There are few industries that signal good times in the economy as much as the construction industry does. From top to bottom it employs many thousands of people directly and hundreds of thousands indirectly to keep a good portion of the economy alive and well. It's hard to imagine what would happen if all of those people stopped working for one reason or another. Let's take a look at how far reaching the construction industry occupations are in the economy.
Jobs In The Construction Industry Start Before The Jobsite
Long before the first trench is dug and concrete is poured there are thousands of jobs in the construction industry just getting the materials ready. There are thousands of people working in the forests planting, caring for and then harvesting trees in nearly every state and country on earth. It takes millions of trees to be cut, debarked and then machined into boards of all different sizes and dimensions to build homes, office buildings, and warehouses.
In addition to that, there are also plenty of workers at the cement plants spread around the world where the ingredients are brought from mines and processed into cement that is then shipped to concrete plants. Once there, the cement is mixed with water and gravel to make concrete which is loaded into large concrete trucks that deliver it to job sites. At the job site, backhoes and track hoes will have already dug the trenches where the foundation will be laid and the form builders will have the forms precisely leveled and ready to be filled.
However, even before any cement is manufactured, trees planted, or foundations poured, all of the construction equipment had to be made as well. The bulldozers, backhoes, excavators, forklifts, and road graders would sit idle if there wasn't a construction industry using them on a daily basis.
Every Project Started On An Architects Drawing Board
While many homes can be built using plans bought from a book, most of those were originally designed by architects that were trained in building codes, construction techniques, and the uses of building materials. Without all of this planning, walls wouldn't line up, doorways would sag, and upper levels collapse because every part of the frame has to have the right support and strength.
Nearly all larger projects, like sky scrapers, hospitals, and manufacturing facilities have to be carefully designed individually to make sure they meet the requirements of the buyer and also will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other catastrophes that mother nature has to offer. An architectural firm will most likely be kept retained on all larger projects to revise the plans daily to conform to changes made per the requests of the owners and the municipality that is doing the inspections.
Once The Excavators, Foundation Workers, and Concrete Workers Are Done
That's when the thousands of board feet of construction materials will be delivered to the job site. They'll need forklifts, scaffolding, cranes, and other tools of the trade to get the materials off-loaded and into the project to be used. The framers will get busy, reading the plans, cutting the boards, and nailing them into place while their foreman reads the plans and keeps them on the right track. As each section is finished, then the electricians and plumbers, who also have a set of plans, will begin cutting holes in the framing to allow for water pipes, electrical wires, IT conduits, and sewer pipes that will all be needed for the occupants to use the finished building.
After all of the framing is up, the wiring and plumbing are installed, then the outer siding and interior sheet rock can be installed. Any outside walls will have to have insulation installed as well in order to keep the heat and cold from penetrating the walls to the interior of the building. Throughout the entire process, there will be a general contractor that makes sure that each type of contractor gets to the job on time, has the materials they need already on site, and makes sure that they follow the plans to the letter.
The framing of a building always seems to go very quickly since just a little bit of work will produce a lot of difference in the look of the structure. This is common, after the walls are up on any type of construction project it will seem like everything slows down to a crawl but this is because the finish work is more detailed and time consuming.
Once the basic structure is up, the real work starts with the roofers on top, the painters inside, and the flooring personnel doing their part as well. The plumbers will have to return and install all of the pluming fixtures and so will the electricians finishing up their fixtures as well.
There are literally millions of construction industry occupations and workers on every level of every project. It starts in the forests and the mines, moves to the job site, and continues until the entire job is done. Dozens of different trades and occupations working together with a construction manager and general contractor keep track of every little thing.