Craft Professions

This is just the beginning of a lifetime of exciting opportunities that a construction career can bring you. As your knowledge and experience grow, there will be many career choices available to you… craft professional, foreman, project superintendent, project manager, company owner, just to name a few. Click on the images below to find out how you can go pro in construction.

  • professions-slides-carpenter
    Carpenter
    $23.44 Hourly / $48,756 Annual

    Do you like building, traveling and being outdoors? Commercial and Industrial Carpenters construct, erect, install, and repair structures and fixtures. These carpenters are involved in many different kinds of construction, from buildings to highways and bridges to power plants.

    Education: Three to four years of classroom and on-the-job training. High school classes in algebra, geometry, physics, mechanical drawing, blueprint reading and general shop are good preparation.

    Qualifications: Carpenters need manual dexterity, good eye-hand coordination, physical fitness and a good sense of balance. The ability to solve mathematical problems quickly and accurately also is required. Carpenters can learn their craft while making good money through on-the-job training.

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    Electrician
    $25.62 Hourly / $53,294 Annual

    If you’re into sound systems, robotics, or tinkering with wires, you are probably thinking about a career as an electrician. Electricians install and maintain all of the electrical and power systems for our homes, businesses and factories. They install and maintain the wiring and control equipment through which electricity flows. They also install and maintain electrical equipment and machines in factories and a wide range of other businesses. Electricians in large factories usually do maintenance work that is more complex.

    Education: Two to four years of classroom and on-the-job training. A high school diploma or G.E.D. is required for most apprenticeship programs.

    Qualifications: Manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, physical fitness, and a good sense of balance. Electricians also need good color vision in order to recognized electrical wires by color.

  • Heavy Equipment Operator
    $25.36 Hourly / $52,759 Annual

    Do you drive a big truck? When you consider the big machines that clear a construction site, it could put a pickup truck to shame. Construction equipment operators clear and grade land for the construction of roads, buildings, and bridges, airport runways, power generation facilities, dams, levees, and other structures.

    Education: Three to four years of classroom and on-the-job training. A high school diploma or G.E.D. is required for most employer training programs. Useful high school courses include mechanical science, automobile maintenance, and electronics.

    Qualifications: Mechanical aptitude, experience operating mobile equipment (such as farm tractors), good physical condition, good sense of balance, hand-eye-foot coordination. A commercial driver’s license is often needed to haul equipment to various jobsites.

  • HVAC Technician
    $21.89 Hourly / $45,540 Annual

    Are you into model building or have named yourself Mr. Fix It? HVAC Technicians are always piecing things together as they install, maintain, and repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. HVAC covers it all: motors, compressors, pumps, fan, thermostats, and computerized switches control systems in residential, commercial, and industrial structures. Specialize in specific equipment, such as hydronics (water-based heating systems), solar panels, or commercial refrigeration.

    Education: One to two years of training, both in a classroom and on-the-job.

    Qualifications: Good hand-eye coordination, physical dexterity, mechanical and mathematical aptitude. Some states require licensure by passing a written examination. Also, HVAC technicians frequently communicate directly with clients, so courtesy and tact is a must.

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    Instrumentation Technician
    $28.96 Hourly / $60,234

    Are you a problem solver with a knack for small details? Instrumentation may be the perfect craft profession for you. Instrument Fitters and Technicians perform key installation and maintenance functions across several industries and are trained in piping, tubing, fasteners, and metallurgy. Instrumentation Technicians and Fitters have to be familiar with electrical systems, craft-specific drawings, and must be experts in the hand and power tools specific to their trade.

    Education: Three to four years of classroom and on-the-job training.

    Qualifications: Manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, physical fitness, and a good sense of balance. Instrumentation Technicians also need to have the ability to solve complex problems using reasoning and advanced math.

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    Ironworker
    $25.62 Hourly / $53,291 Annual

    If you are looking for an exciting career balancing from the top of a brand new skyscraper while using a rivet gun, then ironworking is for you. Ironworkers place and install iron or steel girders, columns, and other construction materials. They must always be paying attention to details to check vertical and horizontal alignment with plumb bobs, laser equipment, transits or levels – then they bolt or weld the piece permanently in place.

    Education: Three to four years of training, both in a classroom and on-the-job. Most local employers and apprenticeship committees prefer that applicants have a high-school diploma.

    Qualifications: Good hand-eye coordination, physical dexterity, good balance and agility, mechanical and mathematic aptitude. Ironworkers should not be afraid of heights or suffer from dizziness. Welder certification is very helpful in this field, as well.

