18 different construction job types for you to consider
Updated 30 June 2023
The construction industry is constantly growing with the development and maintenance of new and existing construction projects across the UK. The industry provides employee satisfaction and fulfilment through opportunities to see the end results of major works in the quality of completed projects. If you're interested in working in this fast-paced, built environment that promotes teamwork and recognises individual craftsmanship, it's worth learning more about the construction industry. In this article, we suggest 18 different construction job types to help you determine those which may be right for you.
What are the different construction job types?
Different construction jobs exist in private or public infrastructure improvement projects. Some construction team members focus solely on design and planning, while others manage and implement those designs. Examples of tasks which form a construction job role include directing roadway traffic or operating heavy machinery. Team members may work in the same roles on different projects, such as maintaining public roads, buildings or structures such as bridges and airports.
Different construction jobs require specialised training and experience. All of these trades are integral to the development of a fully functioning construction team, though the day-to-day functions of each trade may vary widely. The following list outlines the daily workloads for 18 different trades within the construction industry:
1. Flooring installation
Flooring installation requires the measuring, cutting and installing of vinyl, tiling or carpeting according to the designs of a given project. Flooring installers may work in the final stages of interior projects or finish exterior layouts of decks or walkways. Their work often involves collaboration with other construction trades, such as plumbing, tiling or carpentry.
Glaziers work with glass, often designing, cutting and installing glass for windows, skylights, storefronts and display cases. They may also remove weathered or broken glass from installations or add finishing touches to completed projects such as weather sealing to the edges of the installed glass. Companies may hire glaziers as consultants to inspect and report on the durability and quality of glass features.
3. Crane operation
Crane operators use high lifting machinery to move bulky and heavy materials around site. They may also transport items to otherwise inaccessible areas. Crane operators communicate with other construction workers, who guide their work from the ground using hand signals and radios to direct and inform the operator. They inspect and maintain their machinery, ensuring all components are fully functioning and safe to use.
Related: How to become a crane operator
Painters adjust the appearance of residential or commercial structures according to their clients' specifications. They may work on the interior or exterior of buildings by preparing or cleaning surfaces and applying various layers of paint, either as a total backdrop or in closer detail. Painters maintain old paint by repairing cuts, scrapes or holes and by removing chipped or cracked paint. They cover areas to maintain painted structures and to ensure a standard of quality in their services.
5. Concrete finishing
Concrete finishers use hand tools to check that poured concrete is smooth and level. They may follow cement trucks for large projects or mix and pour concrete by hand for smaller and more intricate projects. Concrete finishers correct high spots, fill depressions, finish corners and wash away the excess cement.
Roofers inspect, repair and install roofs for residential and commercial buildings. They work with various materials to ensure the highest durability for roofs, especially in areas that experience high winds and intense storms. Their work also lends itself to consultations with the private or public sector, where they inspect the quality and durability of roofing on residential or commercial buildings.
Plumbers maintain plumbing systems for commercial or residential buildings. They install sinks, toilets, waste disposal units, showers, water softeners and other appliances with access to plumbing or sewage drains. They inspect, install and repair pipes, pumps or any other necessary parts to ensure plumbing systems function properly and in line with rules and regulations.
Tilers cut and install tiles to the floors, walls and ceilings of private or public buildings. They primarily perform this work towards the end of a construction project or as part of a separate renovation, ensuring the high quality finish of any tiled areas. They may work independently or with other teams of flooring installers to prepare the area, lay tiling or finish the area with grout or sealant.
Electricians install, repair and maintain the electrical systems of residential, industrial and commercial buildings which include components such as wiring and insulation, power supply outlets (plugs and sockets), lighting systems, heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), emergency or security systems. Their work requires precision and focus to accurately complete these projects to the required safety and legal standards. They inspect, install and repair electrical systems using specialised knowledge after training in safe codes of practice.
Related: How to become an electrician
Pipefitters manipulate metals into the correct shape and form, transport piping systems to construction sites and install them. These professionals can work independently or with other construction professionals to complete projects. Common techniques include welding, cutting, soldering, grinding, rigging, bending and threading.
11. Steel fixing
Steel fixers manipulate iron and steel materials used in the construction of public and private structures. They work with relevant construction roles, such as crane operators or concrete fixers, to complete large-scale projects such as roads, bridges and buildings. They read and edit blueprints and construction specifications to ensure accuracy in the project's completion.
12. Brick masonry
Brick masons build walls, fireplaces, patios, walkways, fences, decorative trims, foundations and other structures using bricks, concrete blocks and man-made stones. They may reshape and cut stone and brick to appropriate sizes or shapes to create specific design features for their projects. Their work can be at any stage of a project's completion, as an integral part of the infrastructure, to add an aesthetic design to a building or to guide the design of landscaping projects.
Carpenters work with various materials such as drywall, wood and fibreglass to build, remodel, install and repair frameworks and structures. This may include door frames, counters, cabinetry, rafters, partitions, moulding and stairways in residential, commercial or industrial buildings. They create and read various designs to ensure the accuracy of the client's preferences and work closely with other construction roles to finish projects.
14. Cost estimation
Cost estimators inspect the construction site and designs of potential projects to accurately estimate their clients' budgeted costs and expected timelines. They analyse localised data, such as material and labour costs, and measure them against the estimated time needed to complete the project. They maintain financial records and account for various budgets, as shown in the forecast and actual costs used throughout the project phases.
15. Civil engineering
Civil engineers work on large construction projects in the built environment such as buildings, bridges, roads and tunnels. Civil engineering involves the planning, design, construction and maintenance of specific structures or community infrastructure. They ensure the project's goals are achievable through the analysis of budgetary restrictions, environmental impact and safety or legal regulations relevant to the project's construction timeline. They identify, research and resolve issues that become apparent during project development.
Surveyors analyse construction records and visit sites to evaluate and restructure the registered design plans of a project. They inspect and measure dimensions and accurately record new or existing boundaries to determine the precise locations of structural designs. They ensure that the foundations of the projects meet requirements and that no part of the design plans violates any legal requirements.
17. Safety management
Safety managers evaluate or create organisations' safety regulations and implement them to reduce accidents, injuries and any other associated risks on a construction site. When working with construction teams, they inspect various sites and the materials used in projects. They may also offer training courses, keep accurate records of incidents and give presentations to educate workers on job safety.
18. Construction management
Construction managers coordinate several construction teams to develop, oversee and inspect construction projects at all stages. They use their expertise and professional specialisms to evaluate the feasibility of the various aspects of a project. Construction managers may create and implement project schedules and oversee the daily progress and completion of each stage of construction. They may also work with other managers and oversee the hiring and training processes for new employees.
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