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Career and Education Opportunities for Construction Workers in Santa Clara, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for construction workers in the Santa Clara, California area. There are currently 171,300 working construction workers in California; this should grow 17% to about 199,800 working construction workers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for construction workers are expected to grow by about 20.5%. In general, construction workers perform tasks involving physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites.

A person working as a construction worker can expect to earn about $16 hourly or $34,250 annually on average in California and about $13 per hour or $28,520 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for construction workers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of General Construction in California and not quite as good as general General Construction category earnings nationally.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Santa Clara area, including one within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree to start your career as a construction worker. Given that the most common education level for construction workers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a construction worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Construction Worker

Construction Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, construction workers perform tasks involving physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites. They also may operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments.

Every day, construction workers are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to use lower back and abdominal strength. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for construction workers to measure and record openings and distances to mark areas where construction work will be performed. They are often called upon to clean and ready construction sites to remove possible hazards. They also control traffic passing near and around work zones. They are sometimes expected to load and identify building materials and tools, and distribute them to the appropriate locations, in line with project plans and specifications. Somewhat less frequently, construction workers are also expected to grind or polish surfaces such as concrete or wood flooring, using abrasive tools or machines.

Construction workers sometimes are asked to set up sewer and storm drain pipes, using pipe-laying machinery and laser guidance equipment. They also have to be able to mix ingredients to generate compounds for covering or cleaning surfaces and use computers and other input devices to operate robotic pipe cutters and cleaners. And finally, they sometimes have to spray materials such as water or stucco through hoses to wash or seal surfaces.

Like many other jobs, construction workers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Santa Clara include:

  • Building Inspector. Inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Construction Worker Training

CET-Watsonville - Watsonville, CA

CET-Watsonville, 10 Blanca Lane, Watsonville, CA 95076. CET-Watsonville is a small school located in Watsonville, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 151 students. CET-Watsonville has a less than one year program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Associate Constructor: The goal of the Constructor Certification process is to provide a voluntary, non-governmental certification designation.

For more information, see the American Institute of Constructors website.

Electrical & Instrumentation Pipeline Technician: Topics covered on exam include: Pipeline E & I Safety, Electrical Theory & General Knowledge, Inspect Test and Calibrate Pressure Switches and Transmitters, Test Overfill Protective Devices, Inspect and Calibrate Overfill Protective Devices, Verify or Set Protection Parameters for Programmable Controllers and/or other Instrumentation Control Loops, Actuator/Operator Adjustment, CPM Leak Detection, Maintain Fixed Gas Detection Equipment.

For more information, see the National Center for Construction Education and Research website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Asphalt: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged specifically in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Concrete: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Soils: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Stormwater and Wastewater System Inspection: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the inspection of stormwater and wastewater systems and is applicable to both private and public sector technicians.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Environmental Technician: NREP provides an Environmental Registry listing for individuals conducting environmental technician job functions.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

LICENSES

Awnings Specialty Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827

Phone: (916) 255-3900
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board

Building Moving/Demolition Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827

Phone: (916) 255-3900
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board

Construction Clean-up Specialty Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827

Phone: (916) 255-3900
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board

Pool and Spa Maintenance Specialty Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827

Phone: (916) 255-3900
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board

Scaffolding Specialty Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827

Phone: (916) 255-3900
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board

Trenching Specialty Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827

Phone: (916) 255-3900
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.