group of young construction workers

Millennials in Construction: The Best Construction Jobs to Look For

It was around the time of the 2008 economic crisis that the construction industry starting losing jobs. Since then, though, the industry started to be on its way to total recovery. By the year 2024, hiring is still expected to rise by 13.6%. That’s good news if you’re in the early steps of your career. Different projects offer different kinds of jobs for all ranges of education and ability levels.


So What Does the Construction Industry Have to Offer Millennials?

Construction companies in the U.S. and Europe are looking to fill multiple positions. Despite the past economic crisis, the field is strong and in demand. The construction industry is constantly hiring and there are many job openings. The predictions show 790,400 new jobs in construction are anticipated by 2024.

The aging workforce and need to attract millennials into the industry are undoubtedly significant problems. The same problems follow numerous construction subsectors around the U.S. To attract more millennials into construction, the Associated Builders and Contractors organization in the U.S. has been visiting high schools and informing students about the benefits of working in construction. They want to change the profile of the industry and make it a more appealing career option. Therefore, they started recruiting those interested into construction craft training programs. Millennials need to be engaged in some way in order to be a part of the construction industry. Millennials are the key to solving the industry’s future skills shortage. The sector needs to show in a larger extent that construction has something for everyone. 


young construction workers at a worksite


Best Choices in Construction

It’s clear, then, that the construction industry actually is looking for people like you at the moment. That’s why it would be a good idea to get to know which are the options in the industry are best for you. In a nutshell, here are the top 5 construction jobs:

1. Construction Manager

Generally speaking, a construction manager can make a substantial salary and makes one of the highest salaries within the construction industry. It is a managerial position that focuses on many, if not all, aspects of a building project and good collaboration between the different agents of the project. In this position you learn all the processes from the professionals you’re working with from the beginning until the end. On top of that, you get a unique opportunity to develop your managerial skills and gain valuable experience in the field. A prerequisite would be a specific interest in building and design. A median salary for this position is $87,400. A construction manager's duties are many and diverse from hiring contractors to monitoring the project’s progress. 

2. Electrician

Next on our list is the profession of an electrician. You must go through approximately four years of training before you can be licensed. The most stable employment option for electricians is with businesses and factories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of electricians is expected to rise by 85,900 new positions by 2024. Your average salary can be $51,880 but it all depends on how far along you are with your training. A good training program is imperative. This is a job with a low stress level, many opportunities to improve, and a good work-life balance.

3. Plumber

The vocation of a plumber is considered to be a very useful one and cannot be done by any other professional. It’s only when you’ve come to the need for one that you will realize how important this job is. As a plumber, you will be responsible for a wide spectrum of tasks in construction, from the replacement or maintenance of worn pipes to the installation of plumbing systems. Equipment estimations also are part of this job. That’s why the profession of the plumber will still be in demand in the future. It’s a job where you are more independent and can be your own boss. Moreover, you can earn a higher salary depending on the number and the type of the jobs you get. The median salary is $50,620.

4. Brickmason and Blockmason

Brickmasons and blockmasons build residential and commercial walls, patios, facades, trim work, and more. Both jobs require a high school education, extensive training, and on-the-job apprenticeship programs. Your median salary, in this case, could be up to $47,500. Despite the unemployment rate of 9.3%, it’s a very well-paid job as the highest earners can even get $80,800. 

5. Glazier

From homes to skyscrapers, these skilled craftsmen are cutting and installing glass in all types of buildings. Glazier work is often physically demanding but it does not require more than a high school diploma. The average salary is $39,440 and the unemployment rate is only 2.5%. It’s a profession of crucial importance that currently is facing a noticeable lack of expertise. The main reason behind this lack of skilled glaziers has mainly to do with the fact that young people don’t have access to enough information about the profession. As a result, they many times feel that becoming a glazier is not a safe choice for their future. Ironically, this tendency gradually led to an increased need for new and highly skilled glaziers.


young construction worker at worksite


While average salaries in construction vary by geography and particular craft, the industry offers generally high wages and good benefits. There is a balance between life and work in many of these professions and an emphasis on creativity. Many construction industry professionals, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters, and construction managers, will be needed for new projects. The construction industry seems to always have an available job for those who need one. If you still don’t have a construction job as your number one choice, maybe it’s time to start thinking differently. A significant skills shortage is expected during the next few years due to the increase of the average age of the people working in the construction industry.

According to the 2017 Populations Survey of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11% of construction workers are 55 and older. That is because people have the wrong idea about the construction industry and in many cases they avoid pursuing a career within the industry. It’s so profound that millennials do not want to work in economy-driving fields. Fields like arts and education normally sound more appealing. 

The Hartford’s 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey showed that 80% of millennials wouldn’t take small jobs as a starting point nor jobs that cannot climb the ladder of management. The lack of millennials coming into the construction industry becomes quite distinct. You may think that the industry appears to be not dynamic enough and is not giving you opportunities for further development. But the construction industry could fulfill your generation's wishes for variety in their careers and challenge their abilities. You'll be able to prove something to society, be engaged with something with a deep meaning, feel comfortable and valued in your working environment, and be challenged with new projects and innovative ideas. 


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Ready to Start Your Construction Career?

So there you have it! A list full of opportunities for beginning your career in construction. Based on your priorities and ambitions, you can find something that could stimulate your interest and help you grow both financially and professionally.

It’s true that construction still is viewed as an uneducated, lowbrow industry by some. That is not the case, though, because the construction industry is full of intellectual, innovative, and creative individuals that strive for more. The most ambitious can go from very low on the ladder to very high in less than 10 years, becoming multimillion-dollar business owners. It does not lack innovation, either. Nowadays, tools have wireless tracking, 30-story buildings can be assembled in 15 days, and slowly robots are taking over the simple tasks. Now is the perfect time to be a part of the new era in construction!


Author: Viktoria Chalkidou for GenieBelt, a construction project management software and mobile app.

By Viktoria Chalkidou, Guest Author | July 27, 2017
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