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Scope of Work – Carpenters measure, saw, level and nail wood and other building materials.  They install tile and insulation, acoustical ceiling, cabinets, siding and much more.  They work with many tools and materials to build houses, erect skyscrapers, construct bridges, tunnels and highways.  Carpenters make up the largest single group of skilled workers in the country. Work includes rough and finish carpentry, forms for concrete work and many other specialties.  Completion of apprenticeship program may qualify for credit hours toward Construction Technology Degree Program at Henry Ford Community College.

Working Conditions – The typical workday for a carpenter begins early.  He/she is often on the job site with a tool box before daybreak and he/she is hard at work before the sun is high in the sky.  Much of the work is outdoors, but modern construction methods have eased the problems of the summer’s heat and the winter’s cold.  The average carpenter usually wears a hard hat, tough, durable work clothes and safety shoes or sturdy high-top shoes.


PLUMBER – Scope of Work – Responsible for the installation of water line systems to kitchens, bathrooms, lavatories, etc., in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.  Also install natural gas and air lines.  Assemble, install and repair pipes, fittings and fixtures according to specifications and plumbing codes.  Measure, cut, thread, bend, install and tests pipes and pipefittings.  Work according to blueprints, specifications and working drawings to perform the work required in sequence of installations.

Working Conditions – Active and strenuous.  Stand for prolonged periods, sometimes in cramped, uncomfortable positions.  Must climb ladders and also work below ground level.  Work can be dirty, particularly on waste systems.

PIPE FITTER – Scope of Work – Install piping systems that carry hot water, steam, air or other liquids or gases needed for industrial production, or other uses.  Install both high or low pressure systems, especially in industrial and commercial buildings.  Lay out, fabricate and assemble pipes from drawings, blueprints and specifications.  They also work on pipes for heating and cooling systems, and install automatic fire-sprinkler systems in buildings.

Working Conditions – Pipe Fitters work both inside and out.  In new construction, Pipe Fitters move onto the project after the basic structure is erected.  The work is active and strenuous.  There is a great deal of walking, standing, reaching, lifting and working in cramped quarters.  They are subject to the hazards of working with and around high-pressure gas, steam and chemical lines.


Scope of Work – The work of Electrical Construction Workers (Inside Wiremen) can be divided into broad categories such as new construction, remodeling, maintenance, and repair.  While the jobs differ, the mental and physical skills acquired in a properly designed and administered training program prepare the electrical worker for this entire range of work.  During a career as an electrical construction worker, a person will likely be involved in many different types of jobs presenting many new and different challenges, working with his or her hands as well as with their mind.  Much of the work involves installation, assembling, testing, repairing, layout, and design of electrical wiring, fixtures, and apparatus used for power, light, heating, air conditioning, and many types of control systems.  Many jobs now incorporate computers.  Due to the nature of the work, above average math and reading skills are essential.

Working Conditions – Work is done both indoors and outdoors in all temperatures, weather, and environmental conditions.  The trade, at times, requires considerable physical effort for lifting, carrying materials, ladders, and tools, and climbing ladders and scaffolds.  Since most of the work is performed from ladders, scaffolds, or powered lifts, the Electrical Construction Worker must be comfortable working at a variety of heights.  Most job functions require the use of hand and power tools.


Scope of Work – Work includes indoor and outdoor work, brush/roller/spray, with most work being more than 10′ off the ground (towers, tall buildings, etc.).  Painters prepare surfaces of buildings and other structures and then apply paint by means of brushes, rollers or sprayers.  Work with varnish, enamels, lacquer and other materials.  May also paint interior rooms or cover walls with paper, fabrics, vinyls or other materials (paperhanger).  The painters must be able to mix paints as well as do sandblasting and waterblasting.

Working Conditions – Painters work both indoors and out.  Outside work is done in relatively mild weather.  In some jobs, especially maintenance and redecoration of offices and building, the painter may be required to work evenings or weekends.  Work is seasonal; however, new materials and methods tend to give more steady employment throughout the year.  Physical and health hazards include the dangers of poisoning, falling from ladders and scaffolds, breathing paint fumes and dust.  The work involves standing, bending, climbing and working with arms over the head most of the time.


Scope of Work – Roofers specialize in putting roofs on buildings and other structures to make them waterproof and weatherproof.  They apply composition shingles, tile, slate and composition roofs.  They use modern equipment to handle their materials, thereby lessening the physical exertion that was formerly required.  Roofers are also called to waterproof and damp-proof walls and other building surfaces.

