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Career and Education Opportunities for Construction Workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

For those living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, there are many career and education opportunities for construction workers. About 41,400 people are currently employed as construction workers in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow 3% to 42,750 people employed. 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%. Construction workers generally perform tasks involving physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites.

Construction workers earn about $14 per hour or $30,480 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $13 hourly or $28,520 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of General Construction, people working as construction workers in Pennsylvania earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of General Construction nationally.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a construction worker. The most common level of education for construction workers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Pittsburgh include:

  • Bricklayer Helper. Help brickmasons, blockmasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties of lesser skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
  • 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

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated two 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.