8 of the Best Paid Jobs in the Building Industry

Constructing houses and other buildings is big business and requires a lot of expertise. The building industry employs people with a vast range of skills and qualifications, from laborers to architects. If you have always wanted to be involved in constructing structures from bricks and mortar, here are 8 of the best-paid jobs in the building industry.

Civil Engineer

A civil engineer designs plan and oversee large construction jobs such as bridges, commercial buildings, and other large structures. They are required to make plans on how to construct buildings and limit the environmental impact in the process.

There are a few different fields of civil engineering, and often a qualified person will specialize in one area such as transportation, geotechnical and environmental. Transportation civil engineers are involved in the construction of railways, roads, and airports. Environmental civil engineers help build turbines and flood barriers, and mines and earthworks are handled by geotechnical civil engineers.

To become a civil engineer, you need an excellent computer, communication, mathematical, and design skills. Usually, fledgling civil engineers will attend a four-year course at university, but some enter the profession through an apprenticeship. In the USA, a civil engineer can earn approximately $88,000 per annum.

Structural Engineer

As the title suggests, a structural engineer studies the impact of environmental factors and human usage on the structure of a building. They ensure that buildings can withstand extreme weather conditions such as strong winds, earthquakes, and they do not shake or move when frequented by people.

Structural engineers will choose the best materials to construct buildings, tunnels, airplanes, spaceships, hospitals, and pipelines and ensure that they are fit for purpose.

Students who wish to study structural engineering should have sound knowledge, interest, and talent in physics, mathematics, trigonometry, design, and excellent written and verbal English skills as structural engineering jobs require top-notch communication skills. Structural engineers can expect to earn an average of $89000.


Electricians install electrical wiring in houses, offices, commercial buildings, ships, airplanes, and machinery, among other things. As working with electricity is fraught with danger, electricians must apply for licenses before they can enter the workforce. In the USA, licenses are issued by individual states rather than there being a nationwide license.

Electricians must complete a 3-5 year apprenticeship with a Master electrician before they can work unsupervised. Once they complete that, they are known as Journeyman electricians and can work as a fully qualified employee for a company. In the USA, electricians earn around $55,000 a year.

HVAC Technician

A heating ventilation and air conditioning technician installs and services heating, ventilation, and cooling equipment in homes, hospitals, factories, commercial buildings, and certain forms of transport. They ensure that the temperature and humidity of buildings are kept at a comfortable level for the inhabitants of the building.

People wishing to become an HVAC technician can enter the trade by doing on-the-job training with a professional, attending college, or completing an apprenticeship. It can take anywhere between 3 and 5 years to become fully qualified. The average yearly salary for an HVAC technician in the USA is around $40,000.

Site Manager/Construction Manager

Site managers are responsible for overseeing a construction project. They are required to make sure that the project is finished within a given time frame, and all delays and issues are dealt with promptly and effectively. They will also check that employees adhere to health and safety regulations, perform quality control evaluations and monitor the standard of work taking place. $115000 is the average salary for this position.

Elevator Technician

Earning around $90,000-$125,000 per year, elevator technicians are among the highest-paid employees in the building industry. They are responsible for cleaning and lubricating elevator mechanisms in electric and hydraulic elevators, repairing faults, and checking that doors, bumpers, cable rails, and other elevator components are safe.

People who want to pursue this career need to complete high school and then apply for an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship takes about five years to complete and is part classroom-based, part on-the-job training. Some states in the USA require elevator technicians to obtain a license before working. Some employers may look for proof of competency, so it is beneficial to apply for voluntary certification through the National Association of Elevator Contractors (or NAEC). Elevator technicians should be physically fit because they must do a lot of heavy lifting and climbing and it’s advisable for them to partake in a fitness plan.

Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors estimate how much it will cost to complete a building project, taking into account materials and labor. They also need to work out how long the task should take to complete. Good mathematical skills are required to make estimations and compile budgets. Quantity surveyors also need to ensure that building projects meet legal and building standards.

To become a quantity surveyor, candidates must obtain good results in high school subjects such as mathematics, English, and science. They can then go on to complete a university degree or find an on-the-job apprenticeship. It helps if candidates have a good knowledge of the building industry, excellent analytical skills, and attention to detail. Quantity surveyors can earn up to $80,000 per annum.


Plumbers install and maintain systems that supply water to buildings and provide drainage and sewage. Plumbers need to read plans of building and plumbing systems, locate and repair faults in pipework and boiler systems, build systems and join pipes together and unblock sewage systems and drains. Plumbing can be a physically demanding job and potentially dangerous as you may contract infections and illnesses from dealing with human sewage systems.

After completing high school, some students who wish to become plumbers will study for a degree at a technical college, whereas others will go straight into an apprenticeship. In the US, plumbers must meet standards for training and experience in order to become licensed. In the majority of cases, they must pass a certification exam. Successful plumbers can earn up to $74,000 per annum. The median salary for plumbers is $56,000.