A new analysis of last year's federal labor statistics breaks down construction's top earners by job category.
CEOs take the top spot, unsurprisingly. The review of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the National Association of Home Builders of all categories of construction firms, including residential and commercial, found that other top-paying jobs include construction lawyers, sales managers and those who work in marketing and information systems.
Below is the breakdown for the highest-paid office employees by occupation:
|Computer/information systems manager||$124,830||$159,170|
|Training and development manager||$124,300||$166,070|
|General and operations manager||$101,380||$152,660|
|Public relations manager||$98,870||$134,570|
|Compensation and benefits manager||$97,750||$147,400|
Among construction trades, elevator installers top the median wages list, with half earning over $78,990 a year, and the top 25% making at least $100,720. The median wages for rotary drill operators is close to $70,000, followed by first-line supervisors of construction trades, who have a median income of $64,600.
Below is the breakdown for the highest-paid field employees by occupation.
|Rotary drill operators||$68,050||$77,610|
|Construction and building inspector||$60,240||$80,580|
|Structural iron and steel worker||$54,730||$75,190|
|Sheet metal worker||$49,350||$69,050|
|Reinforcing iron and rebar worker||$49,050||$69,110|
The NAHB analysis shows that median hourly wages in construction have been rising, ranging from a year-over-year increase of 6.7% for roofers’ helpers to a 3.6% increase for construction laborers. Median wages of plasterers, stucco masons, floor layers, and tapers increased about 7%. Stonemasons saw their wages rise by over 6%. Their helpers and terrazzo workers got wage increases over 5%.
Even the lowest-paid field workers in the analysis — carpenters — made more than the national median of $38,640, writes NAHB assistant vice president Natalia Siniavskaia.
Last month, BLS reported that construction wages are at their highest level in the last decade. Average hourly earnings are at $30.81, a year-over-year increase of 66 cents and $5.93 more than reported in September 2009.
Average weekly earnings were at $1,226.24 as of September 2019 versus $1,178.87 in September 2018 and $933 in September 2009. Non-supervisory construction workers, however, averaged only $28.58 per hour as of September 2019, with average weekly earnings of $1,148.92.