The Architecture and Construction cluster is about using your skills in design, planning and management to work in careers building and maintaining structures such as buildings, homes, bridges, or machinery. Work opportunities include developing new structures, restorations, additions, alterations, and repairs. Construction is the pathway with the highest number of employment opportunities.Civil engineers – who work on construction projects in the public and private sector – should see prospects grow due to many factors, including the need to upgrade aging infrastructure and an increase in renewable energy projects. Carpenters also should see favorable job prospects. As the population grows, more homes will need to be built, which will drive the need for carpenters. Home remodeling needs also will drive the demand for carpenters. An increase in construction jobs over the next decade should increase the need for architects. Architects with strong technical skills and knowledge of sustainable, or “green,” design will have better job prospects.
Employment Projections: 2016-2026*
The Architecture & Construction cluster employed approximately 288,200 Virginians in 2016 and is projected to employ about 22,800 more Virginia workers in 2026, for a total of about 311,000. This represents approximately 8 percent growth in Virginia over the decade. Nationally, there is also expected to be 11 percent average growth among all occupations in this cluster by 2026, based on Trailblazers analysis of information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
*NOTE: The methodology for classifying occupations within the cluster/pathway system has been updated since the previous data cycle (2014-24), so 2016-26 Trailblazers employment projection data may not be comparable to data from previous cycles.
For more information on occupations in the Architecture & Construction Cluster, visit Trailblazers – Career and Technical Education in Virginia(PDF).
|Selected Occupation(s)||Employed in Virginia
|2017 Median Wage||Predominant Level of Education|
|Landscaping and Groundskeeping
|34,720||$27,350||High School Diploma & Training/Certification|
|Construction Laborers||28,300||$29,440||High School Diploma & Training/Certification|
|Carpenters||25,309||$41,340||High School Diploma & Work experience|
|First-Line Supervisors of Construction
Trades and Extraction
|20,847||$62,970||High School Diploma & Training/Certification|
|Electricians||18,189||$48,110||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters||14,322||$47,270||High School Diploma & Training/Certification|
|Heating, Air Conditioning, and
|11,876||$48,950||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Operating Engineers and
Other Construction Equipment Operators
|11,173||$40,050||High School Diploma & Training/Certification|
|Painters, Construction and Maintenance||10,877||$36,980||High School Diploma & Training/Certification|
|Construction Managers||8,454||$100,730||Bachelor's or more & Training/Certification|
- Wage data: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2017.
- Employment projections data: Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Long-Term Occupational Projections, 2016-2026.
- Predominant education level: Trailblazers through the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
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.
Report: Education, Employment and Earnings: Analyzing Data from Architecture & Construction
Cluster Analysis Document for Virginia
Current research relative to employment sectors and information on occupation supply and demand. The information is presented in two formats: a summary brief and a detailed report.
Nontraditional Careers: Occupational and Employment Information
- Executive Summary – Architecture and Construction in Virginia (PDF)
- Architecture and Construction in Virginia (PDF)
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- Associated General Contractors of Virginia
- The American Institute of Architects
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? - 2017 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.