Evolution of Multiskilled Craft Professionals and Their Level of Certification in the US Industrial Construction Sector

Rakan Albalawi, Paul M. Goodrum, Mohammed A. Albattah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past couple of decades, the US construction sector has experienced a nationwide shortage of skilled craft professionals in several trades. In response to this problem, a multiskilling strategy has emerged as a possible solution to address the rising workforce shortages in the construction industry. Multiskilling is a labor strategy that involves individuals acquiring certification in trades other than their primary trade. While other studies on multiskilling have examined the trade combinations in which multiskilled workers typically become certified, the level of certification in the different trade combinations has not been identified by these studies. Are there patterns where multiskilled workers typically work in a trade as their primary trade and then become multiskilled in typical secondary trades? To reach the intended result, this paper examined more than 640,000 exam completions from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and its National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP). A hierarchical cluster analysis was performed to identify the certification patterns among multiskilling craft professionals. Additionally, a binary logistic regression was used to identify the potential factors influencing individuals' exam pass rate. The results of the cluster analysis indicate that current multiskilled craft professionals had limited ability in performing advanced work in both trades. Based on the binary logistic regression, the result indicated that the multiskilling strategy may not be the most practical approach for certain trades, such as electrical and instrumentations trades. Eventually, this study contributes to the body of knowledge by providing a comprehensive assessment of multiskilled craft professionals' achievement and development across different trades in the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04023057
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Certification
  • Logistic regression
  • Multiskilling strategy
  • Pass rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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