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.
I promised myself that I wasn't going to mention potatoes, so I won't. That doesn't count. Coming in at #33 in our countdown is the state of Idaho, often referred to as the "Gem State." Boosted by their relatively low cost of living at 8.7% below the national average, Idaho jumped 11 spots after adjustment. Compared to other states, painters in Idaho fair the best, as they are ranked 7th overall among their peers. Idaho's lowest ranked construction profession, and the only one ranked in the 40s, are insulation workers.
If you’d like to see the breakdown of a specific profession, click the link the spreadsheet below:
Best Construction Jobs in Idaho
This list is determined by selecting the jobs that were ranked the highest:
2. Construction Building Inspector
T 3. Brick & Block Masons
T 3. Glaziers
Worst Construction Jobs in Idaho
This list is determined by selecting the jobs ranked the lowest:
1. Insulation Worker
2. Sheet Metal Worker
T 3. Carpenter
T 3. Welder
5. Construction Manager