Swap Your Graduation Cap for a Hard Hat: 5 Hands-On Building Jobs to Consider



When people hear the term “working in construction,” they often think of inmates laying out cones on the side of road. However, the construction industry is a complex one, with millions of projects being built every day. There are plenty of hard hat positions that will allow you to make a decent living, especially if you have the proper education and experience. Working in the dynamic field of construction is always a viable often for recent graduates, especially since it allows plenty of opportunities for promotion. 

Construction Management

A large project needs management to coordinate, lead, and evaluate the progress. Usually, managers monitor work progress, labor issues with unions, and time co-ordination between contractors. A Bachelor's Degree in Management is used required for this position. Pay, as a rule of thumb in 2014, according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), was about $83,000 per year. Bear in mind, though, that entry level pay is far less. 

Construction Architecture and Engineering

Construction engineers and architects require support staff in their offices. You don't need a degree in Architecture, but support personnel usually have a Bachelor's Degree in a business related occupation. The support staff works closely with the builders, assuring the project is adhering to the prints and the time frame. Again, pay varies considerably with skill, experience, and education. 

Safety Compliance

Safety Compliance is a relatively new area of the construction industry. Because a multitude of safety laws exist, specialized personnel are required to monitor activities and make adjustments accordingly. A safety official is part lawyer and part manager. Compliance professionals work for construction companies or government organizations, and they ensure all safety laws are being enforced, and may conduct field inspections of job-sites. There are now safety master’s degrees available for those who wish to quickly excel in these positions. A Bachelor's Degree in Occupational Safety is usually the prerequisite for employment, with a median wage of about $67,000 per year. 

Accounting and Budgeting

You may not realize it, but accountants are always in demand in the construction industry. A project can’t continue unless there is a sufficient flow of money to pay workers, to buy materials, and so on. They work closely with managers, ensuring money is collected and disbursed accordingly. Usually, a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting is a per-requisite for employment. Accountants may work in field offices, or they may work in a central office. Median pay for accountants, as stated by the DOL, was about $63,000 per year. 

Logistics Management

Logistics Managers coordinate the traffic flow for a construction job. Building materials and heavy equipment all must be shipped in and out of a construction site. It's the manager’s role to ensure a smooth flow of all transportation. They may work in a field office, or a central office. As with other managers, expect a median wage of about $83,000 per year for seasoned managers. Entry level pay, however, is far less.

The construction field has a low unemployment rate, and has an optimistic outlook right now. If you do not wish to work in office setting after graduation, you can work in field offices, where you can walk around, get close to the action, and do some hands-on work. The construction industry needs personnel, so whether you are a ditch digger or an executive, there is a niche for everyone.
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