Construction and Extraction Occupations: A Comprehensive Guide

Construction and Extraction Occupations: A Comprehensive Guide

Construction and extraction occupations are important for building and maintaining the infrastructure of society. These jobs include everything from carpentry and plumbing to mining and drilling. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the field, some examples of common jobs, and the education or training required to get there.

Overview of Construction and Extraction

Construction and extraction jobs are broadly defined as those involved in building, repairing or maintaining structures, or extracting natural resources. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were over 7 million workers employed in construction and extraction occupations in 2020. The largest category of jobs within this field is construction trades, followed by supervisors and managers, and then by extraction and mining workers.

Examples of Jobs in Construction and Extraction

The following are examples of jobs in construction and extraction:

1. Carpenter – Constructs and repairs building frameworks and structures such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, rafters, and bridge supports.

2. Plumber – Installs, repairs, and maintains the water supply and drainage systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

3. Electrician – Installs and repairs wiring, electrical fixtures, and control systems in homes and businesses.

4. Mining Engineer – Plans, designs, and implements mining operations to minimize risk and maximize efficiency.

5. Blaster – Uses explosives to break up rock formations in mines and quarries.

6. Roofers – Install or repair roofs using materials such as asphalt, shingles, or metal.

7. Landscaping Worker – Design and implement outdoor spaces for homes and businesses.

Education and Training Requirements

Most construction and extraction jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some positions require additional education or training. For example, electricians often attend trade school or an apprenticeship program to learn the skills needed for the job. Mining engineers typically have a degree in mining engineering or a related field.

Progression in the Field

In many cases, workers can progress within their field based on experience and on-the-job training. For example, a construction worker might start out as a general laborer but over time gain experience and knowledge that allows them to become a lead carpenter or project manager. Additionally, some workers may pursue additional education or certifications to advance in their career.

Getting into the Field

If you’re interested in a construction or extraction job, there are several ways to get started. The first step is to research potential jobs and career paths to determine which one is right for you. From there, you can pursue education and training, such as attending trade school or an apprenticeship program. You can also look for entry-level positions that provide on-the-job training and experience. Networking and building relationships with people in the field can also be a valuable way to learn about opportunities and make connections.


Construction and extraction is a diverse field that offers numerous career possibilities. Whether you’re interested in building, repairing, or extracting, there are jobs available that require a range of skills and education. With the right preparation, anyone can enter this field and develop a fulfilling career. Construction and extraction occupations refer to jobs related to the construction and maintenance of buildings, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. These jobs involve physically demanding work and may require specialized skills or certifications.

The salary data for construction and extraction occupations varies based on job level, union affiliation, and geographic location. The US national average salary for all workers in this occupation is $34,112, with a range from $28,745.60 to $96,366.40. However, salaries can go up to $94,411.20 in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area.

Union affiliation can have a significant impact on the salary of construction and extraction occupations. Unionized workers in this occupation have a higher average salary of $77,251.20, while non-unionized workers have an average salary of $52,665.60.

The data table also shows that full-time workers in construction and extraction occupations earn more than their part-time counterparts. Time-based pay and incentive-based pay are also offered in this occupation.

Overall, construction and extraction occupations can be lucrative for those who have the necessary skills and certifications. However, union affiliation and geographic location can have a significant impact on earnings.