Being a construction worker is truly satisfying, because at the end of the project you have a tangible product you can admire for all your hard work. You get up early, you work long hours in less than ideal conditions, and you sweat a lot. But, even though many find it satisfying, the main reason we work is for money.
In a report published in December of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) analyzed the median pay of 19 different construction jobs that only require a high school diploma or equivalent, like a GED. Based on their findings, it appears that construction workers, overall are much better off than most industries, as the median pay for those in the construction industry in general was $41,380 in May of 2014 versus $35,540 for all other occupations. That equals a 16.4% yearly salary premium more than non-construction workers.
Let’s get to the top 10 list:
10. Solar Voltaic Installers
2014 median pay: $40,020
Job description: install solar panels on roofs or other structures. As solar panels begin to get stronger, lighter, and cheaper, we can expect this technology to become more popular.
2014 median pay: $40,820
Job description: generally, carpenters frame and finish structures, such as doorframes, stairways, rafters, among others.
8. Construction Equipment Operators
2014 median pay: $42,900
Job description: drive heavy construction equipment, such as loaders, dozers, and excavators. Construction equipment can be very dangerous to operate, so it’s important to be very well trained and stay aware of your surroundings.
7. Sheet Metal Workers
2014 median pay: $45,070
Job description: fabricate and/or install products made from thin metal sheets, such as HVAC duct work.
2014 median pay: $48,520
Job description: install structural steel and other reinforcing steel
5. Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
2014 median pay: $50,660
Job description: install the piping for waste, water, gas and vent lines.
2014 median pay: $51,110
Job description: install and repair electrical systems, including lighting, controls, communication wiring.
3. Construction and Building Inspectors
2014 median pay: $56,040
Job description: examine and verify that application building codes are being followed on specific construction job sites
2014 median pay: $59,860
Job description: install and repair boilers and other systems that hold liquids or gases.
1. Elevator Installers and Repairers
2014 median pay: $78,620
Job description: install and repair elevators. Far and away the highest paid of all construction trades.
The BLS also included 9 other construction jobs and their median salaries:
19. Construction Laborer and Helper: $30,190
18. Roofers: $35,760
17. Painters, Construction, and Maintenance: $35,950
16. Flooring Installers and Tile and Marble Setters: $37,380
15. Insulation Workers: $37,790
14. Glaziers: $38,410
13. Hazardous Materials Removal Workers: $38,520
12. Masonry Workers: $38,720
11. Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers and Tapers: $38,97
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