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A boilermaker makes, installs and maintains boilers, tanks and vats. Boilers heat a liquid used to generate electric power or heat to buildings, factories or ships. Tanks and vats are storage containers for chemicals, oil and other liquids. Work is in industrial facilities such as chemical plants and refineries. Welding is a core competency, as is proficiency with hand and power tools.


Bricklayers build walls, fireplaces, chimneys and other structural forms from brick & materials like firebrick, concrete or gypsum block. They work with brick & mortar using trowels, chisel jointers, brick hammers & power tools. They can read and work from blueprints. Bricklayers also use measuring, leveling and aligning tools to check their work.


Carpenters measure, saw, level and nail wood and other building materials. They install tile and insulation, acoustical ceilings, cabinets, siding and much more. Various tools and materials are used to build houses, skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels and highways. Carpenters make up the largest single group of skilled workers in the country.

Cement Masons

Cement masons level, smooth and shape surfaces of freshly poured concrete. Projects include; patios, floors, sidewalks, dams and concrete surfaces such as highways, foundations, walls and airport runways. Residential projects include basements and driveways. They must know the characteristics of various cement and concrete mixes.

Craft Laborers

Craft laborers are skilled workers who build and repair roads, highways, bridges, sewers, and tunnels; construct buildings; clean up hazardous waste sites; and much more. Among the tasks one could be doing include drilling and blasting, erecting scaffolds, pipe laying, grade checking, cutting steel, operating power equipment, and traffic control.


Electrical construction workers are engaged in new construction, remodeling, maintenance and repair. Much of the work involves installation, assembling, testing, repairing, layout and design of electrical wiring, fixtures, and apparatus used for power, lighting, heating, air conditioning and many types of control systems. Many jobs now incorporate computer and fiber optics as well.


Floorlayers cut, fit and install hardwood flooring, tile and carpet. They scribe, cut fit, layout, sew and seam in a variety of patterns. They must be good at estimating materials and doing layout since they will work with precise specifications from architects and interior designers. Various geometrical designs and inlays showcase their creativity.


Glaziers cut and install various types and sizes of glass, such as plate glass of all kinds and thicknesses, clear and heat absorbing window glass, mirrors, leaded glass panels and insulating glass units. Glaziers also fabricate and install aluminum entrances, sidelights and show windows. They fit and install plastic and porcelain panels in metal and wood frames.

HVAC Technicians

Technicians install, service and repair industrial, commercial and residential refrigeration, air conditioning and heating equipment. They install motors, compressors, temperature controls, circulating/ventilating equipment, and control circuits according to blueprints and engineering specifications.


The works of an insulator covers industrial, commercial, transportation and cryogenics. Insulators work in industries such as chemical process and petrochemical. The commercial field includes buildings, building services and refrigerated spaces. Work in the transportation industry includes the insulation of trucks, trailers, railroad cars and ships. Cryogenics is the field of low temperature services, such as required by the liquefied gasses. Today, insulators work with many types of materials, such as fiberglass, cork and calcium silicate. They insulate hot and cold piping refrigerant lines, ductwork, boilers and tanks.


Ironworkers erect structural steel such as beams, girders, plates, channels, angles and columns, and unite them permanently to form the framework of a structure. Structural steel work consists of rigging and hoisting equipment, erecting steel, connecting, plumbing and aligning, bolting and welding. Ironworkers work at reinforcing steel and positioning cables in concrete as well as setting pre-cast concrete.


Millwrights install conveyor systems, escalators, giant electrical turbines and generators and do maintenance of machinery in factories and perform precision work in nuclear power plants. They are skilled mechanics who study and interpret blueprints. Their expertise includes drilling, welding and bolting.


Painters prepare surfaces of buildings and other structures and then apply paint by means of brushes, rollers or sprayers. They work with varnish, enamels, lacquer and other materials. They paint interior rooms and cover walls with paper, fabrics, vinyls or other materials. Painters must be able to mix paints as well as do sandblasting and water blasting.


Piledrivers work with pile driving rigs—machines that look like cranes but they drive metal, concrete or wood piling into the earth during early stages of construction. Piledrivers drive metal sheet piling to hold back dirt during excavations. They also drive concrete and metal pilings as part of the foundation system upon which skyscrapers are built and they drive wood and concrete pilings to hold up docks, wharfs and bridges.


Plasterers are the building craftsmen who apply plaster to interior walls and ceilings to form fire-resistant and relatively soundproof surfaces, which may then be decorated. They also apply stucco to exterior walls (exterior insulation finish systems) and cast ornamental designs in plaster.


Plumbers assemble, install, inspect and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water, and drainage systems, according to specifications and plumbing codes, using hand tools, power tools and welding mechanisms. Plumbing expertise is needed in industrial, commercial and public facilities, not just homes.


Roofers install roofs on buildings and other structures to make them waterproof and weatherproof. They apply composition shingles, tile, slate and composition roofs. Today’s equipment lessens the physical exertion that was formerly required. Roofers are also called up to waterproof and damp-proof walls and other building surfaces.

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet metal workers fabricate and install ducts used in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. They also fabricate and install metal roofs, architectural sheet metal, paint ovens, spray booths, dust collecting systems and food service equipment. Work is laid out on metal sheets according to blueprints, then formed, fabricated and installed on the job site.


Steamfitters are employed by power generating plants, manufacturers, utility companies, oil refineries, gas plants and chemical plants. They layout, assemble, fabricate, maintain and repair piping systems which carry water, steam, chemicals or fuel used in heating, cooling, lubricating and other processes. Welding is a core competency, as is proficiency with hand and power tools.

Tile Setters

Installing tile and marble is a creative process which requires precision, flair and competency with hand and power tools. Tile setter work is physically demanding, with workers spending much of their time reaching, bending, and kneeling. Those in commercial settings may work evenings and weekends.

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