The construction industry is vital to economy and society. Careers are on offer in building and assembling infrastructure, and construction projects in homes and buildings.
Careers in construction include project managers and construction managers, who coordinate and plan the work to be done by construction workers and skilled labourers and oversee the overall operations of the site and project. Professionals in this role should have a bachelors degree or significant work experience in the field. Other hands-on careers include labourers, construction equipment operators, plumbers, electricians and welders who may work directly for construction companies or work under contract for specific job purposes. In addition, there are many other careers associated with the construction industry including estimators, surveyors, contract administrators and inspectors that are charged with ensuring proper building codes and safety regulations.
While advanced degrees can now help individuals gain the skill necessary to work in this field, much of the work involves practical, hands-on experience and technical knowledge of the materials and functioning properties of fixtures and structures. Individuals in this field typically enjoy working outdoors using physical labour and manually working on projects, and should be interested in how things work. There is a great deal of coordinating and planning in the field is imperative. Many professionals and workers in the construction field may work based on specific project contracts for large companies, small projects and individual clients.
Professionals in the field must work with a variety of stakeholders, including the client, government authorities, planners and designers, and building code and regulation inspectors.
Backhoe Operators manoeuvre and operate backhoe equipment in a variety of construction settings to dig trenches and ditches, as well as move and load dirt, soil and other debris from sites. They play a pivotal role in construction sites and must be efficient at operating backhoes and adhere to safety regulations to ensure the safety of all present.
Boat Builders and Shipwrights
Boat Builders and Shipwrights use a variety of materials to assemble, fit-out and repair marine vessels such as personal leisure boats and large naval and commercial ships.
Boilermakers are trades persons who cut, shape, assemble and weld steel to construct and repair metal products and structures for boilers, ships, iron and steel structures and other vessels.
Boilermakers Assistants provide support to Boilermakers in cutting, shaping, assembling and welding steel to construct and repair metal products for boilers, ships, iron and steel structures and other vessels.
Boners and Slicers
Meat Boners and Slicers slaughter livestock and prepare meat and poultry for processing, packaging and selling.
Bricklayers and Stonemasons
Bricklayers and Stonemasons cut and bind various types of masonry building bricks and blocks in mortar to build foundations, mend walls and construct other structures such as partitions and arches.
Bricklayers Assistants provide support Bricklayers in cutting and binding various types of masonry. This includes building bricks and blocks in mortar to build foundations, mending walls and constructing other structures such as partitions and arches.
Building and Construction Managers
Building and Construction Managers are responsible for planning, executing and directing the construction of a variety of projects including civil engineering projects and large scale building projects such as housing developments, hospitals, factories and office blocks.
Building and Plumbers Labourers
Building and Plumbers Labourers provide support to Builders, Plumbers and other trades persons on building and construction sites. They perform various manual labouring tasks such as loading and unloading tools and materials, concreting, assembling scaffolding, digging holes, structural repairs and general site maintenance.
Building Technicians provide technical assistance to a range of professionals such as Engineers, Surveyors, Architects and Construction Managers in the construction of commercial and residential projects. Functions include preparing plans, supervising and inspecting sites, monitoring works progress, liaising with contractors and installing, repairing and maintaining various building systems.
Carpenters and Joiners
Carpenters and Joiners provide construction services to build structures with a variety of materials such as wood, metal, concrete blocks and other substances. They also perform both major and minor renovation services to residential and commercial properties. Many also perform small aspects of architectural drawing for clients in need of building additions. Carpenters and Joiners can perform needed repairs to existing structures.
Carpenters Assistants perform the manual labour associated with carpentry and assist Carpenters in their work. They may have to prepare sites before building and transporting tools and equipment to the site, working for long hours in the outdoors.
Carpet Layers work in many places including homes, businesses and office buildings. They measure and install all kinds of carpeting including cut pile, Berber, Saxony, textured, plush velvet, Frieze, Cut and Loop pile and multi-level pile. They cut and install the carpeting to the specifications of the customer as well as those of the manufacturers recommendations.
