Home Builder Job Description
From new home development to existing home remodeling, home builders are involved in all aspects of residential construction. Home builders might also be referred to as contractors; they typically assume supervisory duties such as organizing workers, coordinating tasks, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations. In addition to supervisory responsibilities, home builders work alongside laborers to lay foundations, frame walls, install doors and windows, put down flooring, and install siding and roofs. A typical workday for a home builder can be more than the usual eight hours; when a project is underway, it could require home builders to work 10 to 12 hours per day or more to meet scheduled deadlines. Occasionally, home builders might work weekends if required. Home builders can work for contracting companies, construction companies, or work as an independent contractor.
Home Builder Duties and Responsibilities
While a home builder’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Perform Contractor Duties
Home builders are involved in the physical labor aspect of construction, such as framing houses, installing sheathing and subfloors, building foundations, and installing roofing. They also perform finishing work, such as flooring, trim work, and installing doors and windows.
Supervise Work Crews
It is often the responsibility of home builders to ensure that all workers and subcontractors are completing their assigned tasks. Home builders inspect daily work, ensure that work meets building codes, oversee safe working practices, and assemble work teams.
Prepare Job Estimates and Project Schedules
From estimating new construction or remodeling projects to setting deadlines and schedules, home builders handle every aspect of project management associated with this industry. Home builders price and select building materials, determine staffing, create project budgets, obtain necessary permits, arrange material deliveries, and revise schedules as needed.
Assist in the Design of New Homes
Home builders are sometimes involved in designing aspects of new home construction. They work with architects and home designers to lay out structural details, survey land, review blueprints, and modify layouts based on client needs.
Home Builder Skills and Qualifications
Like to work with your hands? Have a creative mind? Are you good at organizing crews and meeting deadlines? These are just some of the important qualities you’ll need to display as a successful home builder. We reviewed several online job postings and found the following skills to be most commonly mentioned:
- Carpentry – measuring and cutting wood, laying roofing shingles, and mixing and pouring concrete for foundational footings are just some of the building skills home builders must possess
- Physical fitness – home builders must be able to lift, carry, stand, bend, and kneel for long periods of time, which requires stamina and physical endurance
- Math skills – understanding measurements and simple math operations is essential for home builders
- Creativity – assisting with the design of practical and modern homes that suit individual client tastes and needs calls for strong creative skills
- Time management – meeting deadlines and completing homebuilding projects on time and within budget is an asset for home builders
- Attention to detail – home builders must ensure that projects adhere to all specifications and coding regulations
- Troubleshooting – when any aspect of the homebuilding process runs into trouble, home builders must address these issues and offer viable, effective solutions
- Analytical thinking – interpreting blueprints, schematics, and drawings calls for above-average analytical skills
Tools of the Trade
Home builders must be adept at using the following:
- Hand tools (saws, hammers, screwdrivers, crow bars)
- Power tools (circular saws, drills, nail guns)
Home Builder Education and Training
Many home builders learn through on-the-job training or by apprenticing with master carpenters or contractors. Some employers might seek job candidates who hold an associate’s degree in construction management, which includes courses on estimating, project scheduling, building codes, and construction materials. A bachelor’s degree in construction management might be required to advance in this field.
Home Builder Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary for carpenters, or home builders, is about $45,000 per year. In the lowest 10th percentile, home builders earn just over $27,000 annually, while top earners can realize a yearly salary of more than $80,000.
Overall, those involved in residential construction building make an average annual wage of more than $46,500, the BLS states. Those involved in foundation and structure work average closer to $47,000, while home builders working with finishing contractors can make just over $52,000. Geographically, the highest earners among home builders are in Hawaii, where the mean annual salary is about $71,000, followed by Alaska (about $69,500) and Illinois ($63,500).
The employment growth rate for home builders is projected to be 8 percent through 2026, according to the BLS. The upward trend in new home construction and renovations is expected to continue, which will drive this growth.
Do you want to build a career in this field? If so, take a look at the resources we’ve assembled below to learn more about becoming and working as a home builder:
National Association of Home Builders – from hosting the International Builders’ Show to providing educational opportunities, NAHB is a strong and supportive organization for home builders, contractors, remodelers, and building supply employees
NAHB’s Home Builder’s Handbook – learn all the ins and outs with this comprehensive book presented by the National Association of Home Builders. Learn how to create and stick to a budget, adhere to safety guidelines, handle contractual issues, and so much more
Custom Builder – this comprehensive website offers sections about homebuilding business tactics, design ideas and practices, product reviews, and more
Builder Magazine – home builders can access this digital publication to review articles about industry regulations, codes, safety practices, subcontracting, and marketing. They can also read articles reviewing various building materials and equipment
Associated Builders and Contractors – safety training, apprenticeships, webinars, and conferences are just a few of the highlights ABC members can enjoy and use to grow their careers
Modern Home Builder – want to read what industry leaders have to say? Review homebuilding trends? Get the details about notable homebuilding projects? This online publication, also available in print, is a must-read for upcoming and experienced home builders alike
ProBuilder Blog – home builders will want to check out this relevant blog, with posts about best practices, finding laborers, innovations, remodeling tools, and just about anything else a home builder needs to know
So… You Want to Build a House: A Complete Workbook for Building Your Own Home – though only about 100 pages, this book provides a detailed look at many aspects of homebuilding, from estimating, scheduling, controlling costs, and more. Geared toward homeowners or do-it-yourselfers, this book contains valuable information that home builders can benefit from
Home Builders’ Safety Program – this book provides complete coverage of safety planning and training for home builders. The insights here are applicable to any home construction business and can be customized for home builders of any level
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