The complete guide to construction job titles and descriptions

The complete guide to construction job titles and descriptions

Construction is a massive industry, employing many millions of people in the United States alone according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These professionals hold a variety of construction job titles. Keep reading as we explore a few of the most common ones. You’ll learn:

  • what each job title entails (including salary)
  • the types of professionals attracted to specific construction job titles and descriptions
  • how to phrase your job listings to attract qualified applicants

Common construction job titles and descriptions

General laborer

Median salary: $37,080 (source)

General laborers in construction perform a variety of hands-on tasks, including:

  • keeping materials organized on job sites
  • directing traffic
  • cleaning job sites
  • building and maintaining temporary support structures
  • using equipment that doesn’t require special licensing (i.e. manual tools and some power tools)

What to expect when listing this construction job title and description

General labor jobs in construction typically do not require formal education. As such, job listings for these roles usually attract candidates with high school diplomas who are prepared to learn while on the job.

Skilled trade worker

This isn’t a job title in and of itself but rather a group of roles that are conceptually similar for the purposes of this article. Construction site jobs (and their associated median salaries) that fall under this role include:

These are all skilled subcontractors facing significant demand.

What to expect when listing this construction job title and description

Professionals seeking these construction positions typically fall into one of two categories:

  • entry-level workers seeking professional apprenticeships
  • experienced workers who already possess the skills required to succeed at their craft

If you prefer one type of candidate over the other, adjust your construction job title to reflect that.

Health and safety specialist

Median salary: $72,530 (source)

Construction health and safety specialists analyze (and take steps to mitigate) hazards on job sites. They travel frequently and have skills they can easily transfer to health and safety-related occupations in other industries.

What to expect when listing this construction position

Construction health and safety specialists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Some candidates will expect to work and learn alongside a more experienced professional while others will be qualified to work alone.

Architect

Median salary: $82,320 (source)

Architects are among the most highly-paid and skilled professionals in the construction industry. They work alongside engineers, clients, and other architects to develop structural plans that have a massive impact on any given project’s trajectory.

What to expect when seeking these construction personnel

For non-intern/apprenticeship positions, qualified architectural candidates will need a bachelor’s degree in architecture along with relevant experience and licensing (the latter depends on your location).

Project manager

Median salary: $97,180 (source)

Construction project managers oversee all aspects of a project, from start to finish. They plan budgets, allocate resources, and supervise other workers.

What to expect when listing this construction job title

Successful construction managers typically have extensive experience working in various aspects of the industry. This helps them confidently oversee projects. Click here to learn more about what construction project managers do and the skills they need.

If your job requires someone with an extraordinary level of experience and skill, consider calling the position “senior construction manager.”

Equipment operator

Median salary: $49,100 (source)

Construction equipment operators use heavy machinery to move materials on job sites and assist in many other capacities with building structures.

What to expect when listing this construction title

Successful construction equipment operators should be licensed and trained on using the specific tools your job requires. In most states, this is a legal requirement and will also ensure your job sites remain safe.

If you’re willing to hire entry-level applicants and help them train towards receiving their licensing, consider statign that in your job listing.

Estimator

Median salary: $66,610 (source)

Construction estimators play a vital role in any construction company. In fact, the company’s very viability can hinge on the accuracy of its estimates, as we discussed in this post.

What to expect when listing this job

Successful construction estimation job candidates typically need a bachelor’s degree. However, some candidates may have years of experience in the industry that grants a similar level of expertise. If you’re open to hiring workers in the latter category, consider being clear about that in your posting as prospective candidates might otherwise assume they don’t qualify.

Surveyor

Median salary: $65,590 (source)

Construction surveyors inspect the landscape of a particular project site, determining the ideal location for roads, walkways, and other important foundational elements of any structure.

What to expect when creating a job posting seeking surveyors

Companies posting job listings for surveyors typically prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees in science, math, or some related field. These qualifications come in handy since surveyors spend so much time working with various complex technologies.

Note that many states also require that surveyors be licensed, which may in turn require at least 10 years of experience.

Inspector

Median salary: $62,860 (source)

Inspectors ensure structures meet not only the client’s expectations but also any relevant building codes and regulations.

What to expect when creating a job posting seeking building inspectors

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, clients applying for building inspector roles typically need at least five years of experience in similar roles. Most states also mandate that building inspectors maintain proper certifications. 

Civil engineer

Median salary: $88,570 (source)

Civil engineers fall under the category of design engineers. They design structures as part of large infrastructure projects.

What to expect when creating a job posting for civil engineers

Civil engineers who will be working on projects that directly affect the general public need licensing in most states. Aside from this, qualified civil engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Those looking to reach senior positions likely need a graduate degree.

Bridgit Bench is the workforce intelligence software of choice for all types of construction companies

Bridgit Bench helps construction companies of all types (including general contractors and subcontractors) manage their workforce confidently. Click here to learn more about how companies are using Bridgit Bench to forecast their labor needs, which includes identifying positions that need to be filled as soon as possible.

For more articles related to construction management and hiring, visit our blog here.


Brandon-Richard Austin

Brandon-Richard Austin is a writer and content strategist focused on the construction sector. He’s passionate about educating readers on construction management techniques and best practices.

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