Construction encompasses a variety of skilled trades that do not require 4 year university degrees. If you are considering a future in construction, there are many different skilled trade opportunities available for you to choose from. These construction trades exist in both residential and commercial settings.

Read further to learn about the 10 popular skilled trades that are related to construction work.


Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures by following blueprints, building plans, and adhering carefully to regulations set in place. They are responsible for measuring, cutting, and shaping the materials they will be working with.

At times, carpenters will direct laborers and other professionals on the construction site. Many carpenters also install cabinets, siding, drywall, and insulation. There are also different tools that carpenters use to complete these jobs. Most of these tools are designed to cut and shape the material being used, including: wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall.

How to Become a Carpenter

Although the skilled trades differ, the educational paths you can take tend to be fairly similar; students typically enroll in a vocational or technical school program. Or, students can begin in an apprenticeship instead. To enroll in either a program or an apprenticeship, students will likely need a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Carpentry training programs teach students fundamentals of carpentry, blueprint reading, related mathematics, building code requirements, and different specializations. These specializations may include setting concrete, welding, scaffold building, along with any required OSHA training courses.

Carpenter Pay and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, carpenters in 2022 earned an average of $58,210, with the top 10 percent making $89,950 or more. The BLS also estimates that an average of 91,200 jobs for carpenters will open each year leading up to 2031.

The need for carpenters is paramount when it comes to construction. As a carpenter, you will be responsible for the installation, repair, inspection, and maintenance of buildings, frameworks, and structures.

Find a trade school near you offering programs in carpentry today.


Plumbers install and repair pipes, piping fixtures, and plumbing systems. Depending on what a project requires, a plumber will need to use different techniques, materials, and tools.

Working in residential home construction, a plumber may service bathtubs, toilets, dishwashers, water heaters, gas systems, etc. If working on a larger industrial setting or construction site, a master plumber may be required to help develop blueprints that detail and plan the placement of pipes and other fixtures.

Aside from installation, plumbers are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and troubleshooting. Larger industrial projects can include entire septic tanks and more complex piping systems.

How to Become a Plumber

To become a plumber, students can either enter an apprenticeship, or enroll in a vocational or technical school plumbing program. Once a student completes their schooling and receives the required hands-on training, they will also be required to pass a licensing exam.

Prospective plumbers will learn topics related to the fundamentals of plumbing, mathematics, related sciences like physics or chemistry, building codes, OSHA safety training, blueprint reading and drafting, and advanced water/drainage systems within a building or home.

Plumber Pay and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that plumbers in 2022 earned an average of $65,190, with the top 10 percent making $101,190 or more. Receiving specific certifications can increase one’s future earning potential. The BLS also estimates that an average of 48,600 jobs for plumbers will open each year leading up to 2031.

If you are a resourceful person who enjoys working with your hands, becoming a plumber on a construction site can be a great career choice. Plumbers are especially in-demand when it comes to construction needs.

Find a school near you offering plumbing programs today.

Brick Masons

Brick masons specialize in laying brick, marble, stone, granite, concrete blocks, and other materials to construct, repair, and maintain structurally sound buildings and framework. The structures brick masons create include but are not limited to: walls, buildings, walkways, porches, bridges, and even building foundations.

As a form of construction itself, brick masonry occupies an important role in the construction industry. Like many other trades, masonry work can be residential or commercial.

How to Become a Brick Mason

Many technical, vocational schools, or community colleges offer programs in masonry. Of course, students can also learn the trade through an apprenticeship. In an apprenticeship or masonry program, students will learn blueprint reading, measurements and relevant mathematics, building codes/regulations, and the basics of masonry processes.

Once a brick mason’s apprenticeship is completed and he or she reaches journeyman status, there can be great opportunities for career advancement – especially on the construction site. With the right experience and knowledge, masonry workers might be able to reach construction management positions.

Brick Mason Pay and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2022 that brick masons earned an average of $62,380, with the top 10 percent making $93,290 or more. The BLS also estimates that an average of 41,500 jobs for brick masons will open each year leading up to 2031.

Despite being referred to as brick masons, these professionals work with materials aside from brick. As innovations throughout the construction industry continue to implement themselves, brick masons may need to continue to learn different techniques and procedures for the installation of these newer materials.


Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wires and complex electrical systems. The components, wiring, and lighting systems that are worked on are found in residential, building, and complex commercial construction projects alike.

