Building careers

It's no secret that the building and construction industry is currently experiencing a significant skills shortage. For anyone interested in pursuing a trade, this is an industry that looks set to offer abundant employment opportunities for many years to come.

It's also an industry that offers diverse employment opportunities. Many people simply associate the building industry with carpenters and bricklayers. And while both these trades make up an important part of the industry, there are many others that have an equally important role to play.

So if you're interested in building and construction, but don't really see yourself as a ‘chippie' or a ‘brickie', here's a list of some other trades that comprise the industry that maybe you haven't considered before.

Project manager

This role is crucial to the successful and timely outcome of a building project. A project manager is generally responsible for planning the project, identifying what needs to be done and who's going to do it, recruitment, keeping the project within budget and on track. The role is also about managing risks and dealing with unforeseen issues, both small and large, as they arise.

Structural engineer

A structural engineer examines a building design or layout and calculates the loads and stresses, then fits the structure to the architecture, deciding which materials should be used in the construction of the building. Structural engineers are also often involved in the demolition or dismantling of a building or significant structural repair jobs.


It's the job of a surveyor to update boundary lines and prepare sites for construction. This involves making precise measurements about the shape and contour of the Earth's surface and providing this information to architects and building designers.


Some people are confused between the difference between a joiner and a carpenter. While both are similar construction trades, a joiner's role is to join wood in a workshop whereas carpenters construct a building's elements on-site. Joiners commonly make door and window frames, stairs and fitted furniture such as kitchen cabinetry.


As the name suggests, a tiler is responsible for the placement of tiles on either floors or walls. This can range from domestic kitchens and bathrooms through to shops, hotels or restaurants. A tiler can also take on specialist jobs such as swimming pools and mosaics in landscape gardening.

Painter and decorator

Primarily a painter and decorator is responsible for painting domestic, commercial and industrial buildings and some infrastructure. They also use a wide variety of other materials such as varnish, filler, plaster and sealant.


Plumbers install and repair water supply lines, waste disposal systems and related appliances like taps and toilet cisterns. Plumbers are often involved in the design and fabrication of these water supply and waste disposal systems as well.