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.
#32 New Mexico
New Mexico, our nation's 47th state, lands at #32 on our continued state-by-state countdown. After adjusting for the state's lower cost of living (5.9% lower than national average), New Mexico jumped roughly 8 spots on the list.
There were 3 construction professions ranked in the top 10 versus all other states, including solar panel installers, reinforcing iron and rebar workers, and welders. There were also 2 professions ranked in the 40s, including roofers and glaziers. That's a tough state to work on roofs and not get paid well compared to other states, as temperatures can regularly reach above 100F in the summers.
If you’d like to see the breakdown of a specific profession, click the link the spreadsheet below:
Best Construction Jobs in New Mexico
This list is determined by selecting the jobs that were ranked the highest:
2. Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Worker
3. Solar Panel Installer
4. Crane Operator
5. Iron & Steel Worker
Worst Construction Jobs in New Mexico
This list is determined by selecting the jobs ranked the lowest:
3. Insulation Worker
T 4. Plumber
T 4. Security and Fire Systems Installer