A career in construction may be a good choice for you if you are skilled with your hands and using tools, like to build things, can put up with occasional harsh conditions, and don’t mind traveling.
Traveling construction jobs are common in the field because new construction projects are going up all the time and, often, help isn’t close at hand. With a larger construction company, you might have the opportunity to travel around the country for work, or even go abroad.
So, is a traveling construction job for you, and how do you find this work?
Different Types of Traveling Construction Jobs
A construction worker usually operates as part of a crew and performs manual labor jobs that can include clearing and preparing the construction site, building scaffolding, barricades, bracing, and other temporary structures, as well as operating concrete mixers, jackhammers, saws, drills, and more.
Some occupational specialties include:
- Building homes and businesses
- Working on highways and roads
- Tearing down buildings
- Getting rid of hazardous construction materials
- Digging tunnels and mine shafts
Some well-paid and in-demand construction job types include:
- Elevator installers and repairers
- Construction and building inspectors
- Plumbers and pipefitters
- Sheet metal workers
- Construction equipment operators
- Solar photovoltaic installers
- Hazardous materials removal workers
- Insulation workers
- Construction technicians
Benefits of Traveling Construction Jobs
Working in construction is a good idea because there is a high demand for the profession, good pay, and a great job growth outlook.
Construction managers, also known as construction project managers, are in high demand, with employment expected to grow by an impressive 8% over 10 years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points out that the median pay for a construction manager is $45.80 an hour or $95,260 per year.
“Employment of construction managers is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations,” the government site explains. Construction managers are expected to be needed to oversee the anticipated increase in construction activity over the coming decade.
Construction laborers and helpers have a median pay of $17.31 an hour or $36,000 a year. Also faster than the national average for jobs, the overall employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029.
Another perk of the job is variety. There are many different specialties within the profession and you are free to choose a traveling construction job that suits your interests, skills, or both. As construction projects move along, no two days of work are usually the same. Other perks include:
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Non-traditional work schedules — if you don’t like the 9-to-5 office lifeThe satisfaction that comes with helping to build enduring structures
- The satisfaction that comes with helping to build enduring structures
Qualifications for Traveling Construction Jobs
Construction jobs range from lower-paying unskilled work to highly paid jobs, like a traveling construction superintendent, that require formal training through an apprenticeship program, technical school, or community college classes. The best construction manager jobs also require many years of experience as well as a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, or civil engineering, coupled with construction experience.
Travel may be a big component of the job because, as American Express Global Business Travel points out, construction managers are “often tasked with managing multiple projects in various cities and countries. A considerable amount of travel is required of construction managers since they have to visit each job site they oversee and make sure the requirements are being met.”
For their part, construction laborers, general contractors, subcontractors, and helpers typically work full-time doing physically demanding work, often at great heights or outdoors in all weather and work environments. In one week, someone with a traveling construction position might find themselves monitoring sites in Dallas, Milwaukee, and Seattle.
Construction skills include bricklaying, carpentry, pouring cement, putting up drywall, and installing specific types of equipment. Some tools construction workers use may be simple, such as brooms and shovels. Other equipment can be more sophisticated, including pavement breakers, jackhammers, tampers, and surveying equipment.
Construction workers often assist craftworkers, such as electricians and carpenters, with a variety of basic tasks, including carrying tools and materials or helping set up equipment.
General construction tasks can include:
- On-site building supervision
- Construction management
- Construction reports
- Pouring concrete
- Sheet metal work
- Hazardous materials
- HVAC work
- Metal lathing
- Pipe fitting
- Steam fitting
- Construction equipment
- Power tools
Construction Job Travel Expenses
If you are an independent contractor in the construction industry, you can deduct mileage for work-related travel from your taxes or get reimbursed for expenses related to using your vehicle for work. You might be able to deduct mileage for traveling from one work site to another, meeting with clients, or driving to a store to purchase tools for a construction job. Actually, you have a choice of either charging for mileage or the actual expenses of using a vehicle for construction work. The latter might be an attractive option if you have had a large vehicle expense, such as major repair work.
Per Diem for travel is usually provided, and the cost of lodging, travel, and any other expenses should be paid for by the company or the employee will be reimbursed.Tax deductions may also be allowed for purchasing tools of the trade and costs associated with learning, joining, and maintaining a job in construction, such as:
- Trade school tuition
- Subscriptions to trade or technical journals
- Memberships to construction organizations, unions, and business associations and leagues
- Licensing fees, including renewals
Ways to Find Traveling Construction Jobs
To get a traveling position, it’s best to obtain an entry-level job and learn skills as you work. Alternatively, you can enroll for additional training beyond a high school diploma at a university, community college, or technical institute to study for the construction career of your choice. You can even choose to register as a construction apprentice and combine practical training on the job with learning in the classroom.
Apprenticeships are great because you get on-the-job training from a skilled tradesperson and get paid while learning your craft. You also become a certified tradesperson yourself, if you pass your exam. An apprenticeship can also:
- Help you learn and master skills that are in high demand
- Give you an edge in a competitive job market
- Provide a higher earning potential than that of unskilled construction workers
The construction industry is divided into two sectors: nonresidential — which can be subdivided into heavy industrial, institutional, engineering, and commercial construction subsectors — and residential. So, you must also decide what type of work you want to pursue.
When you apply for a traveling construction job, you should have a well-developed professional resume that highlights your experience, educational or apprenticeship credentials, and references. For unskilled jobs, any work experience demonstrating your suitability for manual labor and reliability as a worker should be included.
Whether you have a lot of experience or very little, you should strive to ensure that your resume is carefully written and edited, with no typos or grammatical errors. Consider getting a knowledgeable friend, relative, colleague, teacher, or even a professional resume writer to help finalize your resume, providing suggestions and corrections, and making sure it will do the job it’s supposed to do.
Of course, word of mouth sometimes works. If you know somebody already employed in the construction industry, you might be able to land a job with a recommendation from them.
Another good bet is to go to your local government employment office. Many offer job-hunting services, including help with preparing your resume. Also, be sure to ask about programs and services that specialize in trades-related training and staffing.
Finding Full-Time Construction Jobs Made Easier
One of the best ways to find full-time or part-time construction work is to use a proven online job hunt service. Joblist humanizes the job search process, providing an intelligent alternative to wasted hours of trial-and-error searching and scrolling endlessly through unhelpful job alerts.
Simply specify your criteria and answer a few questions about your situation and job preferences, then browse personalized results chosen from millions of job postings. You can also save the job descriptions you are interested in and apply when you are ready.