How Much Does a Construction Worker Make? Best & Worst States for Construction Workers

Last updated June 24, 2020 written by Tetiana

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!

How Much Does a Construction Worker Make? Best & Worst States for Construction Workers

Average Salary

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:

how much does a construction worker make

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

Texas                                   $32,630

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.

Local Laws

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.

Construction Laborers and Helpers

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.

We hope that this article helped you find what you were looking for! For more reading, please check out:

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