Construction workers help do a wide range of physical labor tasks on nearly all construction sites, including those building homes, tearing down buildings, removing hazardous materials, building new roads, and digging tunnels.
Although their duties vary greatly depending on the specific construction site assigned, construction workers are often responsible for removing debris, unloading building materials used in construction, building scaffolding or other temporary structures, digging holes, operating equipment, and following construction plans.
How much does a construction worker make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 814,470 construction workers employed throughout the United States earn a mean annual construction worker salary of $34,490, which is equivalent to an average hourly wage of $16.58. While the bottom ten percent earns just $19,040 or less on average, the top ten percent of construction workers bring home $58,380 each year.
Construction workers employed in residential building construction earn slightly less than average at $32,560, but those that work in natural gas distribution make a mean $46,390 annually. The top-paying states for the profession are Hawaii and New York, where construction workers earn an average $51,500 and $49,350 respectively.
The majority of construction workers, approximately 59 percent, are employed in either nonresidential building construction, utility system construction, or residential building construction. Others work in construction related to civil engineering, specialty trade contracting, foundation structure contracting, and highway/street/bridge construction. Another 23 percent of construction workers are self-employed. Most are employed as a full-time status, but many have irregular hours to help on certain construction projects overnight. Despite sometimes working overtime to meet deadlines, construction workers often do not work during bad weather conditions and may only work during certain seasons of the calendar year.
Since construction workers in all areas of construction, the demand for workers is expected to mirror the level of overall construction activity in America. Repairing and replacing infrastructure should result in a steady demand for construction workers, along with the construction of new schools, businesses, factories, and power plants. Therefore, employment for construction workers is predicted to grow faster than the average for all other national professions at a rate of 21 percent, which will create 212,400 new jobs before 2020.