There are a lot of jobs available in the construction industry right now, and that’s expected to continue as the post-Covid economic recovery accelerates and a deal is reached on an infrastructure bill in D.C. that is expected to result in millions of dollars heading to New York.
If you’re interested in breaking into a career in construction, it’s helpful to know what’s out there in terms of opportunities. There’s a wide variety of job titles – some of which require more training and skills than others.
Workers usually start as a general laborer – a role with a broad range of duties that can range from building scaffolding, digging trenches, operating hoists, keeping sites safe and clear of debris, and much more. Though this position is often characterized as entry level, the reality is that laborers are critically important to the operation of any site. Without them, things would simply not run smoothly or efficiently.
A big benefit of being a laborer is that it gives you a chance to see and experience all aspects of a job site. Take it all in and ask questions, if something in particular sparks your interest, you might decide that you’d like to become more of a specialist rather than a generalist.
While the following disciplines may require additional training or experience, they typically lead to higher-paying positions and more chances for career advancement:
Electricians install, inspect and test electrical equipment to bring energy into each project. This energy will power necessities in buildings like light, heat, and electrical outlets. Every project requires a team of electricians to ensure the building is up-to-code and this role is perfect for anyone interested in the mechanics of energy and building installation.
Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes, fixtures and other plumbing equipment used for water distribution and wastewater disposal. A requirement in every residential and commercial building, plumbers work on contract to provide each project with the proper tools for waste management and access to water. Interest in hydraulics and mechanics will benefit any individual pursuing a plumbing career.
If you are interested in building rather than a mechanical approach, masons build structures with brick, block, concrete and stone – some of the most common and durable materials in the construction process. Masonry can be physically demanding, but is a high-demand, well-paying job in New York.
Carpenters construct, install, renovate, and repair any structure made of wood, plywood, wallboard to fit timber parts of the building. An eye for dimension and space assessment is particularly helpful when pursuing a career in carpentry.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians install and maintain heating ventilation air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. Similar to all of the above, HVAC is crucial to any construction project in New York City, and workers are responsible for installing the fixtures in compliance with building requirements, energy codes, health, and safety standards. Building Skills NY is currently offering free training in this area for anyone interested in pursuing a career in HVAC installation.