The Architecture and Construction cluster is about careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment. Think about your home, school, or local retail center. Careers in this cluster are responsible for the details of designing, constructing, and equipping these buildings. That ranges from the architects designing the look and flow of the building, to the carpenters and stone masons building its walls, to the electricians and installers of heating and air conditioning. Architects with knowledge of sustainable, or green, design will be especially in demand.
Employment Projections: 2010-2020
Employment in the Architecture and Construction career cluster is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that nationwide employment in Architecture and Construction occupations was just over 9 million in 2010 and expects employment to grow to just over 11 million in 2020. This represents the addition of two million new jobs, and an increase in employment of 22 percent, making Architecture and Construction one of this decade's fastest growing pathways.
According to the BLS news release announcing this recent set of employment projections, "More than one-fourth of the projected fastest growing occupations are related to construction. Employment in most of these occupations, still at low levels in 2010 because of the 2007-09 recession, will recover along with the construction industry. But employment in most construction occupations is not expected to reach pre-recession levels."
The report Employment Projections for Architecture and Construction, 2010-2020 includes data on occupations growing faster that the nation average, pathways employment overview, occupations with the most job openings, and employment projections.
What They Make...
Occupations in this cluster and what they make in Virginia
|Occupation||Employed in VA||Typical salary 1||Typical entry-level Education|
|Architects||2,650||$45K–$118K||High school diploma|
|Architectural and civil drafters||1,420||$32K–$74K||Associate's degree|
|Brickmasons and blockmasons||2,350||$29K–$78K||High school diploma|
|Carpenters||15,770||$25K–$73K||High school diploma|
|Cement masons and concrete finishers||4,300||$23K–$64K||Less than high school|
|Civil engineering technicians||2,740||$30K–$72K||Associate's degree|
|Civil engineers||8,310||$51K–$122K||Bachelor's degree|
|Construction equipment operators||9,200||$27K–$73K||High school diploma|
|Construction laborers||20,640||$19K–$58K||Less than high school|
|Construction managers||5,310||$50K–$145K||Associate's degree|
|Electricians||16,840||$30K–$83K||High school diploma|
|First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers||18,050||$37K–$94K||High school diploma|
|Heating, AC, and refrigeration techs||8,330||$27K–$69K||Postsecondary non-degree award|
|Interior designers||1,100||$26K–$87K||Bachelor's degree|
|Painters, construction and maintenance||5,930||$23K–$60K||Less than high school|
|Plumbers, pipe fitters, and steamfitters||1,880||$18K–$40K||High school diploma|
110th to 90th percentile
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Cluster Planning
A resource for counselors, administrators, and educators
CTE Administrative Planning Guide (APG) – includes information to help local school divisions plan and schedule instructional programs. The APG is organized by career clusters, with a complete listing of courses, concentration sequences, and credentials available to students as they plan for career entry and continuing education. Users may access course information by cluster or by searching for specific courses or certifications.
A resource for students and counselors
Career Planning Guide – includes an easy way for students and counselors to look for courses to further career goals. One can search for occupations, browse by Career Clusters or favorite academic subjects.
Information and tips for instructional leaders, administrators, counselors and teachers/faculty for creating a career pathway academic and career plan of study.
- Architecture & Construction Cluster Information
- Checklist for Developing Career Clusters Plans of Study (Word)
Sample Academic and Career Plans of Study
School divisions are asked to develop sample plans of study based on the courses offered within their schools, the employment needs of the region, and the post-high school educational opportunities needed for these careers. Once these sample plans are developed, they can be customized to the needs of individual students so that all students have the opportunity to have an individualized academic and career plan of study.
Sample Pathway Plans of Study for Architecture & Construction.
- Construction (Word)
- Design / Pre-Construction (Word)
- Maintenance Operations (Word)
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) (Word)
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
- Architecture and Construction in Virginia – Career Cluster Brief (PDF)
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- Associated General Contractors of Virginia
- The American Institute of Architects
- National Electrical Contractors Association
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2014 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the WeldonCooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.