Imagine a rewarding career path with plenty of demand, competitive compensation and a chance to contribute to building the American Dream. A job in the residential construction industry checks each of those boxes. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data and analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there were 373,000 open construction sector jobs in July.
October is Careers in Construction month, which shines a spotlight on the opportunities in the industry and recognizes the professionals working in the residential construction industry. Parents, teachers, counselors and students should consider vocational education. Planning for a career in construction can lead to an in-demand career, financial gain and opportunities for advancement.
Jobs in High Demand
Since the Great Recession, the United States has had a major shortage of qualified professionals in the construction industry. Jobs in residential construction are in high demand. According to NAHB, home builders reported widespread shortages of various construction-related occupations. Framing crews, carpenters, bricklayers and concrete workers were among the top labor shortages reported by home builders.
The home building industry can offer competitive compensation. The top 25 percent in most construction trades professions can earn at least $60,000 annually. The gender pay gap is smaller in the construction trades. On average, women in the United States earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. Women in the construction industry earn 97 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Management Opportunities Abound
Careers in construction are not limited to what some may perceive as traditional roles of plumbers, framers, etc. Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget and supervise construction projects from inception to completion. This challenging role requires a combination of critical thinking, technical skills, academic knowledge and leadership skills. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranked Construction Managers in the top 50 of the 100 best jobs in 2019.
Resources are available to help students interested in pursuing a rewarding career in the residential construction industry. The National Housing Endowment, in partnership with the Home Builders Institute and The Greater Iowa City Area HBA offers several scholarships to students interested in pursuing a career in the building industry.