Construction Job Titles and Descriptions

The construction sector includes the construction of commercial, industrial, and residential buildings and engineering projects like roads, bridges, and utility systems. Construction includes both new construction and remodeling, additions, maintenance, and repairs.

Construction is one of the industries with the highest projections for new employment opportunities. Positions vary ranging from unskilled laborer and helper jobs to roles that require extensive training, education, and skills.

Job Titles With the Highest Employment

© The Balance, 2018

Overall, the construction industry employed 6,881,000 million workers in May 2017. For 2016, the job titles with the highest number of employees included:

  • Carpenters - 575,100
  • Construction Laborers - 764,090
  • Construction Managers - 202,530
  • Electricians - 464,810
  • Operating Engineers and other Equipment Operators - 229,250

Jobs with the Highest Projected Growth

Construction is projected to add 790,400 new jobs by 2024. Employment is estimated to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations, increasing from 6.5 million jobs to 7.2 million jobs.

The median annual wage for all construction and extraction jobs was $48,900 in May 2016 (for comparison, the median annual wage for all occupations in that same time period was $49,630).

Which jobs need the most employees? All the jobs in the construction sector are projected to have an increase in employment. 

Projected growth ranges from 5 percent, which is the average for all jobs, for Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers to 24 percent for Solar Photovoltaic Installers.

The most in-demand jobs, with higher than average projections for job creation, in the sector include:

People in this role assemble, install, and repair boilers and other containers holding liquid or gas. Typically, boilermakers participate in apprenticeships for training, and the work itself has the potential for danger. (It's one of the highest paying jobs available in the construction industry.) 

Projected Growth: 9%
2016 Median Pay: $62,060 per year 

Construction Equipment Operators
In this job, people drive or operate equipment and machinery to build and repair roads, buildings, and more. Apprenticeships and training programs are available, but it's also very common to learn on the job. 

Projected Growth: 10%
2016 Median Pay: $45,050 per year

Construction Laborers and Helpers
Laborers and helpers work on site to do the physical work — including digging, building, unloading, clearing, and assisting craftspeople — required on job sites. They may also operate machinery. Training for the position comes on the job. 

Projected Growth: 13%
2016 Median Pay: $32,230 per year 

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in both residential and commercial spaces. Training is required for this role, typically through schools or apprenticeships. Depending on the state, a license may be required as well. See a sample resume and skills list for an electrician. 

Projected Growth: 13%
2016 Median Pay: $52,720 per year 

Elevator Installers and Repairers
People in this role put in elevators, escalators, and other moving walkways and stairs, and also maintain and repair them. More than half of all states require these workers to be licensed, and training for the job is typically through an apprenticeship. 

Projected Growth: 13%
2016 Median Pay: $78,890 per year 

Insulation Workers
Sometimes called insulators, these workers install insulation in both residential and commercial buildings to help buildings maintain temperature control. With on-the-job training, insulators can learn how to read blueprints, choose the right insulation (and the correct amount), and install it properly. 

Projected Growth: 13%
2016 Median Pay: $35,660 per year (for mechanical insulation workers, the median pay was $45,430) 

Ironworkers can learn on the job or through an apprenticeship about the correct way to install iron and steel for buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures. 

Projected Growth: 9%
2016 Median Pay: $51,800 per year 

Masonry Workers
Using bricks, stone, concrete, and other materials, masons create or build walls, fireplaces, fences, and more. Programs to learn masonry are available at technical skills or you can learn on the job or through an apprenticeship. 

Projected Growth: 15%
2016 Median Pay: $41,230 per year 

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
People in this role install pipes in both residential and commercial spaces. A license is usually required, and training is through apprenticeships or school programs. Review this sample resume for a plumber, along with a list of skills for plumbers

Projected Growth: 12%
2016 Median Pay: $51,450 per year 

Training to install and repair roofs is typically on the job although apprenticeship programs are available. 

Projected Growth: 13%
2016 Median Pay: $37,760 per year

Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Also known as PV installers, people with this job title install solar roof panels on residential and commercial buildings. Courses are available for training, as well as apprenticeships and on-the-job training. 

Projected Growth: 24%
2016 Median Pay: $39,240 per year

More Construction Job Titles

See below for an extensive list of more construction-related job titles and occupations. Use this list to help power your job search. 


  • Apprentice
  • Carpenter
  • Framing Carpenter
  • Dry Wall Finisher
  • Dry wall Installer
  • Plasterer
  • Joiner

Construction Laborers and Helpers

  • Laborer
  • General Laborer
  • Painter
  • Construction Worker
  • Ceiling Tile Installer


  • Apprentice
  • Electrician
  • Journeyman Electrician
  • Master Electrician

Elevator Mechanic

  • Elevator Installer
  • Elevator Repair


  • Assistant Project Manager
  • Building Inspector
  • Civil Engineer
  • Superintendent
  • Surveyor
  • Field Engineer
  • Inspector
  • Planner
  • Construction Engineer

Equipment Operators

  • Crane Operator
  • Signal Worker
  • Equipment Operator
  •  Heavy Equipment Operator

Exterior Installations

  • Roofer
  • Insulation Specialist
  • Siding Contractor
  • Solar Photovoltaic Installer

Masonry Workers

  • Concrete Laborers
  • Mason


  • Master Plumber
  • Plumber
  • Boilermaker
  • Pipe Fitter

Site Management

  • Purchasing Coordinator
  • Project Assistant
  • Project Manager
  • Safety Director
  • Safety Manager
  • Scheduler
  • Site Manager
  • Construction Assistant
  • Construction Coordinator
  • Construction Foreman
  • Construction Manager
  • Construction Superintendent
  • Construction Supervisor
  • Contract Administrator
  • Contract Manager
  • Estimator


  • Welder
  • Iron Worker