Construction and Extraction Occupations

Workers in these occupations use a variety of resources to build and repair roads, homes, and other structures.

Employment of construction and extraction occupations is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations, and gain about 400,000 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 $48,210, which is higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760.


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 Installers, Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers

Drywall installers 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 and Escalator Installers and Repairers

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

Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

Flooring installers and tile and stone setters lay and finish carpet, wood, vinyl, and other materials, such as ceramic, glass, marble, and granite.


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

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers identify and dispose of harmful substances, such as asbestos, lead, mold, and radioactive waste. 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 or mechanical systems.


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

Masonry Workers

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

Painters (Construction and Maintenance)

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

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair piping fixtures and systems.


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, set up, and maintain rooftop or other systems that convert sunlight into energy.

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); and Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters

Earth drillers operate a variety of 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 place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials.

Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators (Surface Mining)

Operate or tend machinery at surface mining site, equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets to excavate and load loose materials.

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.

Loading and Moving Machine Operators (Underground Mining)

Operate underground loading or moving machine to load or move core, ore, or rock using shuttle or mine car or conveyors. Equipment may include power shovels, hoisting engines equipped with cable-drawn scraper or scoop, or machines equipped with gathering arms and conveyor.


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.

Underground Mining Machine Operators and Extraction Workers (all other)

All mining machine operators and extraction workers not listed separately.

Find Construction and Extraction degrees

Get the education and training you need for a Construction career.

View all Careers in alphabetical order

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]

Browse other Careers categories: