For the past year, Construction Junkie has been analyzing hourly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 25 different construction related professions. The goal was to highlight how workers were compensated in each of the U.S.’ 50 states.
We also counterbalanced the raw hourly wage data with the cost of living index of the states to determine how the pay construction workers in each state was counterbalanced by the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health, and other miscellaneous costs. All cost of living adjustment data came from Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC).
We’ve previously published a list of The 10 Highest Paid Construction Jobs That Only Require High School Diploma, but we thought it would be interesting to examine each state individually to find out where construction workers can live most comfortably.
To follow along with our state-by-state breakdown of best states to work in construction, click here.
For the purpose of this list, each state’s ranking was determined by calculating the average ranking of hourly wages after being adjusted for cost of living for each of the 25 professions we examined. There are, of course, many ways to determine how good a state is to work in, but, at the end of the day, all workers have to be able to provide for them and their families, so wages should play a large role. If you see a state ranked #51 in a certain category, that is because Washington DC was included in the original data set, but was not included in this series.
After 50 weeks of the Top States to Work in Construction countdown, Illinois has been crowned our champion. Illinois didn’t just win, either, they actually demolished the competition. All construction professions combined for the state averaged $33.39 after adjusting for cost of living, which even topped #2 Missouri’s total average hourly rate by $4.42.
21 out of 24 construction professions ranked in the top 10 and, amazingly, 16 of those 21 were ranked #1. Only Security and Fire Systems Installers (#14), Crane Operators (#19), and Welders (#34) fell out of the top 10.
If you’d like to see the breakdown of a specific profession, click the link the spreadsheet below:
Best Construction Jobs in Illinois
This list is determined by selecting the jobs that were ranked the highest:
T 1. Construction Laborer
T 1. Heavy Equipment Operator
T 1. Carpenter
T 1. Electrician
T 1. Brick & Block Mason
T 1. Plumber
T 1. Painter
T 1. Drywaller
T 1. Iron & Steel Worker
T 1. Construction Supervisor
T 1. Sheet Metal Worker
T 1. Glazier
T 1. Insulation Worker
T 1. Floor Layer
T 1. Concrete Finisher
T 1. Pipelayer
Worst Construction Jobs in Illinois
This list is determined by selecting the jobs ranked the lowest:
2. Crane Operator
3. Security and Fire Systems Installer
4. Construction Manger
T 5. Construction Building Inspector
T 5. Elevator Installer