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.
We interrupt this utter domination by Midwest states in our top 10 list with a West Coast state: Washington. This is the only non-Midwest state that has landed in the top 10 so far and, spoiler alert, it’s the only one you’re going to see.
Washington has the 14th highest cost of living in the country, according to the MERIC data, but it’s only 8% higher than the national average. That allowed their relatively high wages prior to cost of living adjustments to only slightly affect them, dropping the state less than 1 ranking spot.
18 of 24 available construction professions landed in the top 10 for Washington and 11 of those spots were in the top 5. Construction Managers, Floor Layers, and Security and Fire Alarm Installers were the outliers in the group, ranking 34, 31, and 28, respectively.
If you’d like to see the breakdown of a specific profession, click the link the spreadsheet below:
Best Construction Jobs in Washington
This list is determined by selecting the jobs that were ranked the highest:
T 1. Drywaller
T 1. Construction Building Inspector
T 1. Insulation Worker
T 5. Brick & Block Mason
T 5. Sheet Metal Worker
T 5. Glazier
T 5. Crane Operator
T 5. Concrete Finisher
Worst Construction Jobs in Washington
This list is determined by selecting the jobs ranked the lowest:
1. Construction Manager
2. Floor Layer
3. Security and Fire Systems Installer