Construction Jobs for Veterans

Those who have served in the military may have learned or practiced skills that transfer well to construction-related jobs, in areas such as masonry, carpentry, or equipment operation. Specific salaries, job growth statistics, and related personal traits will provide more insight for veterans transitioning to this type of civilian work.

Listed in the table below are five career ideas for post-military employment seekers interested in construction work. Veterans will find that all of these jobs have positive, yet various, career growth projections. Salary rates and military skills related to these choices may also differ and should be considered before deciding what professional route to pursue.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers $41,090 5% Critical thinking skills, physical strength, flexibility, manual dexterity
Glaziers $41,920 4% Hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, critical thinking skills, physical strength
Construction Carpenters $43,600 6% Problem solving skills, detail-oriented, manual dexterity, physical strength
Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators $45,890 10% Hand-eye-foot coordination, physical strength, mechanical knowledge, depth perception
Brickmasons and Blockmasons $49,250 19% Time management skills, physical strength, critical thinking skills, manual dexterity

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Relevance of Construction Jobs to a Military Background

Military veterans who are used to being physically active may find satisfaction in the hands-on work that construction jobs provide. Additionally, these career options will allow veterans to exercise other expertise, such as problem-solving skills and mechanical knowledge, they may have acquired while enlisted. With the proper training, a person with a military background may qualify for one of these professions.

Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers

This occupation entails physical strength and critical thinking skills, which may be similar to the qualities veterans have acquired while in service. Qualifying individuals may be able to apply these same traits to a job position as a drywall and ceiling tile installer. The main objective of this trade is to execute wall and ceiling repairs based on design layouts, while using tape measures, nails, glue, saws, and other tools to apply metal or wood to new designs.


Veterans who have finely tuned hand-eye coordination and strong critical thinking skills may be successful in this career. Glaziers work with glass used for windows, walls, doors, tables, and skylights in supermarkets, homes, and various business establishments. They will sometimes use cranes for large-sized structures such as skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. For the most part, glaziers replace broken glass with new ones, prepare glass material for framing, and use fasteners to secure installed glass.

Construction Carpenters

Former service members who are strong and detail-oriented may find their niche in constructing and repairing interior structures made of wood or other similar material. Most construction carpenters are known to work independently, though some may work for a contract company. A typical work project consists of following a planned sketch to measure, reconstruct, and install new fixtures, doors, or windows. Independent or contract workers are also expected to be business-minded when it comes to scheduling new jobs, handling clients, and managing job assignments.

Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

Veterans with mechanical knowledge may enjoy this career where they will operate machinery specifically used at roadway or building sites. Operating engineers are typically assigned to mobile equipment like tractors, bulldozers, and forklift trucks. They use the machinery to lift, move, and position heavy material as a way to prepare an area for construction. Workers in this career often ensure that tools are in working condition, supervisors are updated about broken equipment, and safety procedures are followed. Former military who possess hand-eye-foot coordination and physical strength, along with basic mechanical knowledge, may find this career to be appealing.

Brickmasons and Blockmasons

A career as a brickmason or blockmason requires strength and stamina, which are a few abilities that may be familiar to former armed service members. Workers in this trade often help with repairing and installing floors, walls, house chimneys, and other structures. Their daily tasks normally involve following blueprint instructions, measuring structures for precise alignments, forming blocks to fitting required sizes, using a grout mixture to bind foundations, and polishing finished surfaces. Success in this type of job relies on good hand dexterity and eye coordination, which many veterans may possess.

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