Concreter's provide a very important service to homeowners, businesses and communities in general. They handle concrete from the beginning of the project all the way through to its completion. Concreter's create sidewalks, foundations, floors, bridges, parking lots and even vertical walls for buildings. There is no end to the possible projects that concreter's are needed to work on.
Construction Managers are completely in charge of projects from the planning stages all the way through to completion. They handle the complete coordination of projects such as those for civil engineering and infrastructure, commercial and residential buildings, houses and even large scale parking garages. Construction Managers must handle the crew of laborers and skilled tradesmen as well as permits, equipment and machinery rentals and supervising the construction project.
Construction Plant Operators
Construction Plant Operators use heavy equipment to perform their duties. They use equipment to perform tasks such as demolish old and deteriorating roadways, smooth and level surfaces, excavate various ores and minerals as well as handle other projects for residential, commercial and government agencies.
Construction Workers perform a myriad of duties to build, maintain and repair homes and others structures. They also work on storm water systems, excavation and leveling projects, sewage systems, drainage fields and many other types of construction projects. Construction Workers can start with an empty piece of land and create any building or facility needed for a specific project.
Also known as Building and Plumbing Labourers, Earthmoving Labourers specialise primarily in outdoor work, focusing on general tasks like clearing sites for construction, building and repairing structures, and installing and maintaining plumbing systems for existing structures. The work is physical in nature and often routine and repetitive.
Earthmoving Plant Operators
Often working in conjunction with other physical and construction labourers, Earthmoving Plant Operators run machinery to move and excavate earth, break up pavement, and smooth out other surfaces in preparation for construction projects. Earthmoving plant operators may also be known as backhoe, bulldozer, excavator, grader, or loader operators.
Electrical Distribution Trades Workers
Electrical Distribution Trades Workers ensure individuals and businesses have power. They install, repair, maintain, and monitor electric power distribution networks.
Electricians perform the hands-on work associated with electrical systems, which includes installing and repairing electrical networks, systems, and circuits in private homes, corporations and industries, and governmental buildings. Electricians also work in lift and escalator installation, service, and repair. Some electricians also work in electrical network design.
Fettlers are railway track workers who are responsible for maintaining tracks and other railroad equipment in regular railways, plant yards, mines, and quarries. They use a variety of tools and machinery, including welding equipment, to repair tracks and rail equipment. Fettlers must have a strong knowledge of tools and equipment; they should have strong hand-eye coordination and be able to detect signs of wear or damage.
Fibreglass Laminator's work with fibreglass layers to form vehicle bodies, such as boats, cars, and other manufactured products. They use moulds and specialised tools such as spray guns, brushes, and squeegees for the application process. They select appropriate materials and follow project specifications; they may work with wood, metal, plastic, resin, and wax.
Fibrous Plasterers work with specialised tools to install and finish walls and ceilings in commercial and residential buildings; they may work on building exteriors using stucco. They may do both functional and ornamental applications of plaster, and jobs may be for new construction or repair work. Strong hand-eye coordination and an aesthetic sense are necessary for this career. Plasterers may work on a crew for a contractor, or be self-employed.
Floor Finishers measure, cut, install, and finish floors in residential and commercial buildings. Floors can be finished in a variety of natural and synthetic materials, therefore finishers must have a strong knowledge of material types, their uses, and be able to follow measurements to complete order specifications.
Floor Tilers measure, cut, install, and finish floors in residential and commercial buildings. Floors are finished with marble, ceramic, slate, clay, glass, and wood tile, therefore tilers must have a strong knowledge of material types, their uses, and be able to follow measurements to complete order specifications.
Handypersons work in various maintenance capabilities around apartment buildings, office facilities, governmental agencies, and other structures, jobs, and facilities. Specific work may include painting, cleaning, and repair, as well as general daily maintenance.
