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Top Paid Jobs in Construction

by Forest Time, studioD

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.

About the Author

Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.

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