Construction and Extraction Occupations

Employment of construction and extraction occupations is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations, a gain of about 296,300 new jobs. Overall growth in the economy and population will increase demand for new buildings, roads, and other structures, which will create new jobs in construction and extraction occupations.

The median annual wage for all construction and extraction occupations is $47,430, which is higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810.


Boilermakers assemble, install, maintain, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other large vessels or containers that hold liquids and gases.


Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials.

Construction and Building Inspectors

Construction and building inspectors ensure that construction meets local and national building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.

Construction Equipment Operators

Construction equipment operators drive, maneuver, or control the heavy machinery used to construct roads, bridges, buildings, and other structures.

Construction Laborers and Helpers

Construction laborers and helpers perform many tasks that require physical labor on construction sites.

Construction Managers

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers

Drywall and ceiling tile installers hang wallboard and install ceiling tile inside buildings. Tapers prepare the wallboard for painting, using tape and other materials. Many workers both install and tape wallboard.


Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories.

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers install, fix, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.

Flooring Installers and Tile and Marble Setters

Flooring installers and tile and marble setters lay and finish carpet, wood, vinyl, and tile.


Glaziers install glass in windows, skylights, and other fixtures in storefronts and buildings.

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers identify and dispose of asbestos, lead, radioactive waste, and other hazardous materials. They also neutralize and clean up materials that are flammable, corrosive, or toxic.

Insulation Workers

Insulation workers, also called insulators, install and replace the materials used to insulate buildings and their mechanical systems.


Ironworkers install structural and reinforcing iron and steel to form and support buildings, bridges, and roads.

Masonry Workers

Masonry workers, also known as masons, use bricks, concrete blocks, concrete, and natural and manmade stones to build walls, walkways, fences, and other masonry structures.

Painters (Construction and Maintenance)

Painters apply paint, stain, and coatings to walls and ceilings, buildings, bridges, and other structures.

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry liquids or gases to, from, and within businesses, homes, and factories.


Roofers replace, repair, and install the roofs of buildings, using a variety of materials, including shingles, bitumen, and metal.

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used in heating and air conditioning systems.

Solar Photovoltaic Installers

Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, also known as PV installers, assemble, install, and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures.

Additional Construction and Extraction Occupations

Construction and Related Workers (all other)

All construction and related workers not listed separately.

Continuous Mining Machine Operators

Continuous Mining Machine Operators operate self-propelled mining machines that rip coal, metal and nonmetal ores, rock, stone, or sand from the mine face and load it onto conveyors or into shuttle cars in a continuous operation.

Derrick Operators (Oil and Gas)

Derrick Operators (Oil and Gas) rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through drill hole.

Earth Drillers (Except Oil and Gas)

Earth Drillers (Except Oil and Gas) operate a variety of drills, such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic drills, to tap subsurface water and salt deposits, to remove core samples during mineral exploration or soil testing, and to facilitate the use of explosives in mining or construction.

Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters

Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials.

Extraction Workers (all other)

All extraction workers not listed separately.

Fence Erectors

Fence Erectors erect and repair fences, including gates, using hand and power tools.

First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers

First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

Helpers—Extraction Workers

Helpers—Extraction Workers help extraction craftworkers, such as earth drillers, blasters and explosives workers, derrick operators, and mining machine operators, by performing duties requiring less skill.

Highway Maintenance Workers

Highway Maintenance Workers maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way.

Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators

Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators operate machinery such as longwall shears, plows, and cutting machines to cut or channel along the faces or seams of coal mines, stone quarries, or other mining surfaces in order to facilitate blasting, separating, or removing minerals or materials from mines or the Earth's surface.

Mining Machine Operators (all other)

All mining machine operators not listed separately.


Paperhangers cover interior walls or ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces such as walls and billboards.


Pipelayers lay pipe for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains.

Plasterers and Stucco Masons

Plasterers and Stucco Masons apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, stucco, or similar materials. May also set ornamental plaster.

Quarry Rock Splitters

Quarry Rock Splitters separate blocks of rough-dimension stone from quarry mass, using a jackhammer and wedges.

Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators

Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines.

Roof Bolters (Mining)

Roof Bolters (Mining) operate machinery to install roof support bolts in underground mines.

Rotary Drill Operators (Oil and Gas)

Rotary Drill Operators (Oil and Gas) set up or operate a variety of drills to remove underground oil and gas, or remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration.

Roustabouts (Oil and Gas)

Roustabouts (Oil and Gas) assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools. They also perform other tasks as needed.

Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners

Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners clean and repair septic tanks, sewer lines, or drains.

Service Unit Operators (Oil, Gas, and Mining)

Service Unit Operators (Oil, Gas, and Mining) operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells or to remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells.

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