The 5 Hardest Jobs in Construction

Construction was never known as an industry where you could work for your whole life and never wear out or need to slow down. Yet, there are certain jobs that are much harder on you, or simply harder for you to do. In many cases, the safety of the various tasks and the location of the work determine how complicated it can be. These five jobs may be rewarding, but there’s no doubt that you’ll put in a lot more to succeed at them.

Roofer
Everyone needs a roof and they don’t last a hugely long time, depending on the material. This means that there is usually a good market for roofing. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous jobs in construction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You need a lot of physical strength and stamina to keep laying the next shingle, tile or panel. You’re also doing it from at least 15-20 feet above the ground. This is why roofers tend to have the most accidents and annual fatalities among all construction fields. It’s also why contractors themselves label it the hardest job.

Demolition
Demolition is a big part of construction, especially in heavily-populated areas where you must knock something down to build something else. People who work in this field need to use heavy equipment that can be difficult to employ but also hard on the arms and back. The complication of the position involves:

  • demolishing portions of a building without destroying the whole thing
  • avoiding bringing the building down on people inside it
  • proper disposal practices, particularly for hazardous items like asbestos insulation

Many other construction fields feature demolition as a subsidiary component. For example, a roofer may demolish the old roof before installing new. But it is also a field on its own.

Electrician
Some positions, like working as an electrician, are tricky but not necessarily as physically demanding. This is good because you really need to know what you’re doing when you take this job. The complication depends on the work you do. Many electricians work independently in new construction, maintenance or repair. Most will specialize but some will take a variety of projects. Others may become employees in companies that need testing or repair for complex instruments. In any of these approaches, you’re thinking not just about your own safety but that of everyone who will use it going forward.

Carpentry
Carpentry is a physically demanding job that is also highly variable. What you do depends entirely on the job you take, and you might be doing completely different tasks every day. Framing a house sounds like one task, but it requires an understanding of how to build walls, floors, stairs, windows, doors, etc. This doesn’t include all the artistic design and shaping that many carpenters also employ, for kitchens, staircases and the like. Learning to construct a sturdy frame requires a unique skillset than what’s needed than to turn a beautiful post as part of an historic renovation.

Ironworkers
Like carpentry, ironworkers keep a mix of complication and hard work. Ironworkers have injury rates not far off from roofers because they also often work from higher locations while a building is in progress. Like welders, they are at higher risk for cuts and burns from the equipment they use. And even if they follow all safety protocol, they still have to lift, carry and position heavy pieces of steel needed during construction.

Choosing a job in construction often means work that will push you to your limits, in good and possibly dangerous ways. To start on the path to a job that’s right for you, visit CSLS today!

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