Industry Terms

Get familiar with some industry terms.

  • Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC): a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members.
  • Associated General Contractors (AGC): the leading association for the construction industry representing more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms.
  • Apprentice: a worker who learns a craft skill through planned, supervised work on the job, plus related classroom instruction. Moreover, when working on the job, an apprentice is a regular part of the work force and earns wages while acquiring important skills.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE): applies to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.
  • Civil Engineering / Construction: the maintenance, design and construction of both natural and physically built environments such as roads, railways, buildings, water reservoirs, subdivisions, airports, bridges, sewer systems, tunnels and dams.
  • Commercial Construction: the business of building and selling or leasing manufacturing or assembly plants, medical centers, retail shopping centers, and standard space for offices. The business varies primarily in the size and scale of the operations.
  • Construction Supplier: a party that supplies good or services. A supplier may be distinguished from a contractor or subcontractor, who commonly adds specialized input to deliverables. Also a vendor.
  • General Contractor: responsible for providing material, labor, equipment (such as engineering vehicles and tools) and services necessary for the construction of the project.
  • Industrial Engineering / Construction: encompasses the design, installation, and maintenance of structural and mechanical components in power plants, factories, etc. Industrial construction is a specialized, niche form of construction that requires specific training and expertise by contractors and engineers that work in the field. It focuses on process optimizations.
  • Labor Union: an organized association of workers, often in a trade or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests.
  • Merit Shop: Not recognizing or dealing with a labor union or employing union members.
  • Owner: the person recognized by the law as having the ultimate control over, and right to use, property as long as the law permits and no agreement limits his or her rights.
  • Residential Construction: includes construction of a house for residing purpose as well as residential flats / apartments, cottages, etc. The structure being built is typically constructed using traditional wood frame construction materials and methods.
  • Subcontractor / Specialty Contractor: performs work on a structure, project, development or improvement and whose operations as such do not fall within the definition of “general contractor” / a business or person that carries out work for a company as part of a larger project, typically a general contractor.
  • Trade: a skilled job, typically one requiring manual skills and special training.