The Best Entry-Level Jobs in the Building & Transportation Trades

by | Feb 17, 2022

Are you looking for a career where you can start on the ground floor and work your way up? If so, the building and transportation trades might be right for you. There are many great entry-level jobs in these industries, and they offer ample opportunities for advancement. 


If you’re ready to start your career, learn about some of the best entry-level positions in the building and transportation trades.




Entry-Level Jobs in the Building Trades


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the construction field is expected to increase at a rate of 7% from 2020 to 2030, which is equal to the average for all other occupations. The construction sector has a wide variety of entry-level positions.


​​As a general contractor, you can work with your hands on many types of construction projects. You’ll build houses, roads, hospitals, bridges, and other structures that are necessary for day-to-day living as a construction worker.


Many opportunities for professional development through training programs exist in the construction industry. For instance, employers usually pay more to have employees certified in hazardous materials handling. The median salary of a hazardous material removal worker is $45,270 per year.  


While your experience, goals, education, and core values are all critical considerations in the selection process, salary is often a significant consideration when looking for the ideal job. The following are some of the best entry-level construction jobs to consider.





Heavy Equipment Operator


Average Hourly Wage: $20.49

Heavy equipment operators drive, operate, and maintain large machines such as bulldozers, hydraulic cranes, forklifts, and backhoes. Workers in this job may be required to pave roads and transport and install construction materials. 


Heavy equipment operators must have a high school diploma or equivalent.




Professional Mason


Average Hourly Wage: $23.10

Masons construct sidewalks, curbs, floors, and walls, among other things, with concrete, brick, and stone. Masons mix and pour concrete to build walkways, curbs, foundations, and walls. 


It’s also critical for masons to read blueprints to ensure their work meets the contractor’s standards. You need a high school diploma, or GED is all it takes to become a mason, and some states require a government license.




Structural Ironworker


Average Hourly Wage: $22.51 

Ironworkers cut, weld, grind and mold metal to build columns, girders, beams, and other construction materials. They aid in the building of structures such as buildings and bridges. 


Individuals in this position collaborate with heavy equipment operators to deliver finished products to the correct job site location. 


Most companies simply need ironworkers to have a high school diploma or equivalent and professional accreditation.




Construction Inspector


Average Hourly Wage: $25.62

Construction inspectors ensure that projects comply with government codes, local rules, and the contractor’s standards. The construction inspector must approve plans that meet building codes and issue stop-work orders when required to ensure compliance. 


Individuals in this profession examine all structure components, including the framework, plumbing, and electrical systems. Construction inspectors often train to become civil engineers. 


A high school diploma or GED is sufficient for entry into this career, but some employers require a college education.




Apprenticeship Plumber


Average Hourly Wage: $15.74

Apprenticeships are a necessary component of the training that all plumbers must go through. An apprentice plumber’s job is to assist skilled and professional plumbers in completing their tasks, thus ensuring they function correctly and safely.


Although an apprentice plumber is still learning the trade, they will be expected to take on all traditional responsibilities of the job and be taught by their supervisors. Apprentices are frequently in charge of bringing equipment to a project area, delivering supplies, cleaning up after themselves, and other duties that make co-workers’ tasks easier in exchange for the knowledge and training.


Apprentices who want to become competent plumbers must learn a wide range of new skills and have the chance to apply them in the presence of professionals. Supervisors observe and critique apprentices’ efforts, providing advice and methods for improvement; as apprentices improve, they are given more challenging tasks and learn new skills such as replacing pipes, changing fittings, and finding leaks.




Professional Plumber


Average Hourly Wage: $22.50

After a plumbing apprenticeship, you’ll install pipes in building projects using blueprints. Drainage fixtures, toilets, sinks, and pipes for air, water, and other liquids are all under the jurisdiction of this job.




Professional Electrician


Average Hourly Wage: $22.99

Electricians install and maintain electrical wiring systems for building projects. They oversee the placement of lighting fixtures, circuit breakers, and other electrical control equipment.


In most states, an electrician only needs a high school diploma or GED to work; however, you must have a formal license in many jurisdictions.




Best Entry-Level Jobs in the Transportation Sector 


If construction isn’t the field you want to work in, consider working in the transportation sector. The transportation industry has plenty of high-paying skilled trade jobs.


These full-time jobs are in high demand, and some don’t require a college degree. Here are some of the best entry-level transportation jobs to consider.





Commercial Truck Driver


Average Hourly Wage: $20.37

Commercial truck drivers transport goods by operating tractor-trailers and other huge vehicles. While some may work locally, making deliveries to businesses and homes, others travel long distances or haul non-traditional freight, such as hazardous goods.


A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to perform this type of work. Truck drivers must also obtain endorsements to transport certain goods. Training programs are available to educate drivers on operating big trucks and preparing them for the CDL test. 




Customer Service Representative 


Average Hourly Wage: $14.80

Customer service representatives for logistic companies manage client accounts and deal with a high volume of inbound and outbound phone calls. They also maintain connections with carriers and consumers and provide exceptional customer service to clients and carriers. 


Someone in this role must solve customer and carrier issues and give customers shipment quotes.




Logistics Specialist


Average Hourly Wage: $36.67

To sustain a company’s growth and profitability, logistics professionals are in charge of efficiently organizing day-to-day logistics operations for their organization. One of their primary responsibilities is to draft initial paperwork regarding planning phases. They analyze contract proposals and process reports based on their findings. 


Logistics experts gather and analyze relevant information on performance standards most of the time. They also coordinate activities and verify that corporate resources are used effectively. Furthermore, they take part in and facilitate support evaluations. 




Find the Best Entry-Level Job in Building and Transportation Trades Near You


The building and transportation trades are great industries to start your career. There are many entry-level jobs available, and these careers offer ample opportunities for advancement. If you’re ready to start your job search, begin applying online to the best entry-level jobs in these industries. 


Use to search for trade careers using our sophisticated search engine and filters. Our free job search tools make it easy to find great entry-level positions near you in the building and transportation fields.