And We Need to Build the Workforce!!!!

Judie Docs, Executive Officer – CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM

North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)  www.ncbia.com


The home building industry offers more than just another job — you can find a rewarding career and earn a great salary. The top 25% in most construction trades professions earn at least $60,000 annually. And you don’t need to follow the traditional college path to get there.

NAHB is your connection to the educators, industry members, and the NCBIA  can help you get started on your career path. Learn more below about the opportunities to start building your career in nine of the most popular trades.


$54,200 Average National Wage

Carpenters are needed in all areas of construction and are often employed through the entire construction process. Thus, it is one of the most secure jobs within the industry.

In the carpentry trade you will learn to:

  • Frame floors, walls, ceilings, and roofs
  • Build concrete forms
  • Apply plywood, roof paper and shingles
  • Build and set cabinets and countertops
  • Install doors, windows, trim, and siding
  • Install floor joists, rafters, and trusses
  • Lay wood flooring
  • Operate table saws, power drills, routers, joiners, planers, and nail guns

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment options:

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Home builders
  • Sub-contractors
  • Remodelers
  • Commercial builders



$61,550 Average National Wage

Modern life would not be possible without electricians. If you like to know how electric currents make things work, then this is the trade for you. Qualified electricians are always in demand.

In the electrical trade you will learn to:

  • Cut, bend, and install metal conduits and wiring
  • Hook up electrical appliances
  • Install electrical switches and lighting fixtures
  • Wire doorbells and fire alarms
  • Repair power cords and plugs
  • Use equipment for testing circuitry
  • Safely handle power tools
  • Ensure work is done according to relevant codes

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment options:

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Electrical contractors
  • Sub-contractors
  • Maintenance company



$46,460 Average National Wage

Whenever a home is built, nearly all of the interior and some of the exterior surfaces need to be painted to protect them from damage by water, mold, and corrosion. Painting and maintaining painted surfaces improve the appearance and increases the value of a house.

In the painting trade you will learn to:

  • Prepare all types of surfaces – wood, drywall, plaster, and masonry
  • Mix colors and use a tint machine
  • Apply paint, stain, clear finishes, sealants, and fillers
  • Sand or waterblast
  • Use typical and airless spray equipment

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment options:

  • Drywall contractors
  • Painting contractors
  • Sub-contractors
  • Residential contractors



$57,880 Average National Wage

Laying brick is one of the oldest and most respected trades in the construction industry. Masonry construction uses brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, stucco, and tile.

In the masonry trade you will learn to:

  • Mix mortar and lay brick
  • Lay out building lines and grades
  • Lay floors and stairs
  • Mix and place concrete
  • Create different textures
  • Apply various finishes to concrete

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment options:

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Masonry contractors
  • Sub-contractors
  • General contractors


$53,410 Average National Wage

Install or repair heating, ventilation, and central air conditioning or refrigeration (HVACR) systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.

In the HVACR trade you will learn:

  • How to maintain, repair and diagnose equipment related to HVACR technology
  • Energy auditing Green alternatives
  • Air conditioning design and layout
  • Refrigerant systems
  • System charging and system evacuation
  • Water treatment
  • Boiler operation and safety

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment options:

  • Commercial service technician
  • Heating system installer
  • Heating, air conditioning and plumbing contractors
  • HVACR mechanic
  • Maintain and repair climate control for businesses, schools, and hospitals



$61,100 Average National Wage

Nearly all areas of construction rely on plumbers. If you enjoy working with your hands and solving problems, then this is the trade for you. Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes in residential, commercial and/or industrial buildings.

In the plumbing trade you will learn to:

  • Identify hand and power tools
  • Cut and install pipes and fittings
  • Install fixtures and hot water heaters
  • Test water lines for leaks
  • Make underground pipe connections
  • Install sprinkler systems
  • Weld properly

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment options:

  • Plumbing contractors
  • Remodelers
  • High-rise and apartment complexes
  • Sub-contractors


$46,690 Average National Wage

Welders working in residential construction typically enjoy more variety of projects within a year. They focus on joining steel beams for building support and pipes for carrying water or natural gas and use hand-welding, flame-cutting, hand-soldering, or brazing equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

In the welding trade you will learn:

  • Safety
  • Structural welding
  • Applied mathematics
  • Ability to weld materials
  • Blueprint reading skills

Important qualities for welders:

  • Detail oriented
  • Manual dexterity
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Spatial-oriented skills
  • Technical skills

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment opportunities:

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Supervisor
  • Instructor
  • Project manager


Drywall & Ceiling Tile Installers

$51,930 Average National Wage

Drywall installers and ceiling tile installers hang wallboard and install ceiling tile of interior rooms in buildings. On a daily basis, Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers fit and fasten wallboard or drywall into position on wood or metal frameworks, using glue, nails, or screws. They read blueprints or other specifications to determine methods of installation, work procedures, or material or tool requirements. Although specific duties may vary, many of them remove existing plaster, drywall, or paneling, using crowbars and hammers. It might also be their responsibility to install blanket insulation between studs and tack plastic moisture barriers over insulation.

In the drywall and ceiling tile installation trade you will learn to:

  • Measure, mark, and cut drywall panels according to design plans
  • Fasten panels and tiles to support structures
  • Measure and cut openings in panes or tiles for electrical outlets, windows, vents, plumbing, or other fixtures
  • Use keyhole saws and other cutting tools
  • Patch, trim, and smooth rough spots and edges

Important Qualities

  • Ability to work at heights
  • Attention to detail
  • Balance
  • Dexterity
  • Math skills
  • Physical stamina
  • Physical strength

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment opportunities:

  • Supervisor
  • General superintendent
  • Project manager
  • Estimator


Building System Technicians

$43,790 Average National Wage

Building systems technicians perform work involving the skills of two or more maintenance or craft occupations to keep the structure of a building in good condition. General maintenance and repair workers often carry out many different tasks in a single day working in indoor or outdoor locations. Duties may involve pipe fitting, HVAC maintenance, insulating, carpentry, electrical, and repairing buildings, floors, or stairs.

In the Building Systems Technology trade you will learn to:

  • Read blueprints
  • Diagnose and repair basic HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other building issues
  • Conduct general maintenance tasks such as painting, carpentry, plastering, or flooring or drywall repair
  • Perform safety checks on maintenance systems and equipment

Important Qualities:

  • Dexterity
  • Troubleshooting skills
  • Versatility
  • Time management
  • Customer-service and communication skills

Once you complete training, you have a variety of employment opportunities:

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Train and become licensed in one specific trade
  • Own a contracting or repair business

For more information, contact the NCBIA.  The North Coast Building Industry Association is your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic.   So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab).   

Our 24/7 Virtual Parade of Homes!!!  Allows you to look at some of our builders’ new homes and communities on your mobile device or computer at your leisure.  We know time is our greatest asset and via our NCBIA Virtual Parade of Homes, we save you time looking for a new home or a community that fits your lifestyle.

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Homeownership is truly a cornerstone of the American way of life.  North Coast Building Industry – Come Build with Us!