Working Conditions – With the exception of waterproofing of some walls, the roofers work outdoors in all kinds of weather and only shut down operations when the weather becomes too severe.  Most of the time they work on the top of buildings installing roofing materials.  In their work, they do a great deal of climbing, kneeling, standing and walking.


Scope of Work – Iron workers are skilled workers who erect, assemble, or install fabricated structural metal products, usually large metal beams, in the erection of industrial, commercial or large residential buildings.  Structural Iron workers erect the steel framework of bridges and buildings.  Reinforcing Rod Iron workers set steel bars or steel mesh in concrete forms to strengthen concrete in buildings and bridges.  Ornamental Iron workers install metal stairways, catwalks, gratings, grills, screens, fences and decorative ironwork.  The Rigger is an iron worker whose job is to move heavy machinery, using rollers, forklifts and other sources of power.

Working Conditions – Most of the work is done outdoors, with the exception of some of the ornamental ironwork, remodeling and repair work.  Most iron work can be carried on year-round except in instances of very severe weather.  Because Iron workers risk injury from falls from great heights, safety devices such as nets, safety belts and scaffolding are used. They do a great deal of climbing, balancing and reaching.


Scope of Work – Elevator constructors handle the installation, repair, and maintenance of elevators, escalators, moving walks, dumbwaiters, manlifts, all types of handicap lifts.

Boiler makers

Scope of Work –  Assemble boilers, tanks, vats and pressure vessels according to blueprint specifications, using power tools and handtools.  The duties of the boilermaker include welding, acetylene burning, riveting, caulking, rigging, fitting up, grounding, reaming and impact machine operating. Construction and repair of utility plants, chemical plants, automotive plants, refineries, paper and steel manufacturing facilities, ore processing and mine plants throughout the entire State of Michigan..

Working Conditions – Active and strenuous.  Stand for prolonged periods.  Indicate no fear of height or hazardous work, confined space work or work in the nuclear industry.  Frequently work in dirty conditions on dirty equipment.  Working indoors or outdoors.


Scope of Work – Bricklayers construct walls, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures from brick.  They use other masonry materials such as concrete, cinder, or gypsum block, pre-cast panels made of brick, cement, tile, stone, marble, structural tile, or terra cotta.  They also install the brick linings of individual kilns and furnaces. They understand and work from blueprints.  They also use measuring, leveling and aligning tools to check their work.

Working Conditions – Much of the work is outdoors and generally depends on suitable weather conditions.  Active and often strenuous, with stooping and lifting.  Prolonged standing required.  Should have the ability to work at heights.


Scope of Work – Operating Engineers operate and maintain heavy and portable construction equipment.  Work includes operation and maintenance of construction equipment such as bulldozers, graders and cranes, scrapers, endloaders, and asphalt plants, rollers and pumps,  etc., on all types of projects – highway, commercial, industrial, residential, underground, etc.   The Operating Engineer is generally employed in the building of highways, airports, buildings, waterways, stadiums and sewers.

Working Conditions – Operators work outdoors and their work is often seasonal.  The equipment they operate can have open cabs such as pavers and roller compactors or crane and truck cabs that may have heating and air conditioning.


Scope of Work – Fabricates and installs ducts used in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.  In addition, fabricates and installs other products such as metal roof decks, architectural sheet metal products, paint ovens, spray booths, dust collecting systems, and food service equipment.  Work is laid out on metal sheets from blueprints, formed, fabricated and installed on the job site.

Working Conditions – Sheet Metal Workers are unique due to the fact that they do a great deal of shop fabrication compared to the other construction trades.  The products to be installed begin from a flat sheet of metal.  The sheet metal worker develops the patterns from shop drawings; after the components are fabricated, they are delivered to the job site for installation.


Scope of Work – Plasterers apply coats of plaster to interior walls, ceilings, and partitions of buildings to produce a uniform, finished surface. They also may produce and install decorative panels, rim, cornices and moldings. Cement Masons smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete floor, walls, sidewalks and curbs using handtools or power tools. They also may mold expansion joints and edges and removes rough or defective spots from concrete surfaces using power grinder or chisel and hammer, patches holes with fresh concrete or epoxy compounds.

Working Conditions – Plasterers typically work indoors involving reaching, bending and kneeling requiring endurance but not exceptional strength. Cement Masons typically work outside although inside work is not unusual. Much of the day includes climbing, balancing, stooping and kneeling and good physical endurance is required.