13 Different Types of Construction Workers and Their Roles

When it comes to construction there is an almost endless number of jobs to choose from – not every construction worker can complete every element in a construction job. In fact, most construction workers can’t. Depending on the job at hand, construction workers may need to specialize in a specific area.

Below are thirteen different types of construction workers and their day-to-day responsibilities:

1. Project engineer

The project engineer is in charge of the planning and preparation phase of the construction project. They are the people who meet with clients and get information about what the vision for the project is.

Once they understand the wishes for the project, they organize the plan for getting the job done, and identify the estimated timeline, contractors, subcontractors, and resources that will be required to complete the project. They also are on site during the project to make sure that everything is being carried out according to plan.

2. Project manager

The project manager is primarily in charge of the budget for the project, and to make sure that the necessary resources (as identified by the project engineer) are available for the workers to use.

These types of construction workers are in charge of taking all of the plans identified by the project engineer, and making sure that the project has everything it needs to succeed.

3. Foreman/Superintendent

The project foreman or the superintendent takes care of things on a more day-to-day basis. This person keeps a short-term schedule to help ensure long-term schedules are met, and is overall in charge of quality control. These types of construction workers make sure everyone is pulling their weight in the project, including subcontractors.

4. General Contractor

For more general & non-skilled tasks, the general contractors can aid with the construction process. These types of construction workers do not have any one specialty, but instead work on general tasks that need to be done around the site – of which there are always many.

5. Carpenter

Carpentry involves the fabrication of the structure of a building. Often this word is associated with woodworking, but there are other materials used in carpentry as well nowadays. The tasks of a carpenter include measuring, cutting, and shaping the material and securing it as part of the structure.

In addition, carpenters work with fiberglass, drywall, and other materials that help to create the structure so that it will be sturdy and safe.

6. Equipment operator

Extremely large, heavy-duty equipment is used in construction, and it is imperative that such equipment be used safely and responsibly to avoid injury or death of both workers and other people in the vicinity of the construction site. Equipment operators are trained and experienced at properly running these machines.

7. Estimator

The primary job of a construction estimator is to ensure that financial estimations are as close as possible to the realistic requirements of the project. These types of construction workers need to be able to consider all costs involved in the project to ensure that they can convey accurate estimates to the client.

8. Inspector

The inspector is external to the company or companies that are doing the actual construction. This person is usually hired by a local government to ensure that the building is being done properly, safely, and that all elements of the building are up to code, as per the laws of the city.

9. Electrician

Naturally, electricians take care of all electric matters, wiring the entire building so that it will be functional for use. Electricians must ensure that the wiring they install can handle the electrical requirements for the activities that will take place in the building. These types of construction workers are also responsible for ensuring their work is up to code, as it can be extremely hazardous if it is not.

10. Welder

Welders use a special type of machinery to fuse two pieces of material together using heat. Most frequently they work with metals, but they can sometimes work with plastic as well. Welding can be very dangerous, and it is a skill to be able to do it well, so welders must be properly trained for this job.

11. Mason

Masons work with blocks of material to build up the structure of a building. Using an adhesive, like mortar, masons fuse these blocks together to create strong structures. Some masons will specialize in one specific material, like cement or brick.

12. Plumber

A construction plumber is in charge of setting up all of the plumbing for toilets, water fountains, taps, sinks, showers, tubs, and any other source of water, drainage, or sewage in a building. The plumber’s job includes cutting openings in the structure’s walls and floors where pipes will need to go, as well as installing the fixtures that attach to those pipes.

13. Glazier

These workers are charged with completing all work involving the glass in a building. They select, cut and install all glass pieces for windows and skylights. In modern buildings, sometimes the entire exterior surface is made of glass.