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    Mason
    $27.80 Hourly / $57,830 Annual

    If you dream of building a structure with your own two hands, or restoring historical buildings, you may want to get training in masonry. Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons use bricks, concrete blocks, and natural stones to build attractive, durable surfaces and structures. These craft professionals have created buildings, walls, and roads for thousands of years and will continue to do so long into the future.

    Education: One to two years of classroom training or three to four years of on-the-job training. A high-school diploma is preferable, especially with coursework in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and general shop.

    Qualifications: Strong work ethic, dependability, and basic math skills.

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    Mobile Crane Operator
    $27.67 Hourly / $57,559 Annual

    Don’t you wish your entire career could involve a screen and a joystick? No, we aren’t talking about becoming a professional video game player. Mobile crane operators use state-of-the art heavy machinery to move massive materials. A series of joysticks, levers, and pedals allows the operator to use his or her knowledge of load calculations to place materials around a construction site.

    Education: One to two years of classroom and on-the-job training. Craft professionals handling toxic chemicals or other dangerous equipment must receive specialized training in safety awareness and procedures.

    Qualifications: Good sense of balance, ability to judge distance, eye-hand-foot coordination, comfortable with technology, basic math skills. Seventeen States have laws requiring crane operators to be licensed with a written and skills test.

  • professions-slides-painter
    Painter
    $18.67 Hourly / $38,830 Annual

    Do you have an artsy side? Try your hand at becoming a professional painter and apply just the right paint, stain, varnish, or other finish to buildings and industrial structures. This career path ranges from industrial spray painters who apply coatings to prevent deterioration to decorative artisans who create faux finishes.

    Education: Two to four years of classroom and on-the-job training. A high school diploma is preferred. Helpers and apprentices receive training on topics such as color harmony, surface preparation, application techniques, and paint mixing.

    Qualifications: Good manual dexterity, vision, and color sense, as well as physical stamina and balance. For industrial painting, a certification from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) may be necessary.

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    Pipefitter
    $26.32 Hourly / $54,737 Annual

    Are you a little bit of a perfectionist? Do you enjoy reading plans and making something useful? Consider training to become a pipefitter. Pipefitters plan and install detailed pipe systems for commercial and industrial projects. These pipes may carry water, chemicals, or gases to the crucial building systems. Pipefitters use many tools to cut and bend pipes to exact specifications.

    Education: Four to five years of classroom and on-the-job training. Several states require pipefitters to be licensed, so check with your state licensing board.

    Qualifications: Ability to solve complex problems using reasoning and advanced math. Pipefitters should also be familiar with general mechanics and how various materials fit together.

  • Pipeline Operator
    Pipeline Operator
    $25.18 Hourly / $52,380 Annual

    Do you dream about spending your days outdoors and traveling around the world? There are over two million of miles of pipeline in the United States alone. As a pipeliner, you are responsible for maintaining and repairing pipelines, pumping stations, and tank farms. Pipeliners are trained to use sandblasting equipment to remove rust and foreign substances from meters and valves and also to use equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, and side booms. A typical day includes installing screw-pipe and manifold connections, using wrenches and pipe tongs, operating pumping equipment and pipe- wrapping machines.

    Education: Two to three years in training, both in a classroom and on-the-job.

    Qualifications: Pipeline skill assessment to qualify under the Department of Transportation’s regulation for Pipeline Operator Qualification.

  • professions-slides-plumber
    Plumber
    $24.92 Hourly / $51,830 Annual

    Are you always tinkering with objects? Do people ask for your help with fixing mechanical things? Consider plumbing. Plumbers do much more than fix sinks and toilets in residential homes. They design and install piping systems that distribute water and remove waste from buildings, connecting to washers, sinks, heating, and cooling systems. Plumbers have to be knowledgeable in the water distribution, blueprint reading, local ordinances and regulations, mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics, welding, and soldering.

    Education: Four to five years in training, both in a classroom and on-the-job.

    Qualifications: In most parts of the United States, plumbers must be licensed before they may work independently, which requires 2 to 5 years of experience and passing a written examination.

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    Power Line Worker
    $28.58 Hourly / $59,450 Annual

    Are you an adrenaline junkie? The thrill of being perched on a high-voltage power line or being lowered onto a transformer from a hovering helicopter will appeal to you. Electrical power-line workers install and maintain the power grid that moves electricity from generating plants to customers. They routinely work with high voltage electricity, ranging from less than 10,000 volts to hundreds of thousands of volts. Line workers on the interstate power grid travel to locations throughout a large region to maintain transmission lines and towers.

    Education: Two to three years of classroom and on-the-job training. A high school diploma or G.E.D. is required for most employer training programs. Helpful high school courses include algebra, trigonometry, and electrical-related coursework.

