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.

  • Boilermaker
    $28.30 Hourly / $58,856 Annually

    Check out this adventurous career where you can work with fire and use a variety of tools! Boilermakers job duties are versatile and require knowledge from other crafts. They work in a variety of areas, from power generation and paper mills to refineries. They make and install boilers and other large containers. Tasks include reading blueprints, welding or bolting pieces together and installing valves and supports. Boilermakers also perform routine maintenance.

    Education options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    Qualifications: Manual dexterity, strength and coordination. Boilermakers also need to have technical skills such as welding, rigging, and be able to use a variety of tools.

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    Carpenter
    $26.04 Hourly / $54,157 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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
    $27.76 Hourly / $57,741 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training 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.

  • Glazier
    $18.08 Hourly / $37,610 Annual

    If you enjoy adventures, scenic views and have a creative side then try out this profession! Glaziers are true artisans who work with glass as their mediums. They select, cut, install, replace and remove residential, commercial and artistic glass. Glaziers use a variety of tools including glazing knives, saws, drills, grinders, putty and glazing compounds. They must work as a team when guiding and installing glass for large buildings.

    Education options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    Qualifications: A glazier must have the ability to mold and manipulate objects while paying attention to detail. Balance and hand-eye coordination are a must when working on ladders and scaffolds.

  • Heavy Equipment Operator
    $29.37 Hourly / $61,091 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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
    $25.01 Hourly / $42,026 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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
    $32.39 Hourly / $67,380 Annually

    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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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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    Insulator
    $25.40 Hourly / $52,827 Annual

    Work with your hands in an industry that provides the economy with energy saving options. The insulation mechanic installs insulation systems on piping, plumbing, HVAC systems, equipment and other processing systems in new construction, retrofit and maintenance projects in the commercial and industrial industry. The result of an insulation mechanic’s work ensures that systems perform at their highest level – saving energy, reducing fuel costs, reducing emissions, and enhancing the work environment.

    Education options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    Qualifications: Coordination, strength and manual dexterity. Being physically fit is a plus as insulators often work in confined spaces.

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    Ironworker
    $27.50 Hourly / $57,196 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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
    $26.38 Hourly / $54,860 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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

  • Millwright
    $30.80 Hourly / $64,062 Annual

    Do you take things apart and put them back together just to see how they work? Do you always have the right tool for the job? Maybe becoming a millwright is the right path for you. Millwrights work on construction sites and in factories assembling and disassembling machinery. This work can involve intricate technical repairs or heavy machining tools, depending on the project. Millwrights have to be able to understand manuals for many different types of machines as well as have a high level of problem solving skills.

    Education options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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

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    Mobile Crane Operator
    $31.17 Hourly / $64,843 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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.

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    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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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.

  • Pipefitter
    $28.63 Hourly / $59,558 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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
    $25.70 Hourly / $53,460 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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

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    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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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
    $33.76 Hourly / $70,217 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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

  • Project Manager
    $42.63 Hourly / $88,675 Annual

    Project managers and construction managers keep projects running. Project managers are essential to completing projects on time and on budget. They plan, coordinate, budget and supervise construction projects from development to completion. Project managers may work from a main office, but they spend most of their time on site where they monitor projects and make daily decisions about construction activities.

    Education options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    Qualifications: Communication skills, developing ideas and time management are key contributors with being a project manager.

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    Rigger
    $27.46 Hourly / $57,122 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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

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    Sheet Metal Worker
    $23.65 Hourly / $49,189 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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

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    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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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

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    Sprinkler Fitter
    $28.40 Hourly / $59,072 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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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.

  • Tower Crane Operator
    $37.28 Hourly / $77,535 Annual

    Are you into technology or hi- tech equipment? Do you love heights and wide open skylines? A career as a Tower Crane Operator just might be for you! These craft professionals use their knowledge of load calculations and crane operations to hoist heavy materials off the ground and to significant heights. They must have endurance, agility, and physical coordination, as well as great hand/eye coordination.

    Education options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

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    Welder
    $33.91 Hourly / $70,535Annual

    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 options: Students can start in high school where programs are available and continue training at technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeships or industry training programs.

    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.