A career in construction can take you all the way to CEO.
Construction careers offer high pay, career advancement and cutting-edge technology. Wherever you are in your education, there’s a way for you to start training and earning the right credentials now. Click on the button below to begin exploring your career options within this interactive career path.
Middle School – CAREER AWARENESS
At this age, you should be exploring your career options in the construction industry. Here are ways you can get ahead of the game:
- Learn the various industry sectors: residential, commercial and industrial construction.
- Find out what career and technical education (CTE) classes are offered at your high school.
- Attend a construction career day.
High School-Technical Centers
To set off on your construction career journey you can:
- Take career and technical education (CTE) classes at your high school or a technical center.
- Earn credentials in your high school classes if they are taught by NCCER-certified craft instructors.
- Earn college credit with the earned credentials from some colleges.
- Use your industry-recognized credentials to get a job with a company that will potentially assist with your education and training after high school.
If college is a part of your career path, you will:
- Enroll in a four- or five-year program with no previous construction experience needed.
- Study degrees such as design, project management, estimating, human resources, architecture, engineering and safety.
- Gain knowledge through various technical, managerial and business courses.
Assistant Project Manager
After completing a construction management program, the next step is to gain experience. At this stage you will:
- Become the assistant for various positions such as project manager, estimator, safety manager, scheduler, quality assurance manager or human resource manager.
- Gain experience as an assistant in these positions to become a manager yourself.
- Progress from managing one project at a time to being responsible for multiple projects.
- Potentially travel for the job depending on the size of the firm.
It’s time to let your managerial skills shine. As a project manager, you will:
- Utilize your management experience from working as an assistant project manager or a site superintendent.
- Oversee multiple projects.
- Work with everyone from craft professionals to the CEO of the company.
- Plan, budget and document all aspects of a project.
- Potentially travel depending on the size of the company you work for.
Community or Technical College
As a part of these flexible programs, you will be able to:
- Earn college credit upon completing construction craft training courses.
- Experience hands-on learning and master skills.
- Find a job in the field you are studying while attending school.
When you’re ready for a construction job, a great way to build your resume is to:
- Enter the workforce as a craft laborer or apprentice.
- Work with a craft professional to further your skills.
- Acclimate to a high-pressure environment.
- Gain experience and journey-level assessments needed to impress employers.
Experience the best of both worlds — learning and earning — with an apprenticeship. Here you can:
- Earn money while you learn as a craft helper or apprentice.
- Learn and get trained through companies whose instructors hold classes.
- Find a company that will pay for you to attend technical or community college in the evening while you earn money during the day.
After completing a training or college program, your next step could be working. As a craft professional, you:
- Make an average income of $29.25 per hour*.
- May travel frequently depending on company size and needs.
- Build on your success with leadership training to become a crew leader or foreman.
- Continue to learn and enroll in college to earn a construction management degree or other bachelor’s degrees.
*Average base pay from 2018 NCCER Craft Salary Survey
Crew Leader / Foreman
As a crew leader or foreman you now have the skill and leadership abilities to:
- Use your effective communication, planning and scheduling skills learned in leadership training.
- Supervise a crew of craft professionals.
- Oversee the safety and productivity of those under you.
- Take management or supervisory training to become a safety manager, project manager or superintendent.
Your expertise will come in handy as a site superintendent when you need to:
- Manage all subcontractors and crews on site.
- Use your knowledge from completed supervisory training or project management degree.
- Travel to different jobs in the United States and the world depending on your company.
- Advance your career and move into senior management or become a project manager.
At this point, you have managed crew, sites, projects and more. In a senior management position, you:
- Utilize your managerial experience at the corporate level.
- Run various divisions such as quality control, estimating, safety, human resources and overall management.
- Advise important decisions made for the company.
- Use your knowledge of the process and working parts of a successful project.
CEO, Executive, Owner
No matter where you started or what path you’ve taken, you’ve made it. In addition to running your own construction company, you can:
- Look back on your unique career path.
- Become a success story and inspiration to others.
- Determine your own level of success with the flexibility of the construction industry.