In general, there are three sectors of construction: buildings, infrastructure and industrial. Building construction is usually further divided into residential and non-residential . Infrastructure is often called heavy civil or heavy engineering that includes large public works, dams, bridges, highways, railways, water or wastewater and utility distribution. Industrial construction includes refineries, process chemical, power generation, mills and manufacturing plants. There are also other ways to break the industry into sectors or markets.
Military residential unit construction by U.S. Navy personnel in Afghanistan
Construction workers working on a residential building in Tijuana, Mexico
Engineering News-Record (ENR), a trade magazine for the construction industry, each year compiles and reports data about the size of design and construction companies. In 2014, ENR compiled the data in nine market segments divided as transportation, petroleum, buildings, power, industrial, water, manufacturing, sewer/waste, telecom, hazardous waste and a tenth category for other projects.In their reporting, they used data on transportation, sewer, hazardous waste and water to rank firms as heavy contractors.
The Standard Industrial Classification and the newer North American Industry Classification System have a classification system for companies that perform or engage in construction. To recognize the differences of companies in this sector, it is divided into three subsectors: building construction, heavy and civil engineering construction, and specialty trade contractors. There are also categories for construction service firms (e.g., engineering, architecture) and construction managers (firms engaged in managing construction projects without assuming direct financial responsibility for completion of the construction project).