A new survey of contractors and consumers found that roofing is perceived as the most physically demanding construction trade, while electrical work seems to be the most difficult to master.
CraftJack, a contractor lead service, surveyed 1,609 contractors and 652 consumers, asking them to rank 32 contractor job types based on how difficult they are to master and to perform. Contractors and consumers seemed to mostly agree on the hardest jobs.
Thirteen percent of contractors said roofing was the most demanding job and 23% responded that electrical work was the hardest to master. Meanwhile 20% of consumers surveyed deemed roofing the most physically demanding and 38% said electrical work seemed the hardest to master.
Most Physically Demanding
Matt Zajechowski, a spokesman for CraftJack, said the firm did not look at project size and found no correlation between difficulty ranking and salary.
Many studies have shown that construction is one of the most dangerous jobs and roofing is at the top of the list. A recent CNBC analysis of BLS data found that roofers, with an annual median wage of $39,970. had 51.5 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time workers. (Click here for a ranking of construction industry salaries by job type.)
Greg Sizemore, vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development for Associated Builders and Contractors, said he found CraftJack's comparison of jobs arbitrary.
“If I walk up to a carpenter and say ‘Is your job difficult?’ I expect him or her to say ‘Yeah,’” said Sizemore. “But I also expect the next guy to say his job is just as difficult.”
Sizemore also said he thought all the jobs were challenging to learn and complex in their own ways, even if some take longer than others to master.
Hardest to Master
At the end of the day, Sizemore said a more important way to recruit new construction workers is to let young people know that the industry offers a range of attractive career choices.