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White-Collar Construction Jobs

While many construction jobs are considered blue collar because they involve manual labor, there are also a number of jobs that are done from an office setting and are considered white-collar careers.

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Career Options for White-Collar Construction Jobs

The field of construction is typically thought of a blue collar, as many of the jobs involve physical labor and working with your hands. However, in the preliminary design and planning stages of construction, there are a number of jobs that could be considered white-collar. Below are a few white-collar construction careers in greater detail.

Job Title Average Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Drafter $53,480 -3%
Architect $76,930 7%
Construction Manager $89,300 5%
Civil Engineering Technician $49,980 5%
Architectural and Engineering Manager $134,730 2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for White-Collar Construction Jobs

Drafter

Drafters are responsible for analyzing the designs made by architects and transforming them into technical drawings using specialized computer-aided design (CAD) software. These technical designs are used to bring an architect's design to life and to determine the needed materials. There are various types of drafters, from mechanical to architectural drafters, all of whom generally work from an office. To become a drafter, you typically need to complete a certificate or associate's degree program.

Architect

Architects work with clients to create designs for a variety of buildings, including new homes, office spaces, malls, and general structures. They are responsible for creating designs, estimating costs and timelines, preparing drawings, and working with construction managers and constructors. They may occasionally visit work sites to ensure their designs are being built properly, but most of their work is done from an office. To become an architect, you must hold a degree in architecture, complete an internship, and pass an architectural exam.

Construction Manager

Construction managers are responsible for seeing a construction project through from start to finish. They collaborate with architects, civil engineers, electricians, and plumbers during various stages of a building project to ensure every part of the project is constructed properly. While construction managers may spend much of their time on a job site, they also work from offices or field offices. Construction managers typically need a bachelor's degree, though some work with a high school diploma and a significant amount of work experience.

Civil Engineering Technician

Civil engineering technicians generally work with civil engineers. They assist in the planning and design of various construction and building projects, such as bridges and tunnels, as well as residential and industrial construction. Some of their duties include using CAD software, developing cost estimates, and making sure construction projects adhere to local and state building codes. These professionals work out of offices, though they may visit jobsites to observe and collect data. To become a civil engineering technician, you will need an associate's degree in engineering technology.

Architectural and Engineering Manager

An architectural and engineering manager is responsible for overseeing all of the projects and activities of an architectural and/or engineering company. This includes managing staff, creating general plans for new designs, creating budgets, and ensuring the accuracy of work. Most work in offices, but some may work in labs or occasionally on construction sites. Architectural and engineering managers typically hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or a professional architectural degree, along with a significant amount of work experience.

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