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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A lot of safety discussions center around how to keep yourself from falling off or being launched from lifts, but not many safety discussions involve how to get off of them when you’re in danger. Just recently, two construction workers in Boise, Idaho had to make some quick decisions as their welding blanket caught fire while they were in the lift.
Nobody likes to see children in the hospital, it just doesn’t seem fair that such a young life should have to spend time inside of one for an injury or illness. It seems, though, that job sites near children’s hospitals can bring the best out of construction workers. For example, some construction workers who were on a job across from a 2 year-old leukemia patient last year, wrote a get well message for her on a steel beam that touched her and her family. But, this year, a construction foreman in South Bend, Indiana has created a real life ‘Where’s Waldo?’ to play with the pediatric patients across the way.
A crane being used to construct the new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York has collapsed across active lanes of traffic. The collapse happened on Tuesday and is blocking all lanes of traffic on the bridge that it was replacing. So far the news outlets report 5 people are injured due to the incident.
There’s nothing better than a big glass of water filled with ice on a hot summer day. Concrete may feel the same way, also.
With the introduction of 3D printers on construction job sites, many are worried that robots will begin taking over the jobs of hardworking tradesmen. It’s more likely, however, that workers will be working WITH robots long before we’re completely replaced. For example, one company that makes exoskeletons to help paraplegics walk is also developing an exoskeleton specifically for constructions workers that will allow them to lift 50 pound pieces of equipment with one finger. Now, a former NASA and General Motors (GM) partnership has turned into an expedition into the blue collar fields.
In May of 2016, OSHA announced a new rule hoping to gain valuable data regarding workplace incidents would go into effect starting August 10, 2016. After the announcement, several construction industry groups spoke out about their apprehensions of the new rule and the effective date has recently been pushed back to November 1, 2016. The new rule will not only help OSHA gain data into workplace injuries, but it will also require construction companies to make their injury records public, much like restaurant health records are made public. Personal health data will still be kept private, but the injury numbers will be counted against employers. OSHA also requires employers to allow workers to report injury without fear of retaliation under the new rule.
“Shake Hands With Danger,” as the below safety video from 1980 is called, will ignite your nostalgia for the decade and maybe even give you a few laughs. No matter how cheesy it can get at points, It will also remind you how important it is to conduct your business safely.
DeWalt is killing the power tool battery game right now, there’s no doubt about it. With the recent release of their new flagship product, FLEXVOLT, which consists of a line of 60V and 120V cordless power tools and batteries, their mission is to turn every jobsite into a mobile jobsite. Now, their doubling down on battery solutions with the announcement of a portable power station that can power most corded tools by plugging into a series of batteries.
Imagine a world where the millions upon millions of square feet of roadway and parking lots across the world actually served a greater purpose than a flat surface to drive and park a vehicle. That’s the world that Scott and Julie Brusaw, creators of Solar Roadways, imagine and their dream is becoming closer to reality after years of testing and research.
The World’s first Ferris Wheel was designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL in 1893 by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. Since then, the wheels have been a staple of many state fairs across the United States and many other places throughout the World. Much like tall buildings, the past few years has shown us that having the tallest Ferris Wheel is a strong source of pride for a city or country.