What is a tradesperson in construction?

What is a tradesperson in construction?

Construction tradespeople are the backbone of any construction site, responsible for completing specific tasks and much of the hands-on work. Whether you’re working with an electrician, plumber, or carpenter, these skilled individuals are an integral part of turning blueprints into fully realized structures.

Here’s what you need to know in regard to the question, ‘What is a tradesperson?’.

Tradesman definition

So what is a tradesman in construction and what do they do? A tradesman in construction is an experienced professional who specializes in a particular trade or craft. Tradesmen typically use their skills to install, maintain, and repair various systems and structures associated with construction projects. This can include: 

  • Electrical wiring
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Carpentry frames
  • Masonry walls

Tradesmen are expected to have specialized knowledge and skills that can only be acquired through experience or training. Most have completed an apprenticeship or another type of post-secondary program, possessing certifications that demonstrate their qualifications. 

In construction, tradesmen are essential for any building project, regardless of size or complexity. Their expertise is invaluable to the success of a project, from helping create the initial design to ensuring proper installation and maintenance.

Construction Dive playbook cover Going from Spreadsheet Maintenance to Workforce Planning Mastery

Looking to be more strategic with your people?

We partnered with Construction Dive to outline the steps any contractor can take to be more strategic with their workforce management.

Get the playbook →

The responsibilities of tradespeople

When it comes to answering ‘What is a trade worker?’, in terms of specific responsibilities, tradespeople must:

  • Prepare and stage construction sites using tools and materials
  • Load and unload materials and appliances from different kinds of trucks
  • Be familiar with plans, specifications, and other relevant job paperwork
  • Carry out some of the following depending on their specific trade:
    • Construct decks or metal railing
    • Mix and set concrete forms
    • Set up electrical writing systems
    • Install AC units
    • Install plumbing systems
  • Monitor job progress in relation to job schedules and correspond with directors concerning delays
  • Comply with safety regulations and quality standards
  • Ensure any assigned vehicles remain organized and clean
  • Help with job site clean-up
  • Attend meetings as needed
  • Assist in construction projects in other various miscellaneous ways

Depending on the project, they may also be responsible for supervising workers, ordering materials, and providing estimates.

The qualities of a good tradesman

So what makes a good tradesman? What is a construction trade worker worth hiring? Those who work in the trades would ideally have the following traits:

  • Enjoys working outdoors
  • Physically fit to lift heavy loads and frequently climb, walk, and reach
  • Ability to work safely from heights for extended periods
  • Communicates and works well with others
  • Flexible to deal with constantly changing circumstances
  • Conscientious and diligent to meet deadlines
  • Understands basic methods and principles relevant to their trade
  • Experienced in using different types of power tools and equipment
  • Is licensed and knows how to operate vehicles, lifts, and heavy machinery

The different types of tradesmen in construction

When thinking about ‘What is a skilled trade worker?’, it’s important to remember that different tradesmen in construction have specialized skills geared towards a specific trade. Some of the most common types of tradesmen include:

  • Electricians – These professionals install and maintain electrical wiring for various systems and components within a building. They must be knowledgeable about the electrical codes and safety regulations related to their work. 
  • Plumbers – These tradesmen ensure that all pipes, fixtures, and other plumbing systems are installed properly and functioning as intended. They also repair water supply lines, sewers, drains, and other components of a plumbing system.
  • Carpenters – Workers in this trade construct and install wooden frames, walls, and other structures for a building. They must be proficient in using tools like saws, drills, sanders, and routers.
  • Masons – These skilled workers use brick and concrete to construct walls, floors, walkways, staircases, and other features of a structure. They often also specialize in laying tiles and stones for decorative purposes. 
  • HVAC technicians – These technicians install, maintain, and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They must be knowledgeable about the latest technology to keep a building’s climate-control system running properly.

In terms of a tradesman definition, each trade has different requirements and qualifications that must be met in order to be successful. Many tradesmen must obtain a license or certification in order to practice. Therefore, it’s important for those hiring in the field of construction to do extensive research and understand the various requirements for each trade.

The benefits of hiring tradesmen in construction

Hiring tradesmen in construction provides numerous benefits when it comes to completing projects efficiently and correctly. 

Tradesmen have the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that jobs are done right the first time, helping to minimize the costs associated with mistakes or rework. They also come prepared with all of the tools and materials needed for any job, saving time and money on the purchase of equipment.

Generally, tradesmen in construction help bring ideas to life by taking concepts and turning them into a reality, providing valuable advice and guidance throughout the process while ensuring that projects stay within budget. Additionally, their experience allows them to anticipate potential problems before they arise, ensuring that the project runs smoothly from start to finish. 

Overall, the expertise and experience of tradesmen can provide valuable insight when it comes to tackling any construction-related project. When searching for a tradesman, it’s important to conduct a background check to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and experience needed for a successful outcome. 

The challenges of hiring tradesmen in construction

Now that you know the answer to ‘What are tradespeople?’, it’s crucial to consider that while hiring tradesmen in construction can provide numerous benefits, there are also some challenges that must be considered.

One of the biggest issues is availability. As demand for construction professionals often outstrips supply in many areas, it can be difficult to find qualified and experienced tradesmen who are available and willing to take on a project. This labor shortage can lead to delays in the completion of projects, as well as an increase in expenses due to having to pay extra for rush jobs.

Many tradesmen often only specialize in specific areas, so it can be challenging to find a single person who is able to meet all of the requirements for a particular project.

Manage personnel better with Bridgit Bench

Despite shortage challenges, the benefits of hiring tradesmen in construction can be tremendous and make all the difference when it comes to tackling a difficult project. With the right people on board, any project can become a success story. So there you have it—a tradesman definition that highlights their responsibilities.

how to run an effective workforce planning meeting cover

Think your workforce planning meetings could be more productive?

Download our ebook to learn how to run efficient, effective workforce planning meetings with your team.

Get your playbook→

Once you’ve hired the right people, you’ll need a way to manage them effectively. For this, you can make use of technological solutions like Bridgit Bench. Bridgit Bench is an organizational dashboard that allows you to keep track of project progress and oversee your workforce.
Request a demo of Bridgit Bench today.

Construction Tradesperson FAQ

What is the definition of tradesperson?

A tradesperson is a skilled worker who has been trained in a trade such as plumbing, carpentry, or electrical work. Tradespeople will gain their experience with on-the-job training and some coursework. Tradesmen and tradeswomen are an indispensable part of the construction process. 

What is a skilled tradesperson?

A skilled tradesperson has special training and experience in a specific trade, like being an electrician, plumber, or carpenter. They know how to use tools and techniques to do their job well and ensure high-quality work.

What defines a trade job?

A trade job involves hands-on work in a specific area, like building, fixing, or maintaining things. These jobs require special skills and training, often learned through apprenticeships or trade schools.

What counts as a tradesperson?

A tradesperson is someone who works in a trade, like plumbing, electrical work, or carpentry. They have the skills and training needed to do their job well and follow safety and quality standards.

Michel Richer headshot

Michel Richer

Michel Richer is the Manager of Content and Product Marketing at Bridgit. He started in the construction industry early on with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, ineffective processes.

Connect on LinkedIn →