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.
Like many of the states in the Mountain time zone, Utah has a relatively large area of land, but has a low population compared to the average state. That may be changing in the coming years, as the US Census data has shown that Utah has the 2nd fastest growing population in the country as of 2013.
With regards to our countdown, Utah has a relatively low cost of living, averaging 4.7% below the national average, which helped them jump around 7 spots on our list. The state has 4 construction professions in the top 10, including Construction Building Inspectors, Solar Panel Installers, Insulation Workers, and Welders. Most surprising to me was that Solar Panel Installers were ranked #1 out of all the states.
If you’d like to see the breakdown of a specific profession, click the link the spreadsheet below:
Best Construction Jobs in Utah
This list is determined by selecting the jobs that were ranked the highest:
1. Solar Panel Installer
2. Insulation Worker
3. Construction Building Inspector
5. Security and Fire Alarm Installer
Worst Construction Jobs in Utah
This list is determined by selecting the jobs ranked the lowest:
1. Construction Manager
2. Brick & Block Mason
T 3. Construction Laborer
T 3. Drywaller
T 5. Iron & Steel Worker
T 5. Construction Supervisor