47
- Construction and building inspectors. 12 percent, $26.18
According to the BLS, demand for construction laborers and carpenters may stem from ongoing projects to replace and repair infrastructure. While growth for various types of construction helpers can vary, population growth and construction of office buildings, power plants, schools, and factories may drive overall demand for these professionals.
As for inspectors, the BLS predicts especially strong growth in government services and in businesses that specialize in engineering, architectural and related services. Concern for public safety and construction quality can help increase demand for this occupation.
Carpenters, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/carpenters.htm
Construction and Building Inspectors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-and-building-inspectors.htm
Construction Laborers and Helpers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-laborers-and-helpers.htm
Construction: NAICS 23, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industries at a Glance, April 10, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag23.htm
National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm