The construction industry is one of the oldest, biggest, and most important occupational fields throughout the world. Skilled construction workers are responsible for building safe, durable residences, buildings, highway systems, schools, sewers, and any number of other vital structures. There are many different construction careers available, from manual labor jobs to supervisory and engineering positions. Individuals with all different levels of experience, education, and abilities hold important construction careers.
The majority of construction careers are held by highly skilled laborers. Some workers have gained enough experience and credentials to perform many different jobs at a construction site, though most individuals specialize in a certain field. Carpenters, ironworkers, welders, electricians, masons, plumbers, and other professionals perform difficult jobs in all types of settings and conditions. The nature of a laborer's job can be very dangerous, as many individuals work on tall buildings and outside during inclement weather. Most labor positions require individuals to complete extensive on-the-job training as assistants or apprentices to learn the fundamentals of the trade, safety regulations, and company policies.
Many construction careers involve the operation and maintenance of heavy equipment, such as bulldozers, cranes, large trucks, forklifts, and steamrollers. Individuals usually receive specialized on-the-job training to ensure proper, safe operation of equipment. Many individuals choose to obtain certification from nationally accredited organizations to improve their credentials and maximize their chances at landing construction careers.
Construction managers, supervisors, and site coordinators are responsible for a number of duties at a job site. They acquire materials and arrange for their delivery, direct and supervise laborers, and inspect finished jobs. Construction managers must ensure that workers adhere to safety regulations and building codes at all times. They are responsible for settling disputes, making difficult decisions, managing schedules, and meeting deadlines. Most construction managers hold bachelor's degrees or higher in construction science or civil engineering.
Civil engineers and surveyors are responsible for researching and designing buildings, roads, tunnels, bridges, and other structures. Surveyors visit sites to assess the availability of space, the best place to build, and the potential impacts construction will have on communities and ecosystems. Engineers use the data gathered by surveyors to draw blueprints and create computer simulations of new structures to test their safety and reliability. They usually hold advanced degrees in civil engineering and work for several years as assistants before they are allowed to work on independent projects. Many engineers join construction managers on job sites to oversee the building of their designs.