Construction Industry Overview

The Construction Industry

The Construction Industry includes establishments primarily engaged in the construction of buildings (homes, offices) or engineering projects (highways and utility systems). Establishments engaged in the preparation of sites for new construction and subdividing land for sale as building sites also are included.  Construction work done may include new work, additions, alterations, or maintenance and repairs.

Construction companies that include responsibility for all aspects of individual construction
projects are commonly known as general contractors, but also may be known as design-builders, construction managers, or turnkey contractors.  Construction companies that provide oversight and scheduling only, as well as construction managers that are responsible for the entire project are included as general contractor type establishments.  General contractors frequently arrange construction of separate parts of their projects through subcontracts with other construction establishments.

Construction companies engaged in activities to produce a specific component (e.g., masonry, painting, and electrical work) of a construction project are commonly known as specialty trade contractors.  Activities of specialty trade contractors are usually subcontracted from other construction establishments, but especially in remodeling and repair construction, the work may be done directly for the owner of the property.


Types of Construction Companies
There are substantial differences in the types of equipment, work force skills, and other inputs required by establishments in this sector. To highlight these differences and variations in the underlying production functions, this sector is divided into three subsectors.

Construction of Buildings, comprises establishments of the general contractor type and for-sale builders involved in the construction of buildings of all types and sizes.  The work performed may include new work, additions, alterations, or maintenance and repairs.  Part or all of the production work for which the establishments in this subsector have responsibility may be subcontracted to other construction establishments--usually specialty trade contractors.

Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction,  The Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction subsector comprises establishments whose primary activity is the construction of entire engineering projects (e.g., highways and dams), and specialty trade contractors, whose primary activity is the production of a specific component for such projects. Specialty trade contractors in the Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction subsector generally are performing activities that are specific to heavy and civil engineering construction projects and are not normally performed on buildings.

Specialty Trade Contractors, comprises establishments engaged in specialty trade activities (e.g. plumbing, carpentry, etc.) generally needed in the construction of all types of buildings. The Specialty Trade Contractors subsector comprises establishments whose primary activity is performing specific activities (e.g., pouring concrete, site preparation, plumbing, painting, and electrical work) involved in building construction or other activities that are similar for all types of construction, but that are not responsible for the entire project. The work performed may include new work, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs.

Another specialty area of construction work is that performed by an organization primarily engaged in some business other than construction for its own account, using employees of the enterprise (e.g. an electric power utility or a telecommunications company). This activity is not included in the construction sector unless the construction work performed is the primary activity of a separate establishment of the enterprise.

Source - NAICS, US Department of Commerce