Construction regularly ranks among the top categories on KSL Jobs, and for good reason. There are many different opportunities and unique career paths you can take in the field. Not only that, but training usually happens on the job or during a paid apprenticeship. If you’re interested in a career in construction but don’t know a flat from a Phillips, check out this guide to the most common careers in construction.
Construction laborer is an entry level construction job. Laborers do most of the physical work on construction sites, which could be anything from operating machinery to cutting materials or transporting equipment. A job as a construction laborer is great for people who like hands-on work and need an introduction to the field. All the training happens on the job, too, so it’s easy to get your foot in the door and see if there are specialities you might like to learn down the road. In fact, many construction laborers assist with or perform the other jobs on this list.
There are many jobs a carpenter can do on a construction site, from framing houses to installing cabinets or working with wooden concrete. Carpenters work with wood, drywall, fiberglass and plastic. They cut, measure and install the materials to meet the needs of the client and blueprints. It’s an exciting and important part of any project, and good carpenters are always in need — especially in Utah’s growing housing market. Carpenters usually learn on the job or through apprenticeships, and usually need a high school diploma or equivalent.
An electrician’s job on a construction site is to install the electrical systems that will provide a house or building with power. This involves identifying, predicting and solving problems. It’s great for people with natural curiosity and troubleshooting skills. Electricians train during a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship, and must have a high school diploma or equivalent. You may be able to have your apprenticeship shortened by going to technical school, or by having former electrical experience in the military or on a construction job.
Like an electrician, a plumber on a construction site installs important features that they will later maintain or repair. In this case, they’re responsible for installing the pipes and fixtures that transport gas and water through a building. This could mean everything from heating systems to sanitation lines and rainwater harvesters. Also like an electrician, a good plumber will have a knack for solving and anticipating problems in a hands-on way. Plumbers learn through a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship, and must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Pipe fitters and steam fitters are similar careers performed in more industrial or commercial settings.
A job as a painter is an accessible construction career for people with a visual eye who enjoy seeing their work come to life in real time. Painters can work in commercial, industrial or residential environments. You don’t need special training, but there are different considerations for different types of painting. For example, you may use special coatings, paint mixes or application methods for different projects. And because they sometimes deal with hazardous materials, painters often need to meet technical and safety specifications.
Masons work with durable materials like brick, blocks and stone. Their work involves building structures, laying foundations, constructing walkways and more. Different masons specialize in cutting and shaping different materials. Examples of a mason’s work might include laying brick for a house, cutting stone for a floor, constructing sidewalks or building a patio. It’s a good field for those who enjoy a physically demanding job or working outdoors, and like to work with mostly natural materials. Brickmasons, stonemasons and cement masons all learn through apprentices or on the job. They usually have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Equipment operators are responsible for operating heavy machinery on a construction site. This may include bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders and more. They are a necessary part of large scale construction sites like roads, bridges and buildings, due to the heavy materials involved. It’s a good job for anyone who takes an interest in vehicles and mechanics. Equipment operators pick up their skills on the job or through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship, and usually need a high school diploma or equivalent.
These are just a few of the opportunities in the world of construction. There are even more specialties to consider, and more opportunities for advancement as you progress in your career. If you find yourself enjoying the construction field, there are higher paying options for those willing to pursue a degree. Examples of these include construction management jobs, civil engineering jobs and project engineering jobs. Many of the specialties in this list, like plumbing and electrical work, also allow you to work your way to journey and master levels. This means that you’ll be able to work independently and take on apprentices.
Look for more construction jobs on KSL Jobs and take the first step in a new career today.