Construction Best Practices

How to Navigate Your Construction Career Path

Top 10 Construction Jobs to Consider


Navigating your construction career path is a tricky business, and you shouldn’t have to guess at every turn which move is best for you. That’s why we’re here! Whether you’re just beginning to consider a career in construction, or you’ve been in the industry for 20 years and are looking for opportunities for advancement, this guide will help you navigate your construction career path.

The construction industry includes a diverse cast of positions, responsibilities, and opportunities. This article provides an overview of the industry as a whole as well as the best advancement opportunities specific to your construction career path. Let’s start at the beginning.

Is Construction a Good Job for You?

If you’re considering beginning a career in the construction industry, you’re likely wondering if the types of jobs in the industry are a fit for you. In short, there’s a good chance that the answer is yes because there are a number of different types of roles that construction companies need to fill. Whether you’re interested in getting your hands dirty or you prefer the office, or even a mix of both, you can find it in the construction industry. Trades, logistics, finances, and management roles all combine under the banner of construction, and there’s a good chance that a career path is there waiting for you.

In addition to its diversity, construction is an extremely necessary and valued industry. In other words, it’s not going anywhere—it’s only growing larger. In fact, the industry is expected to grow by more than 6% in 2023 alone, reaching $1,419,192 million. Combine this with the fact that construction is currently facing a labor shortage of more than half a million workers, and it’s no secret that the industry has plenty of job openings. 

In summary, a construction career path is one full of openings and opportunities. Quickly growing due to demand and improving construction technology, the industry offers a fast paced and competitive environment, and is worth considering as a future career.

10 Types of Construction Jobs

With so much diversity in the construction industry, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the different types of jobs in construction. Each role has a unique set of responsibilities, skills, and opportunities, not to mention different salary ranges. Here we’ve listed some of the most common construction jobs.

1. Construction LaborerMedian Salary $ 37,770 – 

A construction laborer is the backbone of the industry and is often the individual carrying out the plans and specifications of those in construction management. Although this role is not the most glorious of positions, it is the starting point for many, whether they aspire to become a foreman, estimator, or executive.

2. CarpenterMedian Salary $48,260 – 

A carpenter may fulfill a multitude of tasks and responsibilities, from building cabinets to house frames and residential remodeling. Regardless of the specification, a carpenter is an essential part of the construction process.

3. ElectricianMedian Salary $60,040 – 

An electrician is a trades person skilled in working with electrical systems, whether in residential or commercial settings. Many subcontractors specialize in electrical contracting, and provide a stable career path for prospective electricians.

4. Plumber Median Salary $59, 880 – 

Interested in becoming a plumber? Plumbers install and repair pipe systems in a multitude of settings from residential homes to working with general contractors on large construction projects.

5. Estimator Median Salary $61,790 – 

Considering a construction career path that lets you work with lots of details and data? A construction career path in estimating provides opportunities to work with the construction project before the building begins, during the planning phase. Estimators are essential to winning bids and bringing in work for the rest of the organization.

6. Construction EngineerMedian Salary $72,000 – 

While the term “engineer” can be broken down into more specific categories, it broadly describes those who are responsible for the strategic design, completion, and management of large systems such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. In short, they oversee the design of the systems and infrastructure that trades people install.

7. Project Manager Median Salary $78,090 – 

As their title suggests, project managers are responsible for managing the different projects that a contractor is involved in. This requires them to work both in the field and in the office coordinating a large number of moving pieces in order to ensure the project's success.

8. Financial ProfessionalMedian Salary $53,953 (Accountant) – 

Although much of the work takes place in the field, the construction industry depends just as much on those in the office, particularly those involved in organizations finances. Accountants, AP Clerks, controllers and more all play a huge role in the direction of the company.

9. Construction Foreman Median Salary $57,000 – 

The foreman is responsible for running the individual crews working in the field on a daily basis. These field management professionals should have great project management skills as well as excellent communication as they are largely responsible for the culture in the field.

10. Construction Executive Median Salary $152,500 to $200,000

Finally, it’s no surprise that construction executives, those running the business operations of a construction company, play an essential role in the industry. For many, becoming an executive is an important goal in their construction career path plans.

5 Opportunities for Advancement in Your Construction Job

A construction career path offers a diverse selection of roles and responsibilities. But for those that are already in the construction industry, you may be looking to broaden your experience and find opportunities for advancement within your career path. Here we’ve listed some of the best opportunities for advancement in construction.

1. Further Education – 

One method of advancing your construction career is to increase your education in a specific area. For many, this means going to a trade school to learn a trade such as carpentry or plumbing, however, one could also attend a traditional institute of higher education and study a topic such as engineering, accounting, or data analytics. Such an education can propel you directly into a position such as accounting, estimating, or engineering. If you already work in a similar field, bookkeeping for example, gaining more education in accounting may help you advance to an accountant position.

2. Apprenticeships – 

Another advancement opportunity is to work under a more experienced person as an apprentice. Whether you apprentice within a formal apprentice program or work under a less formal mentor, you will gain important experience and knowledge. In addition, mentors are often great references for advancement opportunities.

3. Manage People Well – 

One major way to advance in your construction career path is to improve your people managing skills. Simply by communicating well with your co-workers and exemplifying good organizational skills, you can be promoted to a level of project management. These are the types of opportunities that give you important experience in organizing people, not just tasks. If you can master this skill, you will be presented opportunities to advance to foreman, project manager, and team lead positions.

4. Licensing – 

A fourth way to find advancement opportunities is to earn licensing that proves your expertise in a specific field. Depending on your location, an advanced license will allow you to run more work, or even become an individual contractor.

5. Stay Up to Date on New Technologies – 

The final way to advance in your construction career path is to stay up to date on newest construction technologies. Traditionally, construction has been slow to adapt to technological advancements, but due to the number of benefits such as increased productivity and efficiency, more and more contractors are switching to connected construction solutions. As a result, there is a growing demand for people with technological literacy, which creates an advancement opportunity for your construction career path.

No matter where you are in your career path, it’s important that you have access to all the most up to date information and tools concerning the construction industry. If you’re looking for more construction news or best practices, check out the rest of our blogs or our free ebooks.

Posted By

Christopher Nobles is a marketing content intern with Trimble Viewpoint, and is currently a student at Corban University. He has a passion for community leadership, personal development, and all kinds of storytelling.