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Industry characteristics

In the United States, the industry in 2014 has around $960 billion in annual revenue according to statistics tracked by the Census Bureau, of which $680 billion is private (split evenly between residential and nonresidential) and the remainder is government. In 2005, there were about 667,000 firms employing 1 million contractors (200,000 general contractors, 38,000 heavy, and 432,000 specialty); the average contractor employed fewer than 10 employees. As a whole, the industry employed an estimated 5.8 million in April 2013, with a 13.2% unemployment rate. In the United States, approximately 828,000 women were employed in the construction industry as of 2011. Skilled occupations include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, ironworkers, masons, and many other manual crafts, as well as those involved in project management. In the UK these require further education qualifications, often in vocational subject areas. These qualifications are either obtained directly after the completion of compulsory education or through "on the job" apprenticeship training.In the UK, 8500 construction-related apprenticeships were commenced in 2007.

Technical and specialized occupations require more training as a greater technical knowledge is required. These professions also hold more legal responsibility. A short list of the main careers with an outline of the educational requirements are given below: In 2010 a salary survey revealed the differences in remuneration between different roles, sectors and locations in the construction and built environment industry. The results showed that areas of particularly strong growth in the construction industry, such as the Middle East, yield higher average salaries than in the UK, for example. The average earning for a professional in the construction industry in the Middle East, across all sectors, job types and levels of experience, is £42,090, compared to £26,719 in the UK. This trend is not necessarily due to the fact that more affluent roles are available; however, as architects with 14 or more years' experience working in the Middle East earn on average £43,389 per annum, compared to £40,000 in the UK. Some construction workers in the US/Canada have made more than $100,000 annually, depending on their trade.