Beyond the hard hat: 3 lesser-known jobs in construction

If you love buildings or if you're interested in a highly stable industry, consider one of the following three lesser-known construction jobs.

You don't have to don a hard hat and a pair of heavy-duty gloves every morning to work in construction. Many job possibilities exist, some of which don't require advanced education.

Cost Estimator

If you have a head for numbers, cost estimators make more money than many other construction professionals. You'll need a finance background, such as a bachelor's degree in accounting, as well as familiarity with cost-estimating software. Once you've met this criteria, you can get a job in this field.

Cost estimators analyze a job site and project to decide how much money, labor, supplies, and materials will cost. Accurate estimates help a construction crew deliver a project on budget, which makes customers happy. Additionally, this construction career doesn't require you to spend hours in the sun. Although you'll have to visit project sites on occasion, you'll carry out most of your duties in an office.

3 lesser-known jobs in construction

Construction Engineer

If you don't mind spending a few years in school, you might enjoy a career in construction engineering. This job shares some qualities with civil engineering, but you must also know construction codes, best practices, and logistics to succeed. You can often get a job with a bachelor's degree in construction engineering, but you'll want to consider earning your master's degree in civil engineering or business administration if you want access to the best jobs.

Construction engineers earn a median annual salary of slightly more than $80,000. However, if you factor in potential bonuses and profit-sharing opportunities, your income potential increases to more than $130,000. Your salary range will likely depend on where you live and the current market demand. Additionally, you'll earn a higher salary as you gain experience in the field.

Construction Manager

U.S. News & World Report calls construction management the number-one job in the industry, thanks to its high average salary of $90,000. Construction managers oversee projects from beginning to end. They meet with architects to discuss building plans and troubleshoot problems. On the construction side, they deal with customers, vendors, and employees to make sure that a project gets done on time and on budget.

If you get a job as a construction manager, you'll take responsibility for every facet of a job, from the cost of materials to a structure's safety. Most professionals in this field spend part of their time at a job site, but they return to their offices to make phone calls, draw up plans, calculate costs, and review contracts.

On many jobs, construction managers also hire, train, and terminate employees. They're sometimes responsible for pulling permits for specific parts of a construction project. If you love details and you enjoy solving problems, consider this career option.

Construction jobs abound if you know where to look. You don't have to pound nails with a hammer or stand on scaffolding to take advantage of careers in this industry when you consider some of the lesser-known opportunities in construction.

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