What is the Dirt World?
Written by Marilee Brewer • Reviewed by Eric Jumper
January 26, 2023
What have you done today?
Have you flipped a light switch? Taken a shower? Driven down the street? Texted a friend? Whatever you've done, you owe a big thank-you to the Dirt World.
This essential industry impacts every aspect of our daily lives. Today, we're going to explore the Dirt World, its impact on our society, and the sub-industries and jobs it encompasses.
Let's dig in!
What is the Dirt World?
The Dirt World is the industry that builds our society's critical infrastructure and provides the essential resources that keep it running.
What does the Dirt World do?
Dirt World workers are the ones who pave the roads you drive on. They prepare the earth to hold important structures—like hospitals, grocery stores, airport runways, dams, and even the home or apartment you live in. They run pipes so you can have gas for your stove or clean drinking water for your children. They mine the minerals and metals to make items you use every day like electricity, cars, and cell phones.
Basically, they provide all the necessities to build and make the things we need to live our daily lives. Without the Dirt World, society can't function.
What counts as part of the Dirt World?
The Dirt World is another name for “heavy civil construction," so called because it constructs much of what civilizations need to function. Some people also call it “infrastructure” because that's what this industry builds: systems that support life.
But if you want a simpler way to look at it, think of it like this: the Dirt World includes any construction that starts at the earth's surface and goes down, across, or through. It also includes the people who do that construction work, the tools and equipment they use, and the bond they share.
No matter what you call it, the Dirt World is the place where man meets dirt with the purpose of building something beneficial to society. Up next, let's take a look at the industries within the Dirt World and meet the blue-collar heroes who keep the whole thing running.
Dirt World Industries
We talk about the Dirt World as one big industry, because it's all essential work that helps our society survive and thrive.
But just like a tree has many leaves, the Dirt World has many parts, and you'll often hear people call these parts industries.
Companies in each Dirt World industry have specialized knowledge. For example, one company may specialize in paving roads while another speciales in underground tunneling. So, it typically takes multiple Dirt World companies working together on a jobsite to get the project done.
What industries does the Dirt World include?
You’ll find some variation from region to region, but several industries consistently make up the Dirt World. Let's take a look at some of those:
- Earthwork: moving dirt to prepare building sites or create earthen structures
- Transportation: paving, roadbuilding, and other specialties that make it possible for people to travel from place to place
- Utilities: connecting and maintaining essential services to businesses and homes, like gas, sewer, electric, fiber optic cable, and more
- Water: cleaning or moving water, or converting it for use as power
- Energy: building and maintaining the infrastructure that powers our society and delivering energy to consumers
- Manufacturing and industrial: constructing factories, warehouses, and distribution centers so other essential industries can make and distribute their products
- Mining: extracting raw materials from the earth for use in other Dirt World (and non-Dirt World) industries
- Environmental restoration and preservation: protecting, preserving, and rehabilitating the environment so future generations can enjoy it
- Sanitation: managing and disposing of waste in landfills to keep our communities clean
- Demolition: safely tearing down and removing old or unsafe structures
- Engineering: ensuring that Dirt World companies build infrastructure and mine raw materials safely
For more info on these Dirt World industries, read "What Industries Make Up the Dirt World?"
Dirt World Jobs
In the Dirt World, you can either work in the field or in the office.
Field workers are the ones who are out on the jobsite, doing a lot of the physical labor that goes into the thing you're building or mining. Office workers are the ones who stay at HQ and make sure everything's running smoothly. They coordinate between project owners, vendors, and other stakeholders to make sure the people in the field have what they need to do their jobs.
Jobs in the field include:
- Fuel and lube technician
- Grade checker
- Haul truck driver
Or if you're more interested in working a support role in the office, here are some options you can check out:
- Business development manager
- HR manager
- Project engineer
- Safety director
- Training manager
Want to learn more about some of these field or office roles? Read "What Jobs Can I Get in the Dirt World?"
The Dirt World's Greatest Secret
It’s all around you, but the real secret of the Dirt World? It’s hidden in plain sight. You don’t notice it until you know it’s there. The Dirt World can be found wherever humans are (and some lonely places in between) building our towns and cities up through work like:
- Tunneling to lay drainage pipes for the railroad
- Dredging to increase port traffic for barges
- Digging deep foundations to construct new hospitals
- Mining for energy resources to supply people with light
- Paving a new stretch of highway to reduce traffic
- Excavating deep holes in the city for high rises
- And so much more
The Dirt World does crucial work that keeps our society running—and you can be part of it. Find out why building a career in Dirt is such an incredible opportunity.
Written by Marilee Brewer
Reviewed by Eric Jumper
January 26, 2023
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Meet the Expert
Marilee Brewer's philosophy on heavy civil construction is that everything—even the Bingham Canyon Mine and the Willis Tower—starts with ideas put into words. An avid writer and researcher, Marilee brings inspiration, storytelling, and human candor to Dirt World information. Her writing focuses on providing content that enhances user experience, improves engagement, and ultimately increases revenue. A trained Linguist and social media storyteller, ask her for story and social media writing tips.