Construction is one of the oldest and most important industries in the United States. It plays a vital role in the country's economy, providing jobs for millions of workers and contributing billions of dollars to the gross domestic product (GDP). The construction industry is also a major source of tax revenue, generating over $100 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year.
The construction industry is made up of a diverse group of businesses that build the homes, offices, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure that make up our built environment. Construction firms range from small family-owned businesses to large publicly traded companies. The vast majority of construction firms are small businesses, with more than 80 percent having fewer than 20 employees.
The construction industry employs more than 7 million people in the United States—about 4 percent of the workforce. Roughly two-thirds of these workers are employed in the residential construction sector, while the remaining one-third work in nonresidential (commercial and industrial) construction. Construction workers are found throughout the country, but employment concentrations are highest in states with large populations and active real estate markets such as California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois.
Construction workers typically have less formal education than workers in other sectors of the economy. However, many jobs in construction require specialized skills and training. For example, electricians must complete an apprenticeship program before they can become licensed journeymen electricians; carpenters often receive on-the-job training; and operating engineers (who operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers) usually need to obtain a license from their state or local government before they can be hired by a contractor. Some states also require contractors to be licensed or registered with their agencies responsible for regulating building activity within their jurisdictions.
Getting a job in the construction industry
Construction is a huge industry with many different types of jobs. The most common construction job is working as a laborer, which involves doing manual labor tasks such as loading and unloading materials, digging trenches, or assisting carpenters and other skilled workers. Although experience is not always necessary for this type of position, employers typically prefer to hire workers who have some prior experience in the field.
Other common construction jobs include operating heavy machinery such as cranes or bulldozers, working as a surveyor or inspector, being an electrician or plumber, or being involved in project management. Once again, experience is often preferred for these positions, although there are many entry-level opportunities available as well. Construction companies also frequently hire architects and engineers to work on their projects.
If you're interested in getting a job in construction, the best place to start is by contacting your local construction companies and asking about current openings and availability. You can also search online job boards or classifieds websites for construction jobs in your area. Finally, don't forget to network - letting people know that you're looking for a job in construction can sometimes lead to hearing about unadvertised openings or getting referrals from friends and acquaintances.
Popular jobs in the construction inudstry
Job titles in construction can be quite confusing and often overlap. Here is a quick guide to some of the most common job titles you might encounter:
Project Manager: A project manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing all aspects of a construction project. They work closely with the owner, architect, engineers, and other members of the construction team to ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
Construction Superintendent: A construction superintendent is responsible for on-site coordination of all trades and subcontractors. They are typically involved from pre-construction through to completion and handover of the finished project.
Site Manager: A site manager is responsible for managing all aspects of day-to-day operations on a construction site. This includes safety, security, schedule management, material delivery coordination, and communication with all stakeholders.
Foreman: A foreman is a worker who has been designated by the employer as being in charge of a group or crew of workers. In construction, foremen are often responsible for leading teams of laborers or trade workers (e.g., electricians, plumbers).
Journeyman/Tradesperson: A journeyman or tradesperson is an experienced worker who has completed an apprenticeship program in their trade (e.g., carpentry, masonry). Journeymen/tradespeople usually work under the supervision of a foreman or supervisor but are also capable of working independently when required.
There are many different construction jobs available for those interested in the field. Construction workers can specialize in a particular area, such as carpentry, masonry, or electrical work, or they may be generalists who perform a variety of tasks. Some construction jobs require little more than a strong back and a willingness to work long hours in difficult conditions, while others demand highly specialized skills and training. The following is an overview of some of the most common construction jobs:
Carpenters are responsible for constructing and installing the wooden structures that make up the framework of buildings. They use power tools and hand tools to cut, shape, and assemble wood products according to blueprints or other specifications. Carpenters typically start out as apprentice carpenters, working under the supervision of more experienced carpenters. With training and experience, they can advance to journeyman carpenter or foreman positions.
Masons are responsible for laying bricks, concrete blocks, stone, and other masonry materials to build walls, floors, foundations, and other structures. They use trowels, chisels, levels, plumb bobs, and other hand tools to measure and cut bricks and other materials; mortar boards; wheelbarrows; scaffolding; and cranes to transport materials; and various power saws to cut stone blocks. Masons must have a good knowledge of mathematics in order to calculate dimensions accurately. Many masons start out as apprentices before becoming journeymen or master masons.
Electricians install electrical wiring systems in homes , commercial buildings , factories ,and office parks. They also maintain and repair these systems when necessary. Electricians interpret blueprints or technical diagrams, plan layouts and select cabling sizes and install outlets boxes.
Notable construction sites around the world.
The largest construction sites in the world are some of the most awe-inspiring and impressive feats of engineering ever created by man. From massive dams and skyscrapers to entire cities, these gargantuan construction projects represent humanity at its very best.
The Three Gorges Dam in China is not only the largest dam in the world, but also the largest hydroelectric power station. This colossal dam spans an incredible 2.3 miles across the Yangtze River and took over 17 years to complete at a cost of $50 billion. The Three Gorges Dam provides electricity for an estimated 10% of China’s population and prevents flooding in the surrounding area.
The Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM) is a set of railways that cross some of the most remote and inhospitable territory on earth. Spanning over 4,000 miles from Siberia to Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast, the BAM was built largely by gulag prisoners during Joseph Stalin’s reign. This mammoth project claimed over 1 million lives during its construction between 1930 and 1953.
China is home to two of the three largest bridges in the world: The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge and The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, which opened in 2011, stretches 26 miles across Qingdao Bay linking Huangdao with Zhoushan Island. The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, completed in 2010, runs 101 miles between Shanghai and Nanjing making it slightly longer than California’s Interstate 5 highway. These two bridges are just a small part of China’s massive high-speed rail network which currently covers over 12,000 miles.
The International Space Station is perhaps the most ambitious international cooperation project ever undertaken by mankind. 16 nations came together to build this orbiting research laboratory which has been continuously occupied since 2000. Construction of the ISS involved dozens of space shuttle missions carrying hundreds of tons of material into orbit where it was assembled by astronauts using nothing but their bare hands!
Scheduled for completion in 2025, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will be able to handle up to 80 million passengers per year making it one of the busiest airports in the world. When finished, this mega-airport will span an area larger than Manhattan Island and include six runways, a huge terminal building bigger than all four terminals at London Heathrow combined!