For the past 6 months, 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.
#45 South Dakota
South Dakota, home of Badlands National Park and a Batholith with US president's faces carved on the side of it, has landed at #45 on our countdown. This state is the first one so far whose hourly wages actually increased after the cost of living adjustment, even though it only raised the total average from $20.35 to a whopping $20.43, a 0.4% increase. That 0.4% increase helped South Dakota drop from an average ranking of 39.89 down to 36.87, but they still would have been ranked #45 either way.
If you’d like to see the breakdown of a specific profession, click the link the spreadsheet below:
Best Construction Jobs in South Dakota
This list is determined by selecting the jobs that were ranked the highest:
1. Security and Fire Systems Installers
2. Brick & Block Masons
3. Construction Managers
4. Construction Supervisors
5. Insulation Workers
Worst Construction Jobs in South Dakota
This list is determined by selecting the jobs ranked the lowest:
T 1. Carpenter
T 1. Plumber
T 1. Painter
T 1. Roofer
2. Iron & Steel Worker