Beyond the Hard Hat: The Diverse Career Opportunities in Commercial Construction

Inside of the Crain Construction Office, featuring all-glass doors and exposed ceilings.

Most people have an outdated idea of what it’s like to work in commercial construction, one that includes manual labor and hard hats. In reality, individuals in varying roles can impact a project without ever setting foot on a job site. At Crain, every project we complete relies on a team of diverse professionals who use their passion and experience to deliver an exceptional experience for our clients.  

Whether you’re considering a job at Crain or looking to forge your career path in commercial construction, we’re here to show you plenty of roles that don’t require you to operate heavy machinery or haul materials to the construction site. What better way to do that than by letting our team share their experience and perspective on the topic?

Beyond the Hard Hat: Career Opportunities in Commercial Construction

Here are just a few career opportunities, along with insights from our team about what it’s like to work in the commercial construction industry:

1. Preconstruction Management 

Preconstruction has become an essential department in most commercial construction firms. Our preconstruction team helps build a solid foundation for projects by acting as a linchpin between the initial project concept and its execution. Most importantly, our preconstruction team plays a vital role in protecting building/design standards and managing risk at each phase of development before construction commences. A Preconstruction manager can collaborate with stakeholders across the project — including owners, architects, and trade partners — to build the construction team and identify important cost savings or logistical opportunities. 

One of our Preconstruction Managers, Justin Stephenson, recently shared what he loves most about the role: 

“I enjoy working with our team.  I have co-workers that I feel I can collaborate with to talk through challenges and get their input or advice. I also enjoy securing new projects for our company and setting up project teams to build relationships and structures to last a lifetime.”

2. Finance and Accounting Roles 

Budgeting and forecasting are two critical factors in commercial construction. ​​Our finance and accounting team members provide essential financial guidance and expertise, ensuring Crain’s financial health and stability. They also collaborate with project managers to create accurate financial forecasts, monitor cash flow, and facilitate efficient resource allocation. The team also plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with financial regulations, tax laws, and reporting requirements.

Here’s how our CFO, Jim Pedigo, describes what it’s been like to work in commercial construction finance for nearly 40 years: 

“Construction is unique. Every job we take on is different and comes with its own set of unique challenges. I’ve enjoyed doing my part in accounting and helping the team complete each job.”

3. Human Resources Roles 

Every project requires people, and HR plays an important role in supporting those workers. Our HR team plays a key role in fostering employee engagement, ensuring the satisfaction of our team members, and maintaining the strong company culture that makes Crain unique. They are also responsible for recruiting and hiring skilled employees with the necessary expertise for various construction roles. Additionally, HR professionals develop and implement effective training programs to enhance employee skills and ensure compliance with safety regulations. 

Julie Lamb, our Director of Human Resources, explains what it’s like to work at Crain after spending most of her career working in similar industries: 

“In construction, we “sell” our team’s knowledge and skill—so it’s all about our people. The projects that Crain constructs contribute to the betterment of our cities and communities. Seeing our logo on cranes around town gives me a feeling of pride, even if I’m not the one doing the building.”

 4. Operational and Administration Roles

Administrative and operational support is vital to the success of every company. The commercial construction industry is no different. With complex projects at various stages of completion, we need individuals to manage documentation, maintain records, and coordinate communication among team members and external stakeholders.

Here’s how our Office Administrator, Chloe Rawls, describes “a day in the life” of her role: 

“I have been given several opportunities for supporting projects, company events, or charity work that impacts our community. My daily tasks could include handling Certificate of Insurance for subcontractors, revising Standard Operating Procedures, and maintaining a stocked breakroom with supplies. But the favorite part of my role is being the first person to greet people when they walk into our building!”

Discover a Future at Crain Construction

We know that our company is nothing without our dedicated team members. If you’re looking for a new job in construction and you’re interested in joining our team, we’d love to connect. Reach out to our team to learn more about our available positions. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about working at Crain.

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