Construction Trades

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Construction trades are some of the world�s oldest professions. They stem from the days of artisan workers, such as brick masons, carpenters, and painters. Yet, they also include the newer trades of carpet installers, pipe liners, electricians, and insulation workers. Though all these trades belong in the construction category, their skills are divergent because they work with individual materials and techniques. In other words, it is difficult for their skills to transfer from one trade to another.

This article examines a relatively small overview of jobs in construction, since the full list of construction trades is well beyond the scope of this article. It is important to emphasize, however, that each construction job is equally important to a building's full realization and functionality. For instance, a house may have a ventilation system, but without a central boiler, this system is useless. This point stresses that construction trades are like pieces of a puzzle that, lacking one piece, yield an incomplete final product. Therefore, all construction trades involve some level of collaboration with one another, especially since many trade jobs are subcontractor jobs for general contractors.

Firstly, construction laborers build residences, commercial buildings, and other structures as contractors. Other construction jobs involve building highway systems, parking lots, tunnels, and ramps. Some of these jobs are general jobs, which mean the worker can construct numerous types of structures. Other jobs, especially for structures such as tunnels and bridges, are specialist jobs that require higher expertise.

There are also construction jobs that involve operating heavy machinery. For these jobs, the worker has to obtain a state-administered commercial driver's license. The most common of these jobs are pavers, pile drivers, and bulldozers. Since they are operating such large equipment, drivers must have excellent focus, coordination, and distance judgment.

Furthermore, many of these construction jobs require high levels of strength, endurance, and tolerance to great heights and outdoors exposure. They also demand total familiarity with construction materials and equipment for their trade. Contractors, for their part, are familiar with concrete mixers, drills, hoists, and measuring equipment. In order to collaborate with other construction workers, they are familiar with the materials and tools for other trades. Contractors communicate directly with clients hence it becomes mandatory for them to be good in customer-service.

Mason jobs likewise entail working on high surfaces and handling heavy equipment. Brick masons construct buildings with bricks, while stonemasons use marble, granite, and limestone. Both apply mortar to their materials as a binder. Masons may also build roads or walls with these materials, depending on their contract stipulations.

Masons also spend a lot of time breaking off bricks and stones from larger materials. For this, they use a special hammer and chisel to cut the material into predetermined shapes. Besides erecting new structures, they also do heavy restoration and repair work for existing structures. Once they have finished construction, they apply cleaning agents to their work for finishing purposes. Like other construction trades, they face physical risk from their serrated tools, exposure to harsh weather, and potential falls from scaffolds.

Carpenters often work with any structure containing wood. Like other construction jobs, they handle drills, sanders, saws, and chisels. In joining wood, they use hammers and screwdrivers. Finally, they use measuring and surveying equipment to ensure their accuracy.

Some carpenters are generalists while others may specialize in cabinetry, stairways, and floors. Those who work on multiple structures usually obtain more construction job opportunities. They also collaborate frequently with other construction workers because it is they, who build scaffolding for contractors, and construct frames for containing concrete. Unlike other construction careers, carpentry jobs demand less heavy lifting and more fine motor skills.

Electrician jobs install electric networks in homes and commercial buildings. They work with fuses, wires, switches, circuit breakers, outlets, and other electric conduits. As they implement their work, they heed the federal and state electric codes designed to ensure fire safety. They also stay aware of general building codes that restrict certain electric installations.

Often, there are two types of electrician jobs: first, there are construction electrician jobs, and secondly, there are maintenance electrician jobs. The former jobs focus more on installation, while the latter jobs, focus more on trouble-shooting electric malfunctions. These electricians further specialize in residential, commercial, or industrial work such as at factories or plants. All electricians face physical risk from electric shocks, falls, and strain. Some electricians may also work irregular schedules to be on call for electric problems.

All the above construction jobs demand little higher education and heavy on-the-job training. Most construction workers attend technical or trade schools in order to gain associate's degrees or certification in their field. Others may apprentice themselves to more experienced workers and learn their job firsthand. Students may also pursue apprenticeships through labor unions and construction firms. Moreover, there are great number of self-employed construction workers who happily take on apprentices. As they advance, construction trade-workers can obtain certification through various professional associations.

All construction job postings are holding steady in the job market, as building rates go up for many different structures. Furthermore, these jobs pay hourly rates that rise with experience. For instance, an apprentice carpenter earns about $12.50 per hour, and then about $22.00 per hour plus benefits following the apprenticeship completion. Construction job income also depends on the type and location of client. A hotel chain, for instance, will pay more money to workers than a small country inn. Yet, most construction jobs offer a starting salary of $50,000 per year, though many people shy away from these jobs on account of their danger potential.
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