From watching Bob the Builder as a kid to seeing all the construction occurring around the world, the construction sector was permeated by a certain mystique. Despite the mystery surrounding it, this thrilling, fast-paced career is quite profitable. And yet, to earn a living is not living itself.
Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychologists, famously said that humans have a need to transcend their nature by creating and caring about their creations. And what better way to create something and leave a lasting impact on the world than by working in the construction sector? Without further ado, here are 7 of the most profitable jobs in construction and how you can get involved in them.
In the construction sector, plumbers install and repair waste disposal systems, water supply lines, fixtures and appliances for commercial, residential and even industrial projects. A notable portion of plumbers’ work in construction also includes service maintenance after a project’s completion. Such contracts are often long-term in nature and provide a stable and regular stream of income.
The market for plumbers is expanding fast, at a rate of 14% between 2018 and 2028, which is considerably quicker than the market average. With the median salary of $53,910 per year, this is one of the most lucrative jobs to pursue without a degree. To be a successful plumber, you will need a strong mechanical aptitude and problem-solving and coordination abilities, as well as being excellent in planning and people-focused roles. To work as one, you will need a license and certification, besides earning a diploma or GED.
Decorator and Painter
If you like spending time on ladders, decoration and painting may be an option that can suit you. Don’t be fooled, though – this job isn’t as simple as splashing on a couple of coats in between tea breaks. Professional decorators and painters are required to prepare surfaces thoroughly and create high-quality finishes on a broad range of materials, usually across big spaces and to customer specifications.
As a painter, you will work both indoor and outdoor in many different work environments. This is physically demanding and requires a lot of kneeling, bending, reaching, and climbing. If you paint buildings or bridges, you may also be exposed to uncomfortable positions and extreme heights. Fortunately, in this field, there are a lot more opportunities for small, independent contractor work. The 2018 median salary of these occupations is $38,940 per annum. No formal educational credentials are needed.
Solar photovoltaic installer
Solar photovoltaic installers implement, assemble and maintain solar panels which transform energy from the sun rays into electricity, on the rooftops of commercial and residential buildings. In this career, the median salary is $42,680 per year, with the best-paid 25% of professionals making well over $50,000. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for 2018-2028 is 63%: a much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations, which is only 5%.
When it comes to the equipment needed for the job, like scaffolding, your best bet would be to find websites like Bayside Scaffolding that specialize in scaffolding equipment, since they often have better prices than companies that sell all kinds of construction equipment.
Regarding education for the job, some solar photovoltaic installers start with only a high school diploma and the willingness to learn while working, while others finish certificate programs and technical college courses, which often take a few months to complete.
If the concept of construction satisfies you but you don’t enjoy being on the job site, civil engineering is a great occupation to pursue, as individuals in this position spend a lot of time inside an office or trailer. As a civil engineer, you will design and supervise the construction of the nation’s infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, roads, sewage systems, and more.
According to BLS, the predicted job growth is 6% until 2028 (as fast as the market average), while the median salary for 2018 is $86,640 annually. If you possess robust mathematical capability, good and decisive decision-making skills, strong organizational traits and a capacity for leadership, you won’t go wrong in this field. Although to begin your career in this field, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a similar specialty, such as urban planning or mechanical engineering.
Hazmat or hazardous materials removal worker
While this occupation is quite broad and is applicable across a range of industries, hazardous materials removal is a crucial part of construction work. From determining and removing any destructive and dangerous materials from a particular site to removing asbestos, lead, radioactive waste and other hazardous materials during renovation projects, a job in this field pays quite well and offers an abundance of employment opportunities.
Unfortunately, the work environment for hazmat removal employees isn’t trivial. You will likely need to wear protective suits for several hours at a time, while completing projects on time often requires weekend and night hours. Overtime is typical in this field, especially for emergency and disaster response to employees. Employment of hazmat removal workers is expected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all careers. Here, the median salary is $42,030 per annum.
As a carpenter, you will need to employ an expansive math skill set to complete construction projects and other manual tasks. From basic math for calculating wall heights and floor space to more complex trigonometric formulas to make proper angle cuts, carpenters throughout the world fight the stereotype that they’re more brawn than brain. Although, you will also need muscle and physical endurance to do your job well.
Besides having a high school diploma or its equivalent, you will need to complete a three to four-year training program to work in this profession. Carpentry apprentices finish at least 144 of paid technical training, and, depending on the program in question, anywhere from 2,500 to 7,500 hours of compensated on-the-job training in the areas of blueprint reading, basic carpentry, mathematics and building code requirements. The average yearly salary for a carpenter is $46,590, according to BLS.
Elevator repairer and installer
If you aren’t claustrophobic or scared of heights and don’t mind being on call in emergency situations, becoming an elevator repairer and installer can prove to be a rewarding and profitable occupation. With the stunning median salary of $79,780 per year and 10% job growth predicted from 2018 to 2028 – again according to the BLS – it’s hard to go wrong with this occupation.
So, what will you do? In essence, while working in this field, you will help install, repair and maintain escalators, elevators, moving walkways and more. You’ll require good troubleshooting skills, mechanical skills, analytical thinking, dependability and independence to succeed in this profession. Starting your career generally requires an apprenticeship, besides ongoing training throughout your career. This is an arduous field with significant repercussions when it comes to customer safety, hence it’s necessary you stay up-to-date on all training.
There will always be a need for the construction sector. Companies need factories and office buildings, people want a place to live in, and someone must build all those roads, bridges and other infrastructure that keeps our world running. The point is to find a profession that suits your strengths, skills, the time you want to spend on your job, and, above all else, one that will satisfy you the most.