Electricians read, interpret, and even create blueprints and technical diagrams. In addition to installation processes, electricians are responsible for troubleshooting various electrical systems involved in a project. Along with repairing and replacing equipment as necessary, electricians also strictly adhere to state and building codes and regulations. These regulations are set in place by the National Electrical Code.

How to Become an Electrician

Trade school/community college is again, a popular choice for many students wishing to become electricians. Both schooling or apprenticeships can prepare students for a future as an electrician. While those learning the trade through the school will experience classroom instruction, there will also be required hands-on learning hours.

Apprentices and students alike will learn electrical theory, blueprint reading, related mathematics, electrical code and building requirements. More specialized training may include soldering, various alarm system installation, or even elevator/related mechanical installation. Read how to become an electrician for more.

Electrician Pay and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians earned an average of $65,280, with the top 10 percent maki9ng $102,300 or more. Electricians, especially on construction sites, are expected to remain in-demand. The BLS also estimates that an average of 79,900 jobs for electricians will open each year leading up to 2031.

Not only does the continuous construction of buildings create a promising future for electricians, but so does our society’s increasing preference for alternative energy sources – and buildings run on these alternative systems. If you have the industry knowledge and passion, becoming an electrician can be an excellent career move for your future in construction.

Find a school near you offering electrical programs today.

Construction Equipment Operators

The use and operation of heavy machinery such as forklifts, excavation and loading machines, bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, tractors, etc., requires specialized training and skill. Construction equipment operators drive, maneuver, and control the heavy/precarious machinery and equipment that is used on construction sites.

These construction sites can range from residential to commercial, industrial, and infrastructure – building roads, bridges, and other structures.

How to Become a Construction Equipment Operator

Many construction equipment operators begin with on-the-job training; first learning with lighter equipment under the guidance of an experienced professional. As these professionals move to more advanced equipment, more specialized and regulated training sessions or certifications may be required.

Trade, vocational schools, or community colleges may also offer programs and courses in operating specialized construction equipment. These programs may offer resources such as virtual simulator training, and basic mechanic maintenance courses.

Construction Equipment Operator Pay and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2022, construction equipment operators earned an average of $59,420, with the top 10 percent making $93,060 or more. The BLS also estimates that an average of 50,800 jobs for construction equipment operators will open each year leading up to 2031.

Without construction equipment operators, necessary projects would be virtually impossible undertakings. These professionals are needed to safely and effectively aid the development of residential, commercial, and industrial structures alike.

Find a trade school near you offering construction programs or search for CDL training today.


Ironworkers are responsible for the sound installation and reinforcement of iron and steel to form and support bridges, roadways, and other architecture. Ironworkers play a vital role in reinforcement of buildings and various other structures.

Many ironworkers also weld metal themselves. Others might work with welders and certain equipment operators when it comes to lifting, installing, and positioning the materials being worked with. In addition to creating and maintaining structures, ironworkers will sometimes need to be involved in the demolition or disassembling of older architecture.

How to Become an Ironworker

Most ironworkers learn the trade through an apprenticeship involving on-the-job training. These apprenticeships tend to last around 3 to 4 years.

In apprenticeships, prospective ironworkers will learn reinforcing and structural ironworking, use of important tools and equipment, the handling, measurements, cutting, and laying of materials, the construction of frameworks, along with blueprint reading and sketches.

Ironworker Pay and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ironworkers in 2022 earned an average of $57,780, with the top 10 percent making $89,880 or more. The BLS also estimates that an average of 9,400 iron working jobs will open each year leading up to 2031.

Steel and reinforced structures are critical components of construction. Future construction will rely on the expertise of ironworkers to secure the building at its core.

Find a school near you offering metalworking programs today.


Welders skillfully use hand-held torches, or remote controlled equipment to apply heat and pressure to metal pieces to melt and fuse them together to create a permanent bond. Welders accomplish this process through varying techniques and welding processes. Welders must be skilled and careful when it comes to their work, their processes, and heat adjustments.

Construction requires skilled welders – namely when it comes to producing structurally sound components. Welding is used to connect steel beams, columns, trusses, and other support structures to a building. It can not only be used to reinforce residential homes, but also high-rise buildings requiring thousands of metal joints.

How to Become a Welder

Most welders begin their career with classes in a technical/trade school, or community college program. Some welders may enter the workforce through employer-led apprenticeship programs. Some apprenticeships may be designed for those with no welding experience. Others, may be for those who have completed a welding program.

