The Top States to Work in Construction, Ranked

For the past year, Construction Junkie has been analyzing hourly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine the Top States to Work in Construction. Now that all 50 states have been ranked, this post will serve as the complete recap for all states in the countdown.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #1 Illinois

After 50 weeks of the Top States to Work in Construction countdown, Illinois has been crowned our champion. Illinois didn’t just win, either, they actually demolished the competition. All construction professions combined for the state averaged $33.39 after adjusting for cost of living, which even topped #2 Missouri’s total average hourly rate by $4.42.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #2 Missouri

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of our nearly year long journey counting down the top states to work in construction. In the runner up position we have Missouri, yet another from the Midwest in the top 10, is a relatively large state, both in population and size, with a lower than average population density. That could be a contributing factor to its low cost of living, at 10.1% below the national average, according to MERIC.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #3 Minnesota

Minnesota is about as average as you can get in terms of cost of living, according to MERIC, as they’re only 0.2% lower than the national average, making them the closest to the center in the country. That also means that they barely benefited from our cost of living adjustment, but the fact that they’re ranked 3rd says a lot about their un-adjusted wages.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #4 Washington

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.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #5 Michigan

Michigan, the mitten shaped state consisting of two peninsulas and which also seems to be both south and north of all surrounding states somehow, lands at #5 on our list. The state is already the 6th state from the Midwest Region in the top 10, joining Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #6 Wisconsin

Wisconsin, home of cheese, Milwaukee Tool, and 3 months of tolerable weather per year, lands just outside the top 5 on our countdown, continuing the overall dominance of the Midwest Region. The state is very close to average when it comes to cost of living, at 2.8% below national average.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #7 Ohio

To be honest, being an Ohio resident, I figured Ohio would end up around the #25 mark on this list. The state, as a whole, tends to be extremely centered, whether it’s politics, geography, weather, or many other indicators. I can’t say there’s anything overly exciting about living in Ohio, but it is simply a nice place to live.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #8 North Dakota

Wellll, North Dakota will be certainly be enjoying these bragging rights. Not only do they land in the top 10 of the countdown, the Dakota to the south of them landed at #45. As the 19th largest state by land area, North Dakota is also ranked 47th in both population and density. It has a slightly lower than average cost of living, at 1.1% below the national average and 0.7% lower than South Dakota, according to MERIC.

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The Top States to Work in Construction: #9 Kansas

Kansas, the state that we can thank for a large portion of our wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans, lands just inside the top 10 at #9. With a relatively low population density, ranked 40th in the country, Kansas is also one of the most affordable states to live in. Their cost of living is the 4th lowest int he country, according to MERIC, at 10.3% below the national average.

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