The Average Hourly Wage for a Construction Worker

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Construction workers are typically paid hourly.
Construction workers are typically paid hourly. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A total of 777,700 individuals -- some of which risked life and limb on the job -- were employed as construction workers, in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These workers often perform physically demanding and sometimes dangerous work. Hourly wages for construction workers vary by both location and employer.

Pay Scale

The average wage for construction workers in the U.S. was $16.15 per hour in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This computes to an average annual salary of approximately $33,590 per year. The bureau indicates that the middle 50 percent of all construction workers made between $10.93 and $19.16 per hour, or approximately $22,730 to $39,850 per year. The median hourly wage was $14.08, while the highest-paid construction workers made $27.66 or more per hour.

Industry

The industry in which the construction worker is employed plays a role in determining his average hourly wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest paying construction industry in which to work was the natural gas distribution industry, which paid an average annual salary of $49,190 or $23.65 per hour, as of May 2010. The five highest paying industries in construction paid average hourly wages ranging from $20.68 to $23.65. The largest employers of construction workers were specialty trade contractors, who paid an average of $15.75 per hour. The second largest employer was nonresidential building construction companies that paid an average wage of $17.02 per hour in 2010, according to the bureau.

Location

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average hourly wage for construction workers varies by the state in which they work. The largest number of construction workers worked in the state of Texas and made an average hourly wage of $11.83, as of May 2010, according to the bureau. The second-largest group of construction workers were employed in California and made an average hