Top 5 Highest-Paying Jobs in Construction
April 09, 2019
Author: Deanna Quintana, NCCER Guest Contributor
The opportunity to point at a building and say, “I helped build that,” isn’t common in most professions. However, in construction, they say this every day.
With a shortage of skilled craft professionals, the chance to start a career in construction is now.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment for construction occupations to grow by 11 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is much faster than the average for all occupations.
But this isn’t the only area in which construction is ahead of the game. The construction industry prepares its workforce through professional training, provides incentives and continually pushes opportunities to grow.
And while many factors come into play when deciding what occupation fits your needs and wants, one of the most common questions people ask themselves is … how much does it pay?
Don’t worry. If you’ve got money on your mind, you’re not alone.
In fact, a recent survey by Glassdoor shows that 67 percent of employees and job seekers pay attention to salary when looking for employment. This tops any other factor — such as benefits, location, commute time and employee reviews.
So, what are the highest paying jobs in construction?
Every year, NCCER releases a construction craft salary survey based on the average base salaries for skilled craft professionals. The survey represents over 353,500 employees from across the U.S. in industrial and commercial construction industries.
Out of the 32 crafts represented in the survey, here we will explore the top highest-paying jobs in the construction industry, starting with number five.
5. Construction Site Safety Technician
Responsible for overseeing safety fundamentals — from training staff, to implementing steps to prevent accidents, to inspecting daily safety procedures — these professionals have communication and leadership skills down. When incidents occur, site safety technicians help with the investigation, file company reports and immediately correct issues. If you have a passion to care for others and enjoy a varied work environment, this role is the one for you.
Estimated salary: $67,720
4. Power Line Worker
For those interested in a high-powered career, there are plenty of opportunities available as a power line worker. Whether lowered in a trench, hoisted in a bucket truck or suspended from a helicopter, this career makes sure the electricity keeps flowing to every home, business and factory. Covering power grids across the globe, safety is the number one priority during these high-voltage conditions.
Estimated salary: $68,262
3. Instrumentation Technician
To some, working with numbers can seem like a nightmare, but for others that is not the case. Instrumentation technicians need to have a strong ability to solve complex problems using reasoning and advanced math. Are you a problem solver? Are you someone who enjoys working with numbers? Instrumentation may be the perfect craft profession for you. Ranked as the third highest-paying craft, technicians and fitters are experts in tools specific to their trade. Working in several industries, fitters and technicians perform key installation and maintenance functions, are trained in piping, tubing, fasteners and working in metal production.
Estimated salary: $70,080
Skilled welders have a thorough knowledge of welding principles and metals. By applying heat or pressure, any two objects can join together. Choose a career in welding if you get a kick out of watching sparks fly on the Fourth of July. You could watch them fly every day. From ships to cars to bridges, welders use blueprints and drawings to build anything. Be a part of the big picture by playing a crucial role in maintaining a variety of power plants and have the opportunity to travel throughout the year.
Estimated salary: $71,067
1. Civil Engineer
Taking the number one spot of the top five highest-paying jobs in construction is civil engineer.
Would you like to see your ideas built right in front of your eyes? Try diving into the field of civil engineering. The joy you have in designing and executing plans is useful for this profession.
Civil engineers design, construct, supervise, operate and maintain large construction projects and systems including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. They spend time both in the office and on the project site, therefore craft experience is an absolute plus!
Estimated salary: $91,790
But, for as high as these salaries are, the reality is, what skilled craft professionals earn is typically far greater. This Construction Craft Salary Survey represents average annual salaries, without including per diem, overtime, bonuses or other incentives.
After looking over the top five highest-paying jobs in construction, are you ready to jumpstart your career in the industry?
Here are two more careers to convince you that pursuing a career in construction is the right decision for you.
We’ve all imagined what it would be like to build our dream house — having every detail mapped out perfectly, from the roof to the floor to even the style of the windows. Well, what if you could take those designs and make them a reality. From houses to office buildings, to skyscrapers and more, architects plan and design these structures. These plans show the building’s appearance and the details of its construction. But architecture goes far beyond the exterior of the building. Accompanying these plans are drawings of air-conditioning, heating and ventilating systems, electrical systems, communication systems and plumbing. With an attention to detail and a passion for design, architecture may be the right path for you.
Estimated salary: $87,500
Communication skills, developing ideas and time management are key contributors with being a project manager. If being a leader has always been your strong suit, transfer those skills to the construction industry. Project managers usually spend most of their time on site where they monitor projects and make daily decisions about construction activities. One of the most rewarding aspects of working in construction is watching a project develop. Essential to completing projects on time and within budget, this field can include planning, coordinating, budgeting and supervising construction projects from start to finish.
Estimated salary: $92, 523
There you have it. These are the top five jobs in construction plus two bonus careers that pay top dollar.
So, why wait?
Consider joining the industry, because the time to start your career in construction is now.