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, skills, salaries and employment outlook for various occupations related to the building of homes.

Career Definition for a Home Builder

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

Education Apprenticeship or associate's degree may be required
Job Skills Communication, physical stamina, problem solving, technical skill
Median Salary (2015)* $42,090 (all carpenters)
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (all carpenters)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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). Some states require licensure for home builders who provide professional services such as carpentry or masonry.

Required Skills

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 (BLS) (www.bls.gov) reports that home builders will have varying job growth in the 2014-2024 decade depending on their specialty; employment change is expected to be 7% for architects, 5% for construction managers, 6% for carpenters and 14% 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, architects earned a median salary of $76,100, construction managers in general brought in a median salary of $87,400 per year, while carpenters earned $42,090 and electricians earned $51,880 annually, according to the BLS as of May 2015.

Alternate Career Options

Those considering a career as a home builder may be interested in these related job fields:

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 4% was anticipated by the BLS during the 2014-2024 decade. In 2015, a median annual salary of $48,840 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 8% was predicted by the BLS, from 2014-2024, and a median annual wage of $82,220 was earned in 2015.

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