New study: The hardest contractor jobs in America

It’s easy for everyday Americans to misunderstand how much physical labor and hard-earned skilled is required for most contractor jobs thanks to the popularity of home improvement and DIY television shows. So, what type of contractor work is actually the most physically demanding?

contractor jobs

bridgesward / Pixabay

To try and find out, CraftJack recently surveyed 1,609 contractors as well as 952 American consumers, asking them to rank 32 different types of contractor work from the most physically demanding to the least as well as the trades that are the most difficult to master.

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Listed below are the top responses for the most physically demanding contactor jobs broken down by both contractor and consumer responses:

Most physically demanding jobs *according to contractors

  1. Roofing
  2. Demolition
  3. Carpentry
  4. Drywall & insulation
  5. Cleaning
  6. Masonry
  7. Electrical
  8. Excavation
  9. Landscaping, trees, shrubs
  10. Flooring
  11. Ceilings
  12. Cabinets & countertops
  13. Plumbing
  14. Carpet cleaning
  15. Painting & staining
  16. Junk Removal
  17. Other

Most physically demanding jobs *according to consumers

  1. Roofing
  2. Demolition
  3. Drywall & insulation
  4. Excavation
  5. Landscaping, trees, shrubs
  6. Masonry
  7. Junk removal
  8. Stone & tile
  9. Carpentry
  10. Ceilings
  11. Electrical
  12. Plumbing
  13. Swimming pools
  14. Other

Both consumers and contractors resoundingly agree that roofing and demolition are the most physically demanding trade jobs. Interestingly enough, contractors said that carpentry was one of the most physically demanding trades, it barely made the list for consumers showing a different perception on which jobs are the most physically demanding.

There are more skills needed than just pure muscle when it comes to contractor jobs in America. The second part of the survey asked both consumers and contractors about which line of work is most difficult to learn and master. Listed below is the top responses for the trades most difficult to master broken down by both contractor and consumer responses:

Most difficult jobs to master *according to contractors:

  1. Electrical
  2. Carpentry
  3. HVAC
  4. Cabinets & countertops
  5. Masonry
  6. Plumbing
  7. Drywall & insulation
  8. Cleaning
  9. Flooring
  10. Stone & tile
  11. Ceilings
  12. Carpet cleaning
  13. Excavation
  14. Other

Most difficult jobs to master *according to consumers

  1. Electrical
  2. Carpentry
  3. HVAC
  4. Cabinets & countertops
  5. Plumbing
  6. Masonry
  7. Drywall & insulation
  8. Other

Consumers and contractors agreed once again that electrical, carpentry and HVAC are the three toughest trades to both learn and master. Of all the trades, painters most frequently said their job is the most physically demanding. Floor contractors said their specialty was the most difficult to master.

The full report on the hardest contractor jobs in American from CraftJack can be seen in the graphics below.

Tough trades

contractor jobs

contractor jobs



About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver