If you’re thinking about entering the construction workforce, or if you’re already familiar with the industry and just want to switch up career paths, now is a great time to brush up on what it takes to secure the construction job of your dreams. Many of these high paying construction jobs offer immediate benefits in terms of salary and security, however, the question remains…
Which construction job is right for you?
Jobsite put together a list of some of the best high paying construction jobs requiring different levels of skill, experience in the field, and potential for growth.
1. Project Manager
The Project Manager’s job is to see that the project comes in on time and budget. Every aspect of the construction cycle—from start to finish—falls under the PM’s purview. The Project Manager is responsible for collaborating with stakeholders, managing the schedule, obtaining permits, and troubleshooting problem areas.
In general, a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field is expected. Many PMs also earn specific certifications or partake in internships to get more practical knowledge and insight into the job.
Average Salary: $93,370
2. Specialty Contractor
A specialty contractor is an expert in a specific skill or craft. Anybody from a cabinetmaker to a bricklayer falls under that description. A specialty contractor is usually hired on a subcontract to complete a particular task, but they can also play an advisory role in the design and scheduling of a project. Specialty contractors may not be licensed to do all the things a general contractor can do, but they are a crucial part of the design-build process.
In addition to on-the-job experience, specialty contractors need some formal education from a college or trade school and need to pass a written exam proving they have the know-how to do a job well. To find out exact requirements, contact your state’s contractor licensing board.
Average Salary: Varies
3. Equipment Operator
An Equipment Operator is responsible for handling various technical and complex machines on the job site. Depending on the project’s size, the equipment operator will be in charge of operating specialized equipment, such as excavators, cranes, or forklifts. This position is currently in high demand on construction and mining sites.
Education through a vocational school or apprenticeship program is the most common route to becoming an equipment operator. On-the-job training, beginning with light equipment and moving up to heavier machinery, can do the trick as well. Some states require a commercial drivers’ license to operate and transport equipment.
Average Salary: $47,810
4. Safety Officer
A safety officer conducts audits and enforces rules to ensure construction sites operate in the safest way possible. As experts on workplace safety compliance, safety officers must be able to keep abreast of new requirements and strategize on their implementation.
Those interested in a career as a safety specialist can take a degree to become an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, or—for those who already hold an associate’s degree—take on-the-job training. In either case, safety officers become pros through ongoing training and education.
Average Salary: $62,341
Overseeing the entire project, including hiring, scheduling, and implementation, construction superintendents take full responsibility for their job sites. Although they usually have a main office, they spend much of their time working out of a field office to make daily decisions about what happens on a project. While some superintendents specialize in a certain type of construction, whether residential or civil, they all have vast experience in the construction field and need expertise in areas as diverse as building materials and construction timelines to health and safety rules.
Construction superintendents are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in construction management or construction science. Prior experience in construction is preferred by many employers.
Average Salary: $76,318
6. Project Engineer
Often found on the job site, project engineers plan, design, develop, and manage technical aspects of a job. They conduct research to advise on construction materials, structural requirements, and engineering tasks that are part of a construction project. In these ways, project engineers support project managers and site superintendents.
Project engineers often have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, aerospace, or electrical engineering, as well as experience in the construction field. In some cases, a master’s degree in a related engineering field may also be required.
Average Salary: $64,160
Construction estimators analyze all the costs involved in construction projects and prepare estimates for construction companies and major contractors. Tallying the expense involved in materials, labor, equipment, and subcontracts, estimators can help in the bidding process and in setting up cost monitoring and reporting systems. They may be employed by construction companies, or they may act as independent consultants.
Though there are no set requirements to becoming a construction estimator, candidates are often expected to have completed a three-year college course in civil or construction engineering. In some cases, several years of experience in a construction trade can stand in for a more academic education.
Average Salary: $60,596
Most people recognize that an architect is responsible for the aesthetic of a new building or structure. However, there’s far more to it than that: Architects are also responsible for the safety and utility of a building. That means they need to understand all of the environmental and physical impacts that will affect a structure and consider those elements in their designs. Architects also help create budgets for projects and help manage all aspects of construction.
Architects typically complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture from an accredited school and then intern at a firm to gain experience. Completion of a series of exams is the final step to become a certified architect.
Average Salary: $79,380
Construction laborers assist the job site in many ways, for instance, picking up debris, setting up tools, and making sure a site is ready for work. Perhaps not as glorified as some other jobs in construction, labor is the lifeblood of any job and provides plenty of opportunities to learn, grow, and try new things.
A high school diploma or G.E.D. is generally required to become a laborer, and math and analytical skills will come in handy depending on the job. Physical fitness and stamina are required to be a laborer, as with many jobs in construction.
Average Salary: $35,800
10. Construction Technologist
A relatively new career in the construction landscape, a construction technologist analyzes all of the technology tools available and helps implement the most relevant solutions into a company’s daily operations. Well-versed in both the technological landscape and the construction world, these internal consultants help find the best tools for their companies.
Though there are no set requirements for a career as a construction technologist, key skill sets include an intimate knowledge of construction practices and technology.
Average Salary: $106,308
So many possibilities…
There are high paying construction jobs for every level of education, expertise, and salary expectation. Your interest in construction may lean toward the academic, or maybe you want to get outside and try something new. In any case, a career in construction is a safe bet.