Architecture and Construction

About This Cluster

A career in construction could be perfect for a person who is up for a physical challenge.  It is an industry that is looking for people that possess the required hands-on skills.  The construction business is considered to be tough, but at the same time it is also a rewarding one.  The prospects of growth for a worker in the construction business are very good compared to other career options.

Each job comes with unique working conditions; from simple loading and unloading, to challenging heights, or exposure to hazardous materials, construction workers need to be prepared for anything!   While projects can pause for inclement weather, you will need to be willing to work in heat, cold, rain, and just about everything else Mother Nature can throw at you. In return, you get a rewarding career that offers incredible variety, and provides plenty of opportunities to pursue the specialties that interest you.

An Architect works as a professional in the construction industry, and they are involved in designing new residential and commercial buildings, as well as extensions and/or alterations to existing buildings.  The design process includes thinking about a buildings style, function, and sustainability, while at the same time creating a safe, economical environment for the building users.  An Architect is in control of a project from start to finish, and work closely with a number of construction related professionals. Architect’s work can vary from freelance and small scale projects to working on landmarks with multinational organizations.

Skills and Interests

  1. Helpful Traits:
    • Passion, Easy Going
    • Confidence, Creativity
    • Adaptability, Time management
    • Detail oriented
    • Desire to Learn
    • Communication Skills
  2. Skills and Studies 
    • Design Talent
    • Engineering ability
    • Social awareness
    • Business Aptitude
    • Legal Knowledge
    • Complex problem solving
    • Critical Thinking
    • Negotiation
    • Active Listening
    • System Analysis
    • Management of Resources

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Local High School Programs/Classes: After high school, the best way to learn a construction trade is by completing an apprenticeship. All the construction trade unions sponsor joint apprenticeships with their participating contractors. When compared to college which is very expensive, an apprenticeship you can earn while you learn!

Career and Technical Education Programs:

Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES:

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES:

Local College / University Majors:


Can’t find what you’re looking for? Search colleges by location and interest here.

Earnings and Outlook

The National Bureau of Labor statistics reports the mean hourly wage for construction workers at $28.71 per hour and $59,720 annually in New York State. Wages differ for each construction trade; in general the trades that are more technical or require more skill (therefore require more training) have higher wages. Apprentices are paid a percentage of the Journeyman wage; a beginning apprentice makes 40-50% of the Journeyman wage; apprentices receive periodic increases as they complete the training program which lasts 4 to 5 years.

It is important to remember that construction work cycles through good times and bad; when the economy is good more building is going on and more construction workers are employed. When the economy slows down so does the amount of construction employment. Typically construction wages are $6-$10 per hour higher than that of a maintenance worker doing the same trade to compensate the construction worker for the variable nature of employment. Construction workers often collect unemployment benefits during the off season or during slow work times. The national average annual salary for an entry level Architect (Architect I) is approximately $47,000.  The range varies from $38,000 to $54,000.  The national average annual salary for the senior level Architect (Architect V) is approximately $80,500.  The range varies from $63,000 to $97,000.  This information is based off the data provided for United States architecture salaries found on


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