Job Family: Construction, Building, and Extraction Construction Specialists
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard  | National Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile 1 |  Profile 2 |  Career Path
Photo 1: Specialists prepare housing. Photo 2:
Crew members construct interior walls.

Robert Sheipline
Occupation: Construction Specialist

My dad had been in the Air Force for four years and talked about it a lot. After taking a few college classes, I was ready for a change. I decide…

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Zac Swank
Occupation: Combat Engineer

My dad was in the Air Force. He’d talk about all branches of Service but there’s one story in particular that convinced me a Marine was…

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Short Description
The military builds many temporary and permanent structures each year. Lumber, plywood, plasterboard, and concrete and masonry (bricks, stone, and concrete blocks) are the basic building materials for many of these projects. Construction specialists build and repair buildings, bridges, foundations, dams, and bunkers. They work with engineers and other building specialists as part of military construction teams.


What They Do
Construction specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Build and repair wood, concrete and masonry structures; perform rough and finished carpentry and masonry
  • Install sheet rock, paneling, ceramic tile, millwork, trim, and perform paint and preservation
  • Lay roofing materials, such as asphalt, tile, and wooden shingles
  • Build forms: mix, place, and finish concrete for various types of projects
  • Use hand and power tools, such as hammers, power saws, levels, and drills
  • Operate and maintain carpentry and cabinet making shops
  • Perform tasks required in combat and disaster preparedness or recovery operations

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include math, woodworking, and industrial arts. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to work with blueprints
  • Interest in using hand and power tools
  • Preference for physical work
  • Interest in construction projects

Training Provided
Job training consists of instruction, including practice with carpentry and masonry tools. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
  • Building construction
  • Masonry construction methods
  • Types and uses of construction joints and braces
  • Interpretation of blueprints and drawings
  • How to mix and set concrete, mortar, and plaster
  • Cabinetmaking

Work Environment
Construction specialists work indoors and outdoors on construction sites.


Civilian Counterparts
Civilian construction specialists usually work for construction or remodeling contractors, government agencies, utility companies, or manufacturing firms. They perform duties similar to military construction specialists. They may also be called bricklayers, stonemasons, cement masons, cement finishers, carpenters, or cabinetmakers.

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