A predicted shortage of craft labor by 1.9 million by the year 2025 has been highlighted in a recent report by Associated Builders and Contractors. The average age of workers is increasing, while younger generations show less interest in pursuing careers in the field. Technological advancements have also created a demand for new skill sets that are not traditionally associated with construction work, such as digital literacy and management.
The rising complexity involved in building structures has led to a need for specialized expertise in safety standards that require precise attention to even minor details. This has led to highly specialized positions, such as welders, riggers, and crane operators, becoming more valuable than ever before. These jobs cannot be easily automated or outsourced overseas due to their unique nature and importance within many job sites across America’s vast industrial landscape.
A recent NCCER report surveyed 770 women in construction to highlight the unique benefits women bring to the workforce, the obstacles they face, and what businesses can do to recruit and retain more women. The construction industry continues to face challenges with shortages, with only one person entering the industry for every four who leave. Government and industry investments in infrastructure to rebuild roads and bridges, expand public transport, and upgrade the power grid have only heightened this issue.
Biden’s signature legislation, the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure plan passed by Congress in 2021, will create 1.5 million construction jobs per year for the next 10 years, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. This will boost the share of all jobs connected with rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure from 11% to 14%. Median wages for construction jobs are higher than the median pay for all jobs, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In summary, the niche construction sector of crane, rigging, and specialized transport offers infinite opportunities for a well-paid and satisfying career.
According to ABC.org, “In 2024, the industry will need to bring in more than 342,000 new workers on top of normal hiring to meet industry demand, and that’s presuming that construction spending growth slows significantly next year.”