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What’s the Average Pay for a Construction Industry Worker?

Labor + Trade Relations

What’s the Average Pay for a Construction Industry Worker?

August 11, 2021
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Photo: maxwellmonty |

The construction industry offers competitive wages compared to U.S. median wages, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey data. Half of payroll construction workers earned more than $50,460 whereas the U.S. median wage is $49,150. The top 25% of payroll construction workers earned at least $71,000 whereas the top 25% nationwide makes at least $67,410. Median wages in construction increased by 3% year-over-year while wages for helpers of construction trades increased by 5%.

The OES publishes wages for 388 occupations in construction. Out of these, only 56 are construction trades. The other industry workers are in finance, sales, administration and other off-site activities.

The highest paid occupation in construction is Chief Executive Officers (CEO) with half of CEOs making over $176,160 per year. Lawyers working in construction are next on the list with the median wages of $146,150 and the top 25 percent on the pay scale earning over $201,000 annually. Out of the next 15 highest paid trades in construction, 13 are various managers. The highest paid managers in construction are architectural and engineering managers, with half of them making over $135,910 and the top quartile earning at least $170,920.

Among construction trades, elevator installers top the median wages list with half of them earning over $87,970 a year, and the top 25% making at least $108,330. First-line supervisors of construction trades are next on the list, with half of them making over $67,560 and top quartile earning at least $87,160. Boilermakers are close third highest paid construction craft. Half of these craftsmen working in construction earn over $67,170, and the highest paid 25% bring in at least $81,950.

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