For many of us, the most attractive feature of a potential job is how well it pays – that stands true for construction workers as well. While a lot goes into determining the exact salary at your next job, there’s an extensive amount of data available on salary statistics and what the construction worker job market looks like in the United States.
To better understand the complexities of your salary – how it varies by state, years of experience, and similar job fields – we compiled the most recent data on how much does a construction worker make.
We have segmented the data to distinguish between the five best and five worst states for construction workers in the United States. This should help you figure out what to expect when trying to grow your business in this industry. Let’s dive right in!
The average hourly rate for a construction worker is $15.74/hour in the United States, coming to a yearly average of $45,961. You can also expect to make an average of $5,250 in overtime per year.
However, your location also plays a part in this. Your salary can vary greatly depending upon the state you work in. In 2018, best-paid 25% of construction workers made $47,910, and the lowest-paid 25% made $28,520:
Image source: U.S. News
5 Best and 5 Worst States for Construction Workers
Here is a quick rundown of where construction workers make the most and least among all American states and territories:
5 Best States For Construction Workers
- Minnesota $52,150
- New York $51,720
- Alaska $50,683
- Hawaii $49,871
- Massachusetts $49,030
5 Worst States For Construction Workers
- Puerto Rico $18,140
- Guam $21,720
- Arkansas $27,602
- Alabama $28,710
- Mississippi $28,720
Construction Worker Salaries By The State
In addition to states mentioned above, here’s a breakdown of the yearly salary construction workers can aim to make while working in the remaining states (source: CareerExplorer) —
New Mexico $30,770 Michigan $37,530
Georgia $33,600 Montana $36,660
Oklahoma $30,480 Oregon $38,010
Illinois $45,957 Maine $32,950
Idaho $31,959 Nevada $34,520
Washington $44,580 Kansas $35,221
Missouri $42,590 Vermont $35,130
Florida $30,060 California $42,521
Wisconsin $40,960 Rhode Island $44,210
Connecticut $45,826 New Hampshire $36,650
District of Columbia $38,870 Pennsylvania $41,260
North Dakota $40,560 Indiana $38,380
West Virginia $32,900 Virgin Islands $32,980
Utah $32,790 Ohio $39,970
Iowa $37,402 South Dakota $29,740
Delaware $34,960 Virginia $30,890
North Carolina $29,730 Arizona $28,908
Maryland $33,590 South Carolina $29,320
Nebraska $34,660 Colorado $35,470
Kentucky $34,690 Tennessee $30,650
Wyoming $35,640 Louisiana $33,420
Factors That Affect Variance In Wage Rate Across Different States
Various social and legal factors contribute to varying wage rates for the same occupation across different geographic locations. Some of them are:
Local Demand For Work
The hourly rate for construction workers is directly proportional to the local demand for their work. Some states feature a higher amount of construction activity as compared to others, which leads to domestic construction workers getting better pay as compared to their fellow countrymen.
Cost Of Living
This is where regional factors come directly into play. Some states have a higher cost of living as compared to others.
Therefore, local construction workers have to make a comparatively higher annual salary to have the same purchasing power as construction workers in states with a lower cost of living.
A striking feature of labor laws is how much they differ state to state. From hourly wage laws to working hour restrictions, there is much that these laws dictate.
This is an essential factor that contributes towards the varying level of pay construction workers earn across the country.
How Much Does A Construction Worker Make According To Their Experience?
In addition to your location, your experience also plays an important part in determining how much you earn.
As a construction worker gets more experienced, they tend to earn more based on their expertise. Here’s a breakdown into the different wage brackets construction workers make based on their experience (source: CareerExplorer) —
- Construction manager salaries start at $24.97/hour, earning $51,947/year
- Senior-level construction worker salaries start at $20.44/hour, earning $42,522/year
- Mid-level construction worker salaries start at $16.37/hour, earning $34,041/year
- Junior-level construction worker salaries start at $13.10/hour, earning $27,252/year
- Entry-level construction workers’ salaries start at $10.72/hour, earning $22,307/year
Comparison To Similar Professions
On average, construction workers have the same pay range as related professions in the U.S. That said, they tend to make less than roofers, but more than furniture finishers.
- Construction painter $38K
- Roofer $40K
- Maintenance worker $38K
- Woodworker $28K
- Cabinetmaker $33K
- Fork lift operator $33K
- Stone cutter $33K
- Carpenter $40K
- Furniture finisher $32K
A Look Into The Construction Industry
Currently, there are an estimated 1,216,700 construction workers in America, with the construction worker job market expected to experience a 12.4% growth by 2026.
Construction Workers’ Employability
The construction industry provides ample employment opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of construction workers and helpers is projected to grow by 11% from 2018 to 2028, exceeding the average growth rate for all other occupations.
Image source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Demand For Construction Workers
This depends on the overall construction activity and the need for related services.
Full-time employment in the industry, however, may be challenging to come by, as employers use construction staffing services to rely on day laborers instead of permanent on-staff employees.
Moreover, the introduction of new equipment and machinery promises to boost productivity and efficiency as it also automates some jobs to impact growth and employability.
Construction workers with specialized skills might find it easier to relocate and benefit from better prospects – even more so for those with experience in road construction. On the other hand, laborers with limited skills continue to face intense competition, given that the market for day laborers is heavily saturated.
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