Through training, welders will learn mathematics related to welding, welding fundamentals, various techniques, cutting pipes, properties of different metals, etc. There tends to be classroom instruction in addition to hands-on learning.

Welder Pay and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2022, welders earned an average of $50,460, with the top 10 percent making $68,750 or more. The BLS also estimates that an average of 47,600 welding jobs will open each year leading up to 2031.

Welding is important – especially in construction. Skilled welders will continue to be necessary to support large metal frameworks, and even more minor support systems and smaller buildings.

Find a trade school with welding programs today.

HVAC Technicians

HVAC technicians hold an especially valuable spot in construction – namely in residential or commercial buildings. Technicians are needed to install, maintain, or repair the heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control both temperature and indoor air quality in buildings.

When it comes to working in the construction sphere specifically, a large part of an HVAC technician’s job will be installation. Part of this process will require venturing inside of systems – cleaning ducts, replacing filters, and checking refrigerant levels.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Many technicians will complete their HVAC education at a trade/technical school or through a community college program. Some students might also begin in apprenticeship programs, although some formal education may be required first.

Whether or not a technician receives their education through schooling or an apprenticeship, new technicians will typically train alongside experienced ones. HVAC students will learn the basics of HVAC, different types of refrigerants, installation and maintenance, ductwork, piping fundamentals, and more.

HVAC Technician Pay and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2022, that HVAC technicians earned an average of $57,460, with the top 10 percent making $82,630 or more. The BLS also estimates that an average of 40,100 HVAC jobs will open each year leading up to 2031.

HVAC technicians have a promising future in the construction space. Specifically, they may be working inside of buildings or residential homes during and after construction.

Find a trade school with HVAC programs today.


Roofing is another trade that occupies its place in construction. Roofers will either work on residential homes, commercial/industrial buildings, or apartment complexes. Material that they work with can vary, but mainly, roofers install shingles, asphalt, metal, or other weatherproof material to construct a proper roof.

Along with installation, a roofer’s responsibilities will include weatherproofing and maintaining roofs, cutting materials, aligning and measurements, and more.

How to Become a Roofer

There are no formal education requirements for roofers. Roofers typically receive on-the-job training under the guidance of an experienced roofer. Some associations may offer apprenticeships for roofers – such as the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers.

Entry-level roofers will likely learn proper roofing techniques and the operation of equipment, measurements, cutting, and eventually the laying of shingles with various materials.

Roofer Pay and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2022, roofers earned an average of $51,910, with the top 10 percent making $75,930 or more. The BLS also estimates that an average of 15,000 jobs for roofers will open each year leading up to 2031.

Roofers may also be required to install solar panels – if a roofer does have experience working with solar photovoltaic installation, it could benefit his or her career in coming years. Overall, roofers have a prominent role in construction of buildings, homes, and apartment complexes.

Construction Managers

Finally, there are some construction careers that may require university degrees – one of which being a construction manager. Becoming a construction manager can lead to a more high-paying role in the field of construction.

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from the beginning all the way through their completion. Site managers will collaborate with architects, engineers, and other professionals involved in these projects. They must monitor progress reports, budgets, respond to clients, and ensure projects comply with all regulations and safety codes.

How to Become a Construction Manager

Construction managers will generally need a bachelor’s degree, either in the field of construction, or a related major, such as business or engineering. Some construction managers may earn their associate degree in construction management or engineering, and with sufficient work experience, work toward becoming a manager later in their career.

Newly hired construction managers may be expected to work under the supervision of an experienced manager for a set period of time. Internships and earning certain certifications may make you stand out in the hiring pool after graduation.

Construction Manager Pay and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, construction managers earned an average of $112,790, with the top 10 percent making $168,390. The BLS also estimates that an average of 41,500 jobs for construction managers will open each year leading up to 2031.

Whether a manager oversees the production of a road, a building, a subdivision, a bridge, etc., he or she holds a lot of responsibility. Becoming a construction manager is a promising career for the motivated individual who is decisive, has an eye for detail and architecture, and enjoys completing projects to the best of his or her abilities.

Find a trade school school near you offering construction programs today.

Find Something You Like?

Both construction and skilled trades are broad, hosting many opportunities for students who are eager to learn. Listed above are just some of the many skilled trades that are involved in the construction industry.

Looking for further reading? Check out: Highest Paying Construction Worker Jobs.