According to recent statistics, the construction industry employs about ten million workers in the United States. The strong boom that is currently prevailing in the construction market has drastically increased demand for construction workers of all skill levels.
This demand for talent and labor in construction roles has led to companies to increase compensation for workers. This is in a bid to attract more laborers to satisfy the ever-growing need for residential and commercial projects.
A majority of construction firms in all fifty states say that they are struggling to fill professional and semi-skilled positions. Many of them are hiring hourly staff along with increasing salaries, wages, and benefits. Even as the companies provide incentives, many still fall short of their targeted staff headcount.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), show that construction workers are now earning more than the average wages of most occupations. The median pay for construction workers comes to about $20.
With companies all over the country looking for employees and the pay at an all-time high, now is the best time to work in construction.
The question is: which is the best place in the country to work? Based on the assessment of crucial determining factors, below is a list of the top 10 best states to work in construction.
Factors We have Considered in This List
It mostly comes down to how much the job pays. However, there a few other details that are important to consider for construction workers and contractors.
First, we have considered the average wages of construction jobs in all states. The goal is to narrow down to states offering a significant figure above the average salary.
You also need to look at how competitive the job market is in particular states. Key indications for low competition and high demand for the workforce are high employment rates and a high number of construction companies in a specific state.
The final aspect you need to know about is the prospect for growth and sustainability. An area may experience construction demands to solve a temporal problem, for instance, after a natural disaster. Such construction surges are not sustainable and don’t build towards any substantial growth.
You need to look at sustainable markets with long term construction projects. A steady population increase, stable economic growth, and industrialization are indicators that point to a consistent need for residential houses and commercial buildings.
A combination of these factors is the ranking determinants on this list.
The top 10 Best States to Work in Construction
As of late 2018 and early 2019, here are the most favorable states for construction workers. We begin with a list ranking the states with the highest salaries for construction workers. The figures indicate the average annual salaries.
- Alaska: $67,210
- Hawaii: $65,140
- Illinois: $64,400
- New York: $62,960
- Mississippi: $61,240
- New Jersey: $60,100
- Washington: $57,090
- California: $56,770
- Minnesota: $56,040
- Connecticut: $55,650
This second list is perhaps more relevant when it comes to net income. Cost of living differs in different states. Due to the demands of the job, most construction workers prefer to live near the construction sites or at least in the same state, which is why it’s important to consider the cost of living.
Although the cost of living in some states may be higher than others, the salaries and wages may not necessarily compensate for it. Below is an adjusted list factoring in the cost of living in the various states.
- Illinois: $67,221
- Missouri: $58,364
- Minnesota: $57,823
- Michigan: $55,073
- Wisconsin: $54,703
- Washington: $54,300
- North Dakota: $53,821
- Indiana: $53,807
- Wyoming: $53,693
- Ohio: $52,493
This is the ultimate list for construction workers looking to get more value for their time and skills. The list encompasses work availability, sustainability, and net pay.
Other Important Factors to Consider
From your perspective as a construction worker or contractor, there are a few other factors that you should take into account. There is a lot more to consider than just the paycheck.
Quality of Living and Cost of Living
Urban jobs generally pay more than similar opportunities in rural areas. The volume of work is also usually higher and steadier.
However, living in cities will cost more than living in the country. You have to make a compromise when presented with the choice.
You could choose to live in a cheaper area but work in a city. For instance, live in Nevada while working in neighboring California, where the pay is higher. It costs significantly less to live in Nevada than in California.
But then, you’d have to add up the commuting and time expenses. And is the quality of life acceptable to you?
Working in a different state may also mean moving together with your family. Is that an action you are willing to take. If so, what are the short-term and long-term repercussions?
Job opportunities in any state should align with your career goals, whether you are looking for a placeholder or a permanent position.
Before making any big decisions, ensure that you understand the job requirements in terms of commitment.
If you are looking for long-term employment, you may have to trade a big paycheck for permanent jobs. Look at the stability of the economy and the nature of construction projects to determine job security in a particular state.
The Bottom Line
As far as the construction industry is concerned, there is good news in many states for construction workers. If demand continues to grow as predicted, companies will continue to encourage more people to work in construction.
What this means is that wages and salaries for construction workers will keep going up in every state. If you have skills in construction or would like to get into the industry, now is a great time to exploit this opportunity.
You only have to make careful choices. At least now you know some of the best states to work in, and all the details to look out for. Check out our blog for more information and tips.