    Qualifications: Physical fitness, ability to climb, love of heights, ability to distinguish colors.

  • rigger-slides-professions
    Rigger
    $24.99 Hourly / $51,971 Annual

    Are you interested in practical physics? Do you love to work outdoors? That combination is a good start to becoming a rigger. Riggers attach loads of construction equipment to cranes or structures using cables, pulleys and winches. Quick load calculations are necessary for each load and engineering principles are always in play. Riggers use various suspension techniques to get their load around obstacles on a construction site to the desired location.

    Education: One to two years of classroom and on-the-job training.

    Qualifications: Good depth perception and manual dexterity. Riggers also need to have good judgement and decision making skills.

  • professions-slides-sheetmetal
    Sheet Metal Worker
    $22.46 Hourly / $46,721 Annual

    Are you a visual person? Do you enjoy math, mechanics and fitting puzzles together? Sheet Metal Workers cut and mold sheets of metal into products for installing and repairing ventilation and air ducts. They also construct aluminum siding, metal roofing, and gutters. Most sheet metal fabrication shops are completely computerized, so sheet metal workers may be responsible for programming control systems on various pieces of equipment.

    Education: Four to five years of training, both in a classroom and on-the-job.

    Qualifications: Good hand-eye coordination, physical dexterity, mechanical and mathematic aptitude.

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    Site Layout/Survey Engineer
    $28.24 Hourly / $58,740 Annual

    If math, measuring and engineering is your strength, consider a career in Site Layout. Surveyors are the first on the site to gather data about the elevation, contour, and dimensions of the land being developed. This data gets used for everything from mapmaking, mining, engineering and general construction. Survey jobs are available in every segment of the construction industry including Highway and Bridge construction, Pipeline and Mining.

    Education: Two to three years of classroom and on-the-job training.

    Qualifications: Physical fitness, good judge of distance, basic geometry and trigonometry skills.

  • professions-slides-solarpv
    Solar Photovoltaic Installer
    $16.92 Hourly / $35,200 Annual

    Is your dream job working under the sun? Why not capture that sustainable energy and become a Solar Photovoltaic Installer? These craft professionals assemble, install, and maintain the solar panels harnessing the sun’s power. Solar cells can come produced in panels, roof tiles, shingles, or rolls of flexible panels. Every installation is unique, and electrical wiring is sometimes even connected to a main utility electrical grid.

    Education: Two to four years of classroom and on-the-job training. A high school diploma is preferred. Craft professionals who earn an electrician license can move their career forward quickly.

    Qualifications: Mechanical skills, a love of heights, and electrical knowledge. Basic math and problem-solving skills, as well as attention to detail are helpful.

  • professions-slides-sprinkler
    Sprinkler Fitter
    $25.94 Hourly / $53,959 Annual

    Are you a detail-oriented kind of person? Sprinkler Fitters design, install, and test automatic fire protection sprinkler systems and components such as sprinklers, piping, and valves. They have to know all of the local and nation sprinkler codes and make sure that everything lines up.

    Education: Four to five years of training, both in a classroom and on-the-job.

    Qualifications: In some parts of the United States, sprinkler fitters must be licensed before they may work independently, which requires 2 to 5 years of experience and passing a written examination.

  • professions-slides-welder
    Welder
    $27.36 Hourly / $56,904 Annual

    Do you love playing with a little bit of fire? Welders join objects together by applying heat or pressure. Skilled welders have a thorough knowledge of welding principals and metals. They use blueprints and drawings to build anything from ships to cars to bridges. Welders are also crucial in maintaining power plants of all types and have the opportunity to travel throughout the year.

    Education: Three to four years of classroom and on-the-job training.

    Qualifications: Some welding positions require general certifications, or certifications in specific skills such as inspection or robotic welding. The American Welding Society certification courses are widely used throughout the United States.

  • windturbine-slides-professions
    Wind Turbine Maintenance Tech
    $19.90 Hourly / $41,402 Annual

    Are you a rock-climber? Do you love heights? Are you passionate about the renewable energy movement? Wind Turbines may hold your next career! Wind Turbine Maintenance technicians are responsible for performing the complicated repairs and inspections on existing turbines. Sometimes these repairs take place at the very top of the turbine in the nacelle operating room that houses the instruments that measure wind speed and direction.

    Education: 1 year for a certificate, or 2 years for degree in a program which lines up with standards set by AWEA or a similar organization.

    Qualifications: Physical aptitude and a love of heights. Experience in electrical or mechanical maintenance fields is a plus.