12 Careers in Construction (With Salary and Qualifications)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 September 2022 | Published 22 November 2021

Updated 22 September 2022

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are a number of careers in construction due to the size of the construction industry. Each job comes with its own speciality and set of skills, so candidates can find a career that is best suited to their strengths and capabilities. Understanding what construction careers there are can help simplify your job search. In this article, we discuss the careers in construction and the benefits of working in these roles, including their salaries, primary duties, skills and qualifications.

Benefits of the careers in construction

There are many benefits to careers in construction, such as stable job growth and reliability. The construction industry experiences a high level of demand year-round due to new roads, houses and business developments. Here is a list of benefits to working in construction:

  • reliable industry with strong job prospects

  • skills-based with development opportunities

  • opportunity to work in a vast range of developments

  • reduced student debt and less time in education

  • earn while you learn

  • comfortable wage

Learning the different careers available in construction may help narrow down your job search and find the perfect career for you. For some jobs in construction, you may undertake an apprenticeship or work experience to learn the trade. For other positions, you may undertake a formal qualification or certification to trade legally.

Related: 10 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs

12 careers in construction

Below are the top 12 careers in construction you can consider:

1. Roofer

National average salary: $76,465 per year

Primary duties: A roofer specialises in the installation, maintenance and repair of roofs. Roofers require special skills to work with many roofing materials like thatch, felt and slate. Roofers may also consult customers on the best roofing style for their home or building based on weather conditions and usages. A roofer uses in-depth industry knowledge to navigate different materials and roofing techniques to provide their customer with a roof that suits the architecture of their building.

2. Construction engineer

National average salary: $106,856 per year

Primary duties: Construction engineers oversee the progress and building of developments from start to finish. Engineers may help architects draft up blueprints and plans for building to ensure any construction is structurally sound and viable for use. Construction engineers consider all elements of the building, from foundations to planning the plumbing systems and electrics. Construction engineers liaise with third parties and suppliers to complete the project to budget and schedule.

Related: What Is a Construction Engineer? (Career Guide with FAQs)

3. Architect

National average salary: $87,380 per year

Primary duties: Architects primarily plan the structure and appearance of a building based on their customer's desires. Architects can work on multiple projects, from large-scale developments to sculptures and restoration of historical buildings. Architects ensure that a building is as aesthetically pleasing as it's functional. Architects typically require a formal university education to practice lawfully.

4. Glazier

National average salary: $65,054 per year

Primary duties: Glaziers primarily work in the installation of windows. Glaziers work hard to ensure that glass is adequately insulating the home. Glaziers can work for a diverse range of customers, from installing and repairing windows in the home to replacing panes in a high-rise building or shop front. Glaziers ensure that the material they work with is suitable for the environmental conditions and user requirements.

5. Foreman

National average salary: $112,819 per year

Primary duties: A foreman oversees the overall progress of a construction site and manages the task load and responsibilities of contractors. These professionals ensure the project is hitting the necessary milestones on schedule. They also make sure employees work to the expected standard. They may also organise reports on progress, challenges and forecasting to present to the client.

6. Bricklayer

National average salary: $65,728 per year

Primary duties: A bricklayer plays an instrumental part in the construction process by laying the foundations and outer shell of a building. A bricklayer ensures that bricks are sturdy and weather baring. These professionals ensure that the material used is compliant with any regulation or building requirements. They may also help lay the foundations of a building and ensure that it's structurally sound and built to last.

7. Industrial mechanic

National average salary: $99,219 per year

Primary duties: An industrial mechanic operates and maintains heavy machinery in settings like factories or building sites. Mechanics are skilled professionals who repair any faults with machinery to ensure efficient production and operation. They ensure that any moving parts are compliant with safety recommendations and are in alignment.

8. Cabinet-maker

National average salary: $63,734 per year

Primary duties: Cabinet-makers design, construct and fit furnishings like cabinets, tables and can even restore vintage fittings and furniture. They use a variety of tools and their in-depth knowledge of wood furnishings to customise fittings to exact measurements and abide by customer requirements. Cabinet-makers may work independently or as part of a business that supplies wooden furniture for stores.

9. Technician

National average salary:$73,410 per year

Primary duties: Technicians install, repair and maintain any electrical components within a construction project. They can work on installing any electrical sockets, light fixtures or appliances that require rewiring or connecting to mains, such as installing fibre optic internet or installing underfloor heating. Technicians ensure that all equipment and fixtures perform to safety regulations.

10. Solar installer

National average salary: $87,018 per year

Primary duties: Solar installers install solar panels to a home, business or outdoor setting to produce cleaner and sustainable energy. These professionals may consult their client on the best position for their solar panel so they can reap the full benefit. They ensure that all panel components work correctly and may maintain or repair any damaged or faulty equipment. Solar installers use comprehensive sustainable energy knowledge to provide their customers with a seamless user experience when heating or lighting their home or business.

11. Plumber

National average salary: $75,768 per year

Primary duties: Plumbers install, maintain and repair sewage, drainage and water systems in a home or business. Plumbers work to install and repair sinks, outdoor and indoor pipes, toilets. They also repair blockages and troubleshoot issues like leaks. Plumbers can consult and recommend the appropriate fixtures for buildings depending on the foundation and usages.

12. Building surveyor

National average salary: $101,891 per year

Primary duties: A building surveyor makes cost estimations, draws plans and monitors the progress of construction. They ensure that all construction complies with industry recommendations and statutory requirements by taking regular reports of any work by contractors. Building surveyors carry out inspections to make sure a building is safe and fit for its purpose.

Skills for construction careers

Construction candidates require a mixture of industry-specific and generic skills to succeed. Industry-specific skills refer to skills gained through experiences, such as bricklaying techniques or knowledge of types of glass. Generic skills refer to useful skills such as communication and interpersonal skills. Below is a list of skills a construction candidate may require:

  • strong physical skills for lifting

  • customer service

  • analytical

  • stamina

  • strong knowledge of material use

  • mathematical skills for engineering or architectural roles

  • technical skills

  • interpersonal skills

  • leadership

  • problem-solving

  • excellent communication

Related: Top 10 Certificates in Construction (With FAQs)

Frequently asked questions

Below are two examples of the most frequently asked questions about construction careers that may help you find a career in construction:

How can I become a construction professional?

There is no set route to the construction industry due to the broad nature of the field. Depending on your role, your route can differ significantly. For example, an architect requires formal qualifications, certifications and extensive industry experience before becoming a qualified architect. Whereas, a roofer may require an apprenticeship or diploma before assuming a full-time position. Below is a short step guide to finding a career in construction:

  1. Gain a bachelor's or diploma: Studying for a bachelor's degree or diploma in mechanics, engineering or other related subjects is a good way to equip yourself with basic theoretical or technical knowledge. This may also impress future employers and demonstrate a level of expertise.

  2. Gain experience: During or after your studies, consider becoming an apprentice, intern or shadowing a certified tradesperson to get hands-on experience. This may provide you with the necessary physical skills and build up your stamina for full-time employment.

  3. Get certified: After training and study, you may then apply for a White Card to demonstrate full certification to lawfully carry out any construction work. A White Card evidences vital safety and industry knowledge and training required to work under Australian law.

Related: What Is Civil Construction? (How To Get a Job in Civil Construction)

Are construction jobs in demand?

Construction careers are in high demand due to the reliability of the industry and the levels of further development. Construction professionals benefit from job security and a good wage because of this. The national job forecast for construction professionals is very strong.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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