Due to high demand, of all industries, construction perhaps most seamlessly weathered COVID-19. Hence, construction workers enjoy premium pay. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts construction employment adding 4% year-on-year from now through 2029, compared to a national job average of 3.7%. The BLS expects to see the most growth in solar photovoltaic installers (up 50.5%), tile and stone workers (up 8.6%), and electricians (up 8.4%).
Construction workers can earn as much without a college degree as many graduates. Some believe this to be the driver for growth in pay among construction workers. An average entry-level construction worker, nationally, makes $906 per week. The average worker with an associate’s degree makes $938 per week. One with just a high school diploma, not working in construction, can expect to earn an average of $781 per week. Non-high-school grads come in at $619.
Wages vary significantly from region to region. For example, a worker in Chicago or Hawaii can expect a median salary of $34 an hour. However, many states in the south offer the same jobs for as low as $18 per hour.
The Top Ten Best Paying Construction Jobs in 2020 (all figures are based on the national median income):
1. Elevator or Escalator Installers and Repairers. $42.57 an hour and $88,540 per year. Growth predictions foresee 6.6% growth over the next ten years.
2. Construction Supervisors. $32.61 hourly and $67,840 per year. Growth: 4.8%
3. Boilermakers. $31.42 per hour and $65,360 per year. Growth: 0.9%
4. Pile Driver Operators. $30.47 per hour and $63,370 per year. Growth: 4.4%
5. Construction and Building Inspectors. $30.22 per hour and $62,860 per year. Growth: 3.2%
6. Tapers. $28.58 per hour and $59,450 per year. Negative growth: -4.0%
7. Electricians. $27.36 per hour and $56,900 per year. Growth: 8.4%
8. Rail Track Layers and Maintenance. $27.10 per hour and $56,370 per year. Growth: 3.7%
9. Plumbers and pipefitters. $27.08 per hour and $56,330 per year. Growth: 4.3%
10. Brickmasons. $26.48 per hour and $55,080 per year. Negative growth: -6.4%
11. National Average, All Construction: $23.37 per hour and $48,610. Growth 4.0%
These figures indicate plenty of room for upward mobility in the construction industry. Only two of the best-paying construction jobs show declines in wages. The upward trajectory of pay makes construction an attractive trade for those presently looking to enter the workforce.