Construction is not typically considered to be a high-paying industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction workers in 2012 earned an average annual salary $44,960 per year, or $21.61 per hour. However, some types of construction workers earned more.
Managers Earn Top Dollars
Managers are among the highest-paid workers in the construction industry. Construction managers usually have at least an associate or bachelor's degree in a field related to construction. Perhaps more importantly, they usually have several years of experience working in the industry before they assume a managerial position. As of 2012, the BLS reports that construction managers earned an average of $90,960 per year, or $43.73 per hour.
Supervisors Earn High Salaries, Too
Construction supervisors work under managers, overseeing the day-to-day activities of construction laborers. While this job does not usually require formal postsecondary education, it usually requires several years of construction industry experience. As of 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that first-line supervisors of construction workers averaged $63,230 per year, or $30.40 per hour.
Elevator Installers and Repairers Ride High
Other than managers, elevator installers and repairers are the highest-paid workers in the construction industry. It typically takes an apprenticeship lasting four years for these workers to gain the skills necessary for their jobs. As of 2012, elevator installers and repairers earned an average wage of $74,140 per year, or $35.64 per hour, according to the BLS.
Boilermakers' Earnings Are Hot
Boilermakers are workers who specialize in the construction and assembly of boilers, vats and tanks that hold liquids that are often corrosive, under pressure or otherwise dangerous. Boilermakers prepare for their career through a formal apprenticeship that usually lasts between four and five years. As of 2012, boilermakers earned an average annual salary of $55,830, or $26.84 per hour.
Building Inspectors Measure Up, Too
Building inspectors make sure that new construction is up to code. According to the BLS, most building inspectors learn informally on the job. However, experience in the construction industry is often a prerequisite, and candidates often have five or more years of experience in construction before becoming building inspectors. As of 2012, building inspectors made an average of $55,230 per year, or $26.55 per hour.
Pile-Driver Operators Have Earning Power
Pile-driver operators use large machines that push steel or wood support beams deep into the ground to form foundations for buildings and other infrastructure. Pile-drivers may learn their job through informal on-the-job training, or may prepare for their career through a formal apprenticeship typically lasting between three and four years. As of 2012, pile-driver operators made an average of $55,480 per year, or $26.67 per hour.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for Construction and Extraction Occupations
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Construction Managers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for Construction Managers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Elevator Installers and Repairers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for Elevator Installers and Repairers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Boilermakers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for Boilermakers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Construction and Building Inspectors
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