Architecture and Construction Careers

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The group of careers encompassing construction and architecture is a rapidly advancing field of study. Professionals in the architecture and construction fields develop and plan structural components, infrastructure, transportation systems. Additionally to design work, this field of study encompasses repairs and restorations of existing structures, be they buildings, highways, bridges, or other man made objects.

Architecture and construction careers include a full spectrum of jobs in design, engineering, physical labor, planning, management, and drafting. Jobs in design include architects, structural engineers, and infrastructure design planners. Jobs in structural building and repair include mechanical and infrastructure engineers, draftsmen, and construction laborers.

Plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theaters, factories, and other structural property.

Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches,...

Construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood and comparable materials, such as concrete forms; building frameworks, including partitions, joists, studding, and rafters; and wood stairways,...

Lay and install carpet from rolls or blocks on floors. Install padding and trim flooring materials.

Smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. Align forms for sidewalks, curbs, or gutters; patch voids; and use saws to cut...

Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation...

Inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a...

Construct, erect, install, and repair structures and fixtures of wood, plywood, and wallboard, using carpenter's hand tools and power tools.

Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a...

Plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual...

Install, repair, and maintain mechanical regulating and controlling devices, such as electric meters, gas regulators, thermostats, safety and flow valves, and other mechanical governors.

Control or tend conveyors or conveyor systems that move materials or products to and from stockpiles, processing stations, departments, or vehicles. May control speed and routing of materials or products.

Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed...

Operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.

Operate dredge to remove sand, gravel, or other materials in order to excavate and maintain navigable channels in waterways.

Apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or...

Operate a variety of drills such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic 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...

Inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.

Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.

Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

Assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters.

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

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

Place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials. May perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures.

Erect and repair fences and fence gates, using hand and power tools.

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

Apply blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing, sound-deadening, or decorative coverings to floors.

Scrape and sand wooden floors to smooth surfaces using floor scraper and floor sanding machine, and apply coats of finish.

Perform technical activities at power plants or individual installations necessary for the generation of power from geothermal energy sources. Monitor and control operating activities at geothermal power generation...

Install glass in windows, skylights, store fronts, and display cases, or on surfaces, such as building fronts, interior walls, ceilings, and tabletops.

Identify, remove, pack, transport, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, or contaminated soil. Specialized training and...

Install, service, or repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences or commercial establishments.

Install or repair heating, central air conditioning, HVAC, or refrigeration systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.

Help brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Help carpenters by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Help electricians by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Help installation, maintenance, and repair workers in maintenance, parts replacement, and repair of vehicles, industrial machinery, and electrical and electronic equipment. Perform duties such as furnishing tools,...

Help painters, paperhangers, plasterers, or stucco masons by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Help plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, or pipelayers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Help roofers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement and repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear...

Operate or tend hoists or winches to lift and pull loads using power-operated cable equipment.

Repair, adjust, or install all types of electric or gas household appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, and ovens.

Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.

Apply insulating materials to pipes or ductwork, or other mechanical systems in order to help control and maintain temperature.

Plan, design, and furnish the internal space of rooms or buildings. Design interior environments or create physical layouts that are practical, aesthetic, and conducive to the intended purposes. May specialize in a...

Plan and design land areas for projects such as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, highways, hospitals, schools, land subdivisions, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.

Landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting,...

Move or install mobile homes or prefabricated buildings.

Install, service, or repair automatic door mechanisms and hydraulic doors. Includes garage door mechanics.

Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, fastening methods, and other engineering information.

Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect...

Paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired...

Cover interior walls or ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces such as walls and billboards. May remove old materials or prepare surfaces to be papered.

Operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways or for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials. Includes concrete and asphalt paving...

Operate pile drivers mounted on skids, barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes to drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures such as buildings, bridges, and piers.

Lay out, assemble, install, or maintain pipe systems, pipe supports, or related hydraulic or pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, sprinkling, or industrial production or processing...

Lay pipe for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains. Perform any combination of the following tasks: grade trenches or culverts, position pipe, or seal joints.

Apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, stucco, or similar materials. May also set ornamental plaster.

Assemble, install, or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, or drainage systems, according to specifications or plumbing codes.

Assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. Includes sprinkler...

Build or repair equipment such as furnaces, kilns, cupolas, boilers, converters, ladles, soaking pits, and ovens, using refractory materials.

Install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

Position and secure steel bars or mesh in concrete forms in order to reinforce concrete. Use a variety of fasteners, rod-bending machines, blowtorches, and hand tools. Includes rod busters.

Set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.

Operate machinery to install roof support bolts in underground mine.

Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, or related materials. May spray roofs, sidings, and walls with material to bind, seal, insulate, or soundproof sections of structures.

Build rough wooden structures, such as concrete forms, scaffolds, tunnel, bridge, or sewer supports, billboard signs, and temporary frame shelters, according to sketches, blueprints, or oral instructions.

Lay out, cut, and place segmental paving units. Includes installers of bedding and restraining materials for the paving units.

Clean and repair septic tanks, sewer lines, or drains. May patch walls and partitions of tank, replace damaged drain tile, or repair breaks in underground piping.

Fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings. Work may involve any of the following: setting up and operating fabricating...

Direct work crews installing residential or commercial solar photovoltaic or thermal systems.

Install or repair solar energy systems designed to collect, store, and circulate solar-heated water for residential, commercial or industrial use.

Operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes. Operate equipment such as steam engines, generators, motors, turbines, and steam...

Build stone structures, such as piers, walls, and abutments. Lay walks, curbstones, or special types of masonry for vats, tanks, and floors.

Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. May erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.

Fabricate, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products.

Make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, gravitation, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth's surface for...

Seal joints between plasterboard or other wallboard to prepare wall surface for painting or papering.

Apply a mixture of cement, sand, pigment, or marble chips to floors, stairways, and cabinet fixtures to fashion durable and decorative surfaces.

Apply hard tile, stone, and comparable materials to walls, floors, ceilings, countertops, and roof decks.

Perform a variety of activities to weatherize homes and make them more energy efficient. Duties include repairing windows, insulating ducts, and performing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) work. May...

The recent recession took a toll on the architectural and construction fields. One of the primary results of the recession was a severe decrease in new housing starts. This caused a severe downturn in construction employment, including the resultant drop in business for architects. Additionally, government infrastructure projects suffered from lack of funding, although stimulus provided some government related projects funding. The field in general, however, should rebound, as it depends on the natural increase of population, housing, and infrastructure.

The field of construction and architecture is as varied as any profession. The required education for most design level professions includes advanced work in math, geometry, and physics, as well as specific courses in architecture and planning. In addition to the educational requirements needed for a career in architecture or advanced construction design and/or management, there are often required professional certifications and/or apprenticeships.

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