Now is the perfect time to find a job. The economic recovery and demand for housing has created a booming residential construction market, and contractors, renovators and other industry players are looking for employees to fill critical positions. While For construction pros reports that persistent labor shortages could slow renovation and construction projects in 2022, these labor shortages are good news for those entering the labor market or those looking for a career in the home improvement industry. There are many construction careers to be won. In fact, applicants have a variety of related occupations to choose from, many of which do not require a four-year degree.
Floor covering installer
Installing flooring is often the last step in remodeling or building a new home, done after installing walls, ceilings and appliances. A flooring installer is typically trained on the job and works with a variety of flooring materials, including hardwood, carpet, and tile. In metropolitan areas, these workers may specialize in only one type of flooring. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for flooring installers was $43,210 in 2020. This figure is likely to be higher today with current demand, depending on the needs of local workers.
Required Skills : Physical strength, ability to carry heavy loads, strong back.
Best for: Those looking for a career where they can work with their hands.
If working outdoors and creating beautiful landscapes interests you, consider working for a landscaping company. This is an entry-level job that does not require a degree and at the same time provides on-the-job training. Comparatively ranks the salary of a landscape worker from around $18,460 to $39,520, with an average salary of $26,278. Duties include installing raised beds, planting trees and shrubs, and installing underground sprinkler systems. Depending on the region, there may be downtime during the cold months.
Required Skills: Physical strength, strong back.
Best for: Those who don’t want a 9 to 5 office job and like the idea of working outside.
Also called a “mudder” or “cone,” a drywall finisher comes in after drywall installers have finished hanging the wallboard. The paver fills the seams between the panels with compound and tape, then sands the seams for a clean finish. Most drywall finishers start by mixing the compound and then learn to glue. Specialist crews often walk on tall stilts that allow them to reach upper walls and ceiling joints without the need for a ladder. The salary varies from $26,250 to $78,030, and experienced finishers are in high demand.
Required Skills : Ability to develop a fine touch when applying drywall tape and mud.
Best for: Those who are good with their hands and want to learn a skill that is always in demand.
A carpenter carpenter is responsible for building the structural support of a new home or addition after the foundation is complete. This includes building walls with studs, laying rafters, and working with trusses. Salary scales by state, according to ZipRecruiter, and can be as low as $31,320 in North Carolina or as high as $44,963 in Wyoming. In communities where construction is booming, it could be even higher.
Required Skills : Ability to measure accurately, use power tools, be comfortable at heights.
Best for: Those looking to work in the construction industry in an outdoor setting.
While some trade schools offer courses and degrees in wiring, many electricians are trained on the job as apprentices. This entry-level job starts around $20,500, depending on local demand. The apprentice will learn to identify and install electrical circuits, install hard-wired appliances, such as ranges, and install circuit breaker panels. It’s a job that requires attention to detail and safety, but after extensive training, an apprentice electrician can become a licensed electrician and earn an annual salary of $59,472 or more.
Required Skills : Ability to learn electrical circuits, with emphasis on safety.
Best for: Those who want to work in a construction field that does not require physical strength.
Home inspectors are often hired when a home is sold to check the home’s structure, major appliances, plumbing, wiring, and finish for defects. A building inspector may also work for a community’s building authority to inspect homes and additions at various stages of construction. Inspectors earn about $65,425 to $85,816 a year, with most earning an average of $76,161, according to Salaire.com. Courses are offered by home inspection companies, such as AmeriSpec.
Required Skills: The ability to climb rooftops, deal with customers, recognize potential and existing problems, keep accurate records.
Best for: Those who have a working knowledge of construction or those who wish to take training courses.
Home staging is related to interior design and can be a service offered by an interior design company. A stager prepares a home so that it is on full display when it is on the market. Interns advise sellers on how to declutter their homes, and they often provide furniture temporarily to keep the home looking its best. The starting salary for a home stager starts around $20,500, but experienced and proven stagers can earn up to $81,000, ZipRecruiter.
Required Skills: A good eye for color and design, ability to work well with clients.
Best for: Those who are looking for an interior design job but may not have a degree.
Solar panel installer
As society shifts to more economical methods of power generation, solar panels are becoming more popular and the demand for installers is increasing. Salaries for installers start around $23,000 and can go up to $67,000, according to ZipRecruiter. A solar panel installer often starts as an apprentice and is trained on the job. Tasks include installing solar panels on a roof or other support structures and then connecting them to the home’s power system.
Required Skills : Ability to work at height, physical strength (carrying, lifting panels).
Best for: Those who want to work outdoors and are looking to make an ecological contribution.