Heath Alva
Posted June 8, 2021

How much do construction workers make

Find out how much money construction workers make on average in each state in the U.S.
Heath Alva
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How much do construction workers make
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The construction space is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., with projected growth rates of up to 5% over the next four years.

What this means for job hunters like yourself is that construction workers are going to continue to be in demand, meaning better job prospects and earning possibilities.

You might be considering a job in the construction industry. But before jumping in, you’re probably wondering:

How much do construction workers make?

We’re going to look at some answers to that question in this article, compare earning averages across states, and consider some of the factors that influence what you can earn as a construction worker.

What is the average wage construction workers earn in the U.S.?

The average hourly wage earned by construction workers in the U.S. is $16–16.50 per hour.

However, this average differs from state to state and for different roles and experience levels. For most roles, the average earnings range between $19,500–47,000 per year, or $9.50–$23.00 per hour.

Some construction workers receive other benefits, such as:

  • Overtime (average of $5,250 per year)
  • Reimbursement for tuition costs
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Paid time off such as sick leave

Your years of experience in a role also have a significant impact on average earnings, as well.

Construction laborers with three to five years of experience earn an average of $21.24 per hour, and those with more than 10 years of experience earn $23.43 per hour on average

Average construction worker earnings by state

One factor that determines the pay construction workers receive, other than a difference in job titles, is the state that you’re looking for work in.

Here’s what the average construction worker gets paid in each state of the U.S., from highest to lowest:

StateMedian Salary (Annual)Monthly PayHourly Wage
New York$37,211$3,101$17.89
New Hampshire$36,073$3,006$17.34
Vermont$34,098$2,842$16.39
Wyoming$33,224$2,769$15.97
Maine$33,159$2,763$15.94
Massachusetts$33,110$2,759$15.92
West Virginia$32,335$2,695$15.55
Hawaii$32,216$2,685$15.49
Washington$32,185$2,682$15.47
Pennsylvania$32,177$2,681$15.47
Connecticut$31,487$2,624$15.14
Montana$31,416$2,618$15.10
New Jersey$31,163$2,597$14.98
Arizona$31,093$2,591$14.95
Rhode Island$30,915$2,576$14.86
Indiana$30,893$2,574$14.85
Alaska$30,642$2,554$14.73
North Dakota$30,459$2,538$14.64
Nevada$30,400$2,533$14.62
Maryland$30,370$2,531$14.60
Tennessee$30,118$2,510$14.48
Minnesota$30,104$2,509$14.47
Wisconsin$30,083$2,507$14.46
Georgia$29,994$2,500$14.42
Ohio$29,899$2,492$14.37
Nebraska$29,876$2,490$14.36
South Dakota$29,569$2,464$14.22
Virginia$29,485$2,457$14.18
Utah$29,445$2,454$14.16
Alabama$29,293$2,441$14.08
California$29,228$2,436$14.05
Louisiana$29,195$2,433$14.04
Kentucky$29,163$2,430$14.02
Oregon$29,133$2,428$14.01
Kansas$28,728$2,394$13.81
Iowa$28,654$2,388$13.78
New Mexico$28,592$2,383$13.75
South Carolina$28,547$2,379$13.72
Colorado$28,458$2,371$13.68
Delaware$28,385$2,365$13.65
Florida$28,269$2,356$13.59
Oklahoma$27,768$2,314$13.35
Idaho$27,353$2,279$13.15
Mississippi$26,916$2,243$12.94
Arkansas$26,735$2,228$12.85
Michigan$26,702$2,225$12.84
Illinois$26,589$2,216$12.78
Texas$26,393$2,199$12.69
Missouri$26,125$2,177$12.56
North Carolina$24,327$2,027$11.70

What factors affect the difference in earnings between states?

As you can see, there’s quite a difference in the average salary of construction workers between different states.

For example, the average construction worker job in New York demands a yearly salary of $37,211, whereas construction sites in North Carolina pay a fair bit less at $24,327. So, what creates this difference?

There are three main reasons, aside from your ability to negotiate a higher salary. Let's break them down.

Local demand for construction

The construction job market in your state is driven primarily by the demand for construction (and hence for construction workers) in that area.

States with a lot of new builds going up will need more workers.

Local laws

State laws around construction differ. In some states, certain jobs may be able to be completed by an entry-level construction worker. In others, a construction manager may be required, which impacts the average earnings.

Cost of living

It costs 89.3% more to live in New York than it does to live in North Carolina. It follows, then, that if your cost of living is higher, you need to earn more, driving up the average hourly rate in areas that cost more to live in.

Construction work salaries by job level

The role you’re in also has an impact on the wage you’re earning.

Just take a look at the difference in earnings between a construction manager and an entry-level construction worker:

Do construction workers get paid well?

Construction is an industry that can be quite lucrative, especially if you’re able to climb to a senior-level role.

Let’s take a look at the pay rates for similar roles as a comparison:

Job TitleAverage Salary (Annual)
Job TitleAverage Salary
Roofer$37k
Construction Painter$35k
Forklift Operator$35k
Stone Cutter$34k
Cabinetmaker$33k
Furniture finisher$32k
Maintenance Worker$38k
Woodworker$28k
Carpenter$40k

Is the construction industry right for you?

The earnings potential for construction workers in the U.S. is arguably pretty good, with the average employee earning $16.50 per hour.

Some factors influence this, however, including:

  • The state you’re working in
  • Your years of experience
  • The specific role you’re in

So, do you feel like construction might be the right industry for you?

If so, you can use our job search to find your next construction job.

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Heath Alva
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samson ourael

I'm interested I graduated in construction management

9w
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