Construction Workers with Multiple Construction Skills Feel more On-the-Job Satisfaction

Construction industry trades workers excel at multiskilling and have high job satisfaction, according to Dr. Tim Taylor, Research Director for the National Center for Construction Education.

In a related study, construction workers report higher levels of job satisfaction than all other industries combined, according to data from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. As little as 86 percent and up to 89 percent of people working in the construction trades like their jobs.

What may be even more surprising is this story isn’t new. High job satisfaction in the construction trades has consistently been reported, even during tumultuous economic times, since 1974.

One reason for that may be the combination of pay and flexibility that this career path offers. While just over nine percent of craft professionals are trained in more than one skill area, the availability of a multiskilled craft workforce has steadily increased since 2005, and the trend is expected to continue into 2030,” Taylor said.

Trades Professionals Seek Additional Skills Training

Multiskilling is driven by current worker demand. Many trades professionals are motivated to become multiskilled workers. They’re motivated by more consistent employment, higher wages, more challenging work, and an interest in learning new skills.

According to research conducted by the Construction Industry Institute, the most important workforce development element is the industry’s (union, shop, foreman) commitment to providing a formal craft skills training program. The contractors, owners, and other training professionals that participated in the study shared the same perception towards the importance of including multiskilled workforce development in training programs.

In March, researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) presented the top 10 dual-skill pairings among craft professional populations between 2005 and 2019.

  • Rigger and pipefitter
  • Rigger and boilermaker
  • Boilermaker and pipefitter
  • Pipefitter and ironworker
  • Pipefitter and instrumentation electrician
  • Ironworker and carpenter
  • Pipefitter and crane operator
  • Scaffold and insulation
  • Ironworker and crane operator
  • Pipefitter and millwright

ConstructionCareers.org features more than 30+ union Minnesota trades and apprenticeship programs. Pipefitter, boilermaker, ironworker, and many other of the multiskilled crafts listed above have trade-specific information found on the Careers page.