Home Builder: Job Description & Career Info

Home builders construct new homes, sometimes specializing in areas such as roofing or masonry. Read on to learn more about the training and skills for home builders, in addition to the salaries and employment outlook for various occupations related to the building of homes.

Career Definition

Home builders work on various facets of new home construction, from design to masonry. Their duties may include building home frames and walls and installing electrical wiring, insulation and windows.

How to Be a Home Builder

Education Required

Home builders typically get their education in one of three ways: on-the-job training, which lasts from 1-12 months, a 2- to 6-year apprenticeship or a 2-year associate's degree in construction. Typical courses in an associate's degree program include introduction to construction, building codes, materials testing and project scheduling. Home builders can be credentialed through the Home Builder's Institute (www.hbi.org), and some states require licensure for home builders who provide professional services like carpentry or masonry.

Skills Required

Home builders must have the technical skills to read blue prints, troubleshoot building problems, calculate dimensions and estimate material needs. They must work well with others and be able to meet the physical demands of home building, including working outside, lifting heavy materials, operating heavy machinery and staying on their feet most of the day.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that home builders will have varying job growth in the 2012-2022 decade depending on their specialty; employment change is expected to be 17% for architects, 16% for construction managers, 24% for carpenters and 20% for electricians. All of the previous projections are considered to be at least faster than average, with the outlook for carpenters considered to be much faster than the average. Annual salaries vary based on home builders' specialties. For example, construction managers in general brought in a median salary of $82,790 per year, while carpenters earned $39,940 and electricians earned $49,840 annually, according to the BLS as of May 2012.

Alternate Career Options

Interior Designer

Working towards making indoor spaces functional and inviting, these professionals normally complete a bachelor's degree program with an interior design focus. They may also be required to become licensed depending on the state. An as fast as average employment growth of 13% was anticipated by the BLS during the 2012-2022 decade. In 2012, a median annual salary of $47,600 was reported by the BLS.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers, who design and construct large projects, such as roads, buildings, and bridges, normally earn a bachelor's degree and gain local licensing to provide services to the public. A faster than average job growth of 20% was predicted by the BLS, from 2012-2022, and a median annual wage of $79,340 was earned in 2012.

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