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8 Careers Most Needed in Construction Today

8 Careers Most Needed in Construction Right Now

The construction industry is facing a serious skilled labor shortage. Many important positions are lacking thousands, if not millions, of workers. This problem affects construction companies from the ground up. Specialized trades and entry-level roles alike are in desperate need of experienced and enthusiastic workers.

If you’re interested in pursuing a new career in construction, these eight job positions need your help the most.

  1. Construction Laborer
  2. Heavy Equipment Operator
  3. Diesel Mechanic
  4. Plumber
  5. Roofer
  6. Masonry Worker
  7. Electrician
  8. HVAC Technician

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Construction Laborer

National Average Salary: $46,350*

Construction companies mainly need skilled laborers who can perform a variety of menial tasks and operate different types of machinery. Laborers are the infantry of the construction industry that do most of the dirty work, such as painting, scaffolding, operating tools, and loading or unloading materials.

No formal education is required for this position, but you need to be competent at math and reading comprehension. Making accurate measurements and reading complex directions are frequent parts of the job. You also need a driver’s license to drive company vehicles and get to different job sites.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to be in good physical shape because construction laborers are on their feet all day. They’re almost always outside, they lift heavy objects and they encounter many different hazards that might lead to injury. A physically demanding work environment requires a high level of fitness.  Good communication skills are also important since Construction Laborers work along with Structural and Civil Engineers.

Heavy Equipment Operator

National Median Salary: $48,290*

Every construction project also requires heavy equipment operators. These employees control the largest and heaviest machines involved in the project, such as bulldozers, backhoes and compactors. They enable the company to build roads, bridges and other unique structures, which opens up more business opportunities. 

For most types of heavy machinery, you can expect to work at tall heights and be in a cramped driver’s seat. This work environment requires staying mentally and physically sharp.

Heavy equipment operators should have at least a high school diploma or GED. They must also have a commercial driver’s license and earn an operator certification through an approved training course before they can drive anything on a real work site. Training courses include safety seminars, technical education and driving lessons.

Diesel Mechanic

National Median Salary: $48,690*

Diesel mechanics play a crucial role in construction. They inspect and repair all of the diesel-powered equipment on the site, which includes pretty much everything. They have to run diagnostic tests, test drive machinery, replace damaged parts and constantly keep the equipment clean.

You need a high school education and hands-on postsecondary training from a trade school or university. This training will teach you about diesel engines and power generation. There is currently a diesel mechanic shortage because many old mechanics are retiring, so you will have an abundance of work opportunities. 


National Median Salary: $59,880*

If you want to learn a specific trade, plumbing should be at the top of your list. According to the 2021 HBI Construction Labor Market Report, companies reported a 55% plumber shortage on average. Plumbers install all pipe fixtures that carry water, gas and waste. They ensure that the piping is airtight and watertight. They also have to make repairs if necessary.

A high school diploma or GED are required. You can complete a plumbing training program at a community college or trade school. You might get hired as a specialized plumber who works strictly in residential or commercial buildings. With enough experience, you can become an independent subcontractor and choose your own hours.


National Average Salary: $51,910*

Roofing is one of the hardest jobs in the construction industry because of the dangerous work conditions. Roofers spend all day at high elevations and often suffer heat-related illnesses from sun exposure. However, the work itself is straightforward. They install and repair the roofs of buildings, primarily with shingles or metal sheets.

Roofers should have a high school diploma and GED. Although no formal training is required, you must be able to read and understand complex blueprints. Due to the dangerous work environment, you also need to be physically fit and agile enough to move around the roof area with confidence.

Masonry Worker

National Median Salary: $48,040*

Masonry workers deal with concrete, brick and natural stone. They build the foundations, walls, floors, beams and any other structure that requires hard and durable materials. There are several types of masonry workers that specialize in different materials, including the all-important brick masons and cement masons.

To become a masonry worker, you must have a high school education and formal training through an apprenticeship or associate degree program. This job involves lots of careful planning during design and construction, so you must be proficient in mathematics and have a strong eye for detail. 


National Average Salary: $65,280*

The demand for electricians is projected to grow by 7% in the next decade as buildings transition from fossil fuels to sustainable power sources. Your job as an electrician might cover homes, businesses or the power grids that provide electricity to entire communities. In any case, you will be around live wires and lighting systems most of the time.

A high school diploma and GED is required to become an electrician. You also need at least an associate degree in electrical technology, electrical engineering or another related field. Certain electrician jobs, such as lineworkers, also require physical fitness because you have to climb to great heights and work in adverse weather conditions.

HVAC Technician

National Median Salary: $48,630*

HVAC technicians work in close conjunction with electricians. They install and repair all of the heating, cooling and ventilation systems in the building. This job includes working with the electrical components to keep the systems running. However, unlike electricians, you have to focus on other factors such as air quality and indoor pollutants.

To become an HVAC technician, you need a high school diploma and a certification in HVAC technical training through an apprenticeship program or associate degree. You must also be prepared to work around inhalable toxins, including dirt, dust, volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide. 

Find a New Passion in Construction

Working in the construction industry won’t be easy, but you can learn valuable skills and get fairly compensated for your hard work. One of these high-demand careers could become your next passion. They might even lead you to start your own business someday. With a background in construction, many career opportunities become available.

Practical Engineering Solutions

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What Is Manufacturing Engineering? - What Manufacturing Engineers do and what the scope of their work entails to complete their jobs successfully

Salary Sources

1) Laborer:

2) Construction Equipment Operator:

3) Diesel mechanic:

4) Plumber:

5) Roofer:

6) Masonry Worker:

7) Electrician:

8) HVAC Technician:

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