What Training Is Necessary for a Career in Construction?

The field of construction is filled with career opportunities. Here, you'll find information about a few job options within the construction industry, from construction management to painting, along with the training required for each job. Schools offering Construction Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Construction Careers Overview

A successful construction site requires the skills and cooperation of many different types of craftspeople, specialty workers, and technicians. Electricians must often work in tandem with insulation and drywall installers, for example. Likewise, heavy equipment operators, boilermakers and plumbers must always ensure that their work meets the standards of their job site's construction inspector. No matter what your specific interests and career goals within this field may be, construction work can provide you with rewarding challenges as well as opportunities to advance.

Important Facts About Careers in Construction

Median Annual Salary (2015) $41,380 across all specializations; this value comes from a range of $30,190 (median yearly pay for general laborers and helpers) to $78,620 (median yearly pay for elevator installation technicians).
Key Skills Physical labor such as lifting and climbing is often required, as is a good sense for both structural and mechanical details. Mathematical, customer service, and other specialty skills may also come into play depending on one's role at a job site.
Job Outlook (2014-2024) Employment opportunities are expected to grow by 10% overall within this field.
Work Environment Being outdoors and working in poor-weather conditions is a common part of working at active construction sites. Workers must also be diligent in following proper safety protocols so that work-related hazards are minimized.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET


Carpenters build, install, erect, and repair structures made from wood, plastic, drywall, or fiberglass. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), employers prefer to hire carpenters with three to four years of apprenticeship experience. In the apprenticeship program, carpenters learn about blueprint reading, structural design, first-aid safety, operating carpentry tools and machinery, math, and freehand sketching.

Construction Laborers

Construction laborers work on construction and demolition sites doing a variety of tasks, such as cleaning machinery, setting up construction areas, and erecting structures. Construction laborers usually assist other construction workers, like operating engineers, craft workers, and carpenters. Laborers also operate a wide selection of construction machinery.

Construction laborers usually learn their skills on the job, but the BLS recommends they have a high school diploma and complete an apprenticeship program. An apprenticeship program combines hands-on training and classroom instruction and takes two to four years to complete.

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators provide an estimate of the expenses involved in a construction project. They develop an estimate for businesses or managers who bid on construction projects. The BLS reports that employers prefer to hire cost estimators with bachelor's degrees in construction management, construction science, or building science. Aspiring cost estimators should have professional work experience in the construction industry or previous internship experience.


Painters paint numerous structures in order to make buildings, houses, fixtures, and structures look more appealing. Painters must know how to apply varnish, paint, and stain mixtures to the proper surfaces and use the correct brushes to do the job. These professionals often complete apprenticeship programs or learn their skills on the job.

Construction Managers

Construction project managers budget, coordinate, direct, and plan construction projects. These professionals often obtain bachelor's degrees in construction science, construction management, or civil engineering. In addition, most construction managers have prior work experience in construction labor or a closely related field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools