After months of being stalled in Congress, President Joe Biden's $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is ready for his signature on Monday. The bill aims to improve U.S. roads, bridges, and water systems, and includes funding for projects in public transportation and broadband.
"This is a tremendous federal investment that will have an impact throughout the entire jobs market," says Scott Blumsack, SVP of research and insights at Monster Worldwide. "Based on the overwhelming scope of the bill, we should see increases in jobs across various sectors and skill levels."
Here are five jobs IIJA could create, according to Blumsack, as well as the kind of experience required and their median annual salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Construction workers clean and prepare construction sites, load and unload materials to be used, build scaffolding to help with construction, and operate equipment used for building.
Median annual salary: $37,080
Experience and other requirements: Some employers may require certifications like an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction Certificate or a Silica in Construction Certificate.
Truck drivers drive long distances to transport goods from one location to another. They secure the cargo in the truck, inspect their trailers before leaving, and report any problems along the way.
Median annual salary: $47,130
Experience and other requirements: Drivers must have a commercial driver's license and must attend a professional truck driving school.
Architects plan and design indoor and outdoor structures. They estimate costs and construction time, prepare drawings of the structures, and manage construction contracts.
Median annual salary: $82,320
Experience and other requirements: A bachelor's degree in architecture, an internship in the field, a passing Architect Registration Examination®, and state licensure.
Video by Courtney Stith
These engineers design, develop, and build devices like engines and machines. They attempt to solve problems with their devices, investigate problems that may arise, and change their designs if necessary.
Median annual salary: $90,160
Experience and other requirements: A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.
"While hopefully the pandemic ends soon, the crisis did spotlight that public goods, like infrastructure, matter," says AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at Indeed. Having access to the internet "took on new, critical meanings during the pandemic."
With new investments in broadband, cybersecurity analysts will be needed. They monitor networks for security breaches, install software that protects users' information, and test for vulnerabilities in any system.
Median annual salary: $103,590
Experience and other requirements: A bachelor's degree in a computer-related field.
"It will take a few months for many of these projects to be fully scoped, so a realistic timeline would be early 2022 for infrastructure jobs to take off," says Blumsack. "That said, there is already a demand for many of these jobs. We saw construction increase in October, and truck driver jobs are consistently in demand."
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