Janitors provide cleaning and maintenance services for a variety of private and public buildings and grounds including schools, offices, public parks and restrooms. They should have good time management skills to effectively clean all necessary areas within the allotted time and be able to handle unpleasant circumstances in the workplace.
Labourers (Building and Plumbing)
Building and Plumbing Labourer's perform the manual labour associated with buildings and water drainage and pipe systems. They may have to prepare sites before building by clearing and levelling the ground and working for long hours in the outdoors.
Labourers (Paving and Surfacing)
Paving and Surfacing Labourer's prepare, pave and finish laying materials to pave surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, parking lots, runways, etc. They are required to perform physical labour and be outdoors for long periods of time. They should be able to work effectively while directing traffic and being aware of their surroundings.
Railway Labourer's prepare, lay and repair railway tracks and other transportation pathways. They also assist in constructing and repairing signs, signals and equipment to facilitate in the proper operation of railways and other tram services. They must perform physical labour and be outdoors for long periods of time installing or repairing tracks.
Laggers apply insulation using a variety of materials including fibreglass, felt and asbestos to pipes, generators, ducting and other devices. They are required to perform some physical labour manually applying insulation and should have knowledge of proper material functions.
Locksmiths create, install and repair a variety of locks for public buildings as well as private residences. They help maintain the security of buildings, gates and homes by creating locks designed for specific sets of keys.
Metal Machinists install metal parts, set up and operate machining tools to form metal stock and mouldings. They should have strong hand-eye coordination and be able to operate hazardous machinery while adhering to health and safety standards.
Metal Fabricators, part of a larger group of structural steel and welding trades workers, work with iron, steel, and other metals. They cut, shape, join, and solder metals together for projects both large and small. They may also repair large structures like ships or buildings or smaller products like watches or furniture.
Metal Fitters and Machinists
Metal Fitters and Machinists work with already finished and fabricated metals. They assemble metal into consumer products and operate machines to shape metal into desired products.
Paving and Surface Labourers
Paving and Surface Labourer's are involved in routine positions where they lay bituminous and a variety of other paving materials on roads, parking lots, runways, and other similar surfaces to prepare them to be paved. Paving and surface labourer's often work outside during warm months of the year.
Petroleum Plant Operators
Petroleum Plant Operators control/operate petroleum processing or refining units. Some workers may specialise in testing/gauging oil stored in tanks, controlling pumping/manifold systems, or controlling the flow of petroleum into pipelines.
Plasterers perform a variety of tasks associated with installing and repairing plaster, cement and other materials to interiors and surfaces of buildings. They should be familiar with material types and substances and perform quality work for clients.
Plumbers repair, install and maintain plumbing systems. Plumbers do not need any formal education and can be paid rather well, but they may work with hazardous materials in dirty or extreme environments. Experience in the field is required.
Power Plant Operators
Power Plant Operators operate, control, and uphold machinery to produce electric power. This job description may include auxiliary equipment operators as well. Power plant operators sometimes work in hazardous conditions, though their work is often located indoors.
Precision Metal Trades Workers
Precision Metal Trades Workers can include such positions/titles as gunsmith, engraver, locksmith, saw maker and repairer, clock and watch maker and repairer, etc. These individuals create, assemble, take care of, and repair metal precision instruments. Tasks differ greatly depending on ones specific title.
A Quantity Surveyor, also known as a Construction Economist, estimates and monitors the costs of building and infrastructure construction and maintenance. Working on projects such as sports stadiums, tunnels, bridges, universities, residential buildings, hospitals, and roads, they’re usually involved from the feasibility stage through to completion.
Railway Track Workers
Railway Track Workers perform routine or mechanical work associated with railroad systems. They lay and repair track and install, monitor, and repair associated equipment such as signals and railway arms.
Recycling and Rubbish Collectors
Recycling and Rubbish Collectors are also termed Garbage Collectors. These professionals collect, recycle, and dispose of household, commercial, and industrial waste.
Riggers, also known as Structural Steel Construction Workers, work primarily on construction sites. They handle rigging gear and assemble, reinforce, and dismantle scaffolding for various projects.
Safety Inspectors are responsible for ensuring on the job safety and health. They make sure that public places, as well as equipment used by facilities, are in complete compliance with government regulations. Additionally, safety inspectors look at working conditions that staff members encounter on a day-to-day basis. Their role includes conducting various tests and looking at potential hazards that could negatively impact workers, the environment, or the public.
Sawmill Machine Operators
Sawmill Machine Operators operate a range of machines that are used in the manufacturing of paper products including plywood, fibreboard and other wood products. The nature of the work is noisy, requires heavy lifting and the operation of potentially dangerous machinery.
Scaffolders assemble rigging gear. This involves taking erecting steel frames and putting them into position. Once construction is completed, this job consists of removing the structural steel frames.
Sheetmetal Trades Workers
Sheetmetal Trades Workers make various products using sheetmetal. Their job involves using specifications to make sure that they have the proper tools and materials. The job involves using equipment like hammers, grinders and torches to shape the metal and then assembling it through welding and bolting
Shipwrights are carpenters that build and repair boats and ships. These individuals will handle designs and blueprints. They also can be in charge of installing various safety equipment as well as necessary items on a ship like decks, masts and frames.
Solid Plasterers work to apply and fix plasterboard on a variety of structures in homes, businesses and other buildings. Plaster is applied and fixed in areas, ranging from wall partitions to tiles. In addition, plasterers can work to apply and fix plaster to both the interior and exterior of structures.
Stonemasons, also referred to as Bricklayers, build or restore stone structures such as walls, arches and piers. They also lay walks and curbs.
Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers
Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers cut, shape, align, weld or join metal components using specialised tools, such us flame-cutting equipment. Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers work on boilers, pipes, and other iron and steel structures.
Structural Steel Construction Workers
Structural Steel Construction Workers raise and position equipment and structural components to form structural frameworks. Workers have to assemble rigging gear to move scaffolding and other materials needed. Structural Steel Construction Workers work on structures, such as buildings, towers, storage tanks and bridges.
Roof Tilers are the brave individuals who climb on rooftops to tile and create a waterproof barrier between the great outdoors and the interior of a home or other building. Roof tilers may work with shingles, metal sheets, or tiles as desired by the client.
Tilers Assistants need to have a basic knowledge of many construction skills as they may be expected to perform jobs that include plumbing, building, tiling, and much more. This is a very hands-on and often labour intensive career.
Trades Assistants (Electrical or Telecommunications)
Trade Assistants in the electrical or telecommunications field assist electricians and telecommunication specialists in troubleshooting and repair of electrical and telecommunication equipment. These assistants may also aide in the installation and maintenance of electrical and telecommunication systems.
Wall and Floor Tilers
Wall and Floor Tilers work with materials like ceramic, glass, slate, marble and clay. They cut these materials to form tiles and lay these tiles on walls and floors, both interior and exterior. They may also add decorative touches to their basic work.
Waterside Workers, also known as freight and furniture handlers, work on docks and in other maritime environments. They load and unload ships and handle cargo for distribution on shore. They also transfer goods and merchandise from ship to ship and from ship to rail or other land-based transportation.
Welders (First Class)
First Class Welders, also known as structural steel and welding trades workers, work with iron and steel. They cut, shape, join, and solder metals together for projects both large and small. They may also repair large structures like ships or buildings or smaller products like watches or furniture.
Professional associations and industry bodies
Skills and personality
- Ability to plan and coordinate people, equipment, services and activities
- Ability to see construction from beginning stages to completion
- Adherence to safety standards and procedures while building and installing
- Effectively use a variety of hand and power tools to complete work
- Enjoy working outdoors building and constructing structures and fixtures
- Enjoy working with hands and performing manual labour
- High attention to detail including accuracy and precision of work
- Problem solving and analytical skills on projects working on
- Specialised knowledge of construction aspects and proper installation
- Work with professionals from various fields and areas to collaborate on construction needs