According to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey data, as well as analysis by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), half of payroll workers in construction earn more than $47,290 (with the top 25% making at least $66,290), while the U.S. median wage is just $38,620 (with the top 25% earning at least $62,510).
Year over year, median wages in construction outpaced the national median wages—3.2% versus 2.5%. Wages of various construction laborers and helpers rose even faster, ranging from 6.7% for roofers’ helpers to 3.6% for construction laborers.
The report also noted that, “Historically, subcontractor bids increase faster than construction wages, adding more inflationary fuel to housing prices. These findings are consistent with record high labor shortages reported by NAHB, causing builders to pay higher wages and subcontractor bids, and forcing them to increase home prices.”
In general, according to the report, construction trades that require more years of formal education, specialized training, or licensing tend to offer higher annual wages.
For example, “Carpenters are one of the most prevalent construction trades in the industry,” the report said. “The trade requires less formal education. Nevertheless, the median wages of carpenters exceed the national median. Half of carpenters working in construction earn over $46,810, and the highest paid 25% earn at least $61,810.”
However, the median income for electricians is almost $7,000 higher at $53,550, with the top 25% making a minimum of $71,860 ($10,050 higher than the 25% highest paid carpenters).
|Construction and Building Inspector||$60,240|
|Structural Iron and Steel Worker||$54,730|
|Mine Cutting/Channeling Machine Operator||$54,550|
|Sheet Metal Worker||$49,350|
|Reinforcing Iron/Rebar Worker||$49,050|
|Service Unit Operators||$46,900|