There is a lot of opportunity in the construction industry. Not only are many construction jobs in high demand, but they can also come with job security, benefits, and great salaries.
In fact, construction jobs are expected to grow 10% over the next decade. The median annual wage for construction jobs was $47,430 in May of 2019, which is significantly higher than the median for all occupations of $39,810.
Many of these jobs also have a low barrier to entry, meaning they may only require a high school diploma or a trade school education to get started. So, if you’re someone who likes working with your hands, take a look at our list of the best construction jobs in 2020 to see what piques your interest.
Plasterer and Stucco Mason
Plasterers and stucco masons work with plaster, cement, stucco, and similar materials, applying them in interior and exterior spaces. Training typically occurs on the job and requires a high school diploma, but apprenticeship programs are also possible.
The median annual salary for this job was $45,440 in 2019, with 80% of all workers earning between $29,360 and $78,980. The best opportunities for plasterers consist of building finishers and particularly working for local governments. Jobs in this field are projected to grow much faster than average, with increasing population growth contributing to demand.
Carpenters take on many roles and are responsible for constructing wooden frames for buildings, including rafters and joists. They may frame windows and doorways, install flooring, cabinets, drywall, and perform repairs around the home. Most people who become carpenters do so by training as an apprentice for three to four years.
Because of the broad nature of a carpenter’s job, there is often room for advancement and the possibility to work your way up to a supervisor or management position. The median salary for carpenters is $48,330, with top earners making over $80,000 a year.
Across the country, there are more than 1 million carpenter jobs and counting, with numbers only expected to increase. Many people find carpentry rewarding because of the satisfaction that comes with building, creating, and fixing.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. These workers are responsible for installing and repairing systems that heat and cool buildings and regulate airflow. Usually, a training program must be completed before you can work in this field, and you may need to be licensed by the state.
The median salary for HVAC workers is $48,730, with 80% of HVAC jobs falling between $30,610 and $77,920. The best-paying work tends to be in the commercial sector. You are unlikely to be unemployed if you choose this career field, as demand is expected to grow by 13% over the next decade.
Brickmason and Blockmason
If working with bricks, concrete blocks, terra cotta, and more sounds appealing, you might consider work as a brickmason. Those in this profession can find work on construction sites for new buildings, as well as patio, garden, and decorative applications. Entry into this career usually occurs by way of apprenticeship.
Salaries for brickmasons and blockmasons hover around $53,100 at the median, but can go much higher, particularly in the commercial building sector. If you’ve ever enjoyed playing with Legos, this might be the right career for you.
Iron and Steel Worker
The foundations and frames of larger buildings require laying and erecting iron beams and securing them in place. This is the work of ironworkers. Although it can be a physically demanding job, a career in this industry only requires a high school diploma and typically starts with a paid apprenticeship.
The median salary for iron and steel workers is $55,040, with the upper quartile making over $75,000. Opportunities lie anywhere that large buildings are regularly constructed. Opportunities continue to grow in this field with the increased construction of high-rise buildings. Many who work in this field find great satisfaction in watching a building rise out of the landscape as they work.
Plumber and Pipefitter
While it may sound like a less-than-glamorous job, being a plumber or a pipefitter actually requires a decent amount of skill and has a multitude of applications. Plumbers do everything from fixing your clogged toilet to installing pipe systems in large industrial buildings.
You can become a plumber through a trade school program or an apprenticeship. The median salary for plumbers is $55,160, with some making a nearly six-figure income. Plumbing is an industry with over half a million jobs and a projected 10-year growth rate of 14%. And best of all, if you are a plumber, you’ll never have to call one!
Critical in the smallest house to the largest building is the electrical system — every time a building is built, an electrician is needed to lay the wiring and connect the fixtures. Electricians also perform repairs as needed.
Because working with electricity is potentially dangerous, most people who go into this field must earn a certification of some sort, which varies depending on the state you live in. This is often accomplished through a combination of classroom hours and on-the-job training.
The median salary for electricians is $56,180, with those qualified for high voltage often earning more. This isn’t a career field that is going away anytime soon, and demand is only increasing. Many people are drawn to this field because they enjoy problem-solving and critical thinking.
Construction and Building Inspector
Whenever a building is built or modified, an inspection is required to ensure the structure is sound, safe, and all codes and regulations are being adhered to. This is the job of the building inspector.
Often, building inspectors start working in construction and later apply that knowledge to a career in inspection. Note that many states regulate this profession, and you may need to take a class, pass a test, and/or obtain a license.
Building inspectors can expect to make around $60,710 per year, with government contract work and employment in larger industries paying more. This field is surely growing, but it’s important to note that the more types of buildings and systems you become certified to inspect, the more job openings you will have at your disposal.
Elevator and Escalator Installer and Repairer
This might sound like a niche job, but it pays exceptionally well. Elevator technicians are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, escalators, and even moving walkways.
Most states require licensing, but you can often gain experience through an apprenticeship with no more than a high school diploma. The median salary for elevator and escalator installers and repairers is $84,990, with many earning more than six figures. Demand is also growing in this field, as increasing numbers of large buildings are constructed.
Not surprisingly, one of the construction jobs with the best earning potential is the construction manager. Managers are responsible for direction, supervising, and coordinating everyone else working on a construction project. It’s up to them to plan out tasks and organize how things are done to keep the project running smoothly from start to finish.
Becoming a construction manager also requires more training and expertise. A bachelor’s degree is often needed in a field such as construction science, engineering, or architecture, although some places offer two-year degree programs leading to careers as construction managers. Certification is typically required in most states.
The median salary for construction managers is $95,260, with 80% of those employed in this sector earning between $56,140 and $164,790. The best-paying jobs tend to be those with responsibilities that oversee the construction of large and complex industrial buildings.
Start Your Construction Job Search Today
If you’re ready to get started with a career in the construction industry, consider using Joblist to find a personalized match of jobs right for you. Simply answer a few short questions, and then browse your personalized matches, save your favorites, and start applying.
You can also check out additional resources on our blog to learn how to make your job applications stand out, ensure your job is recession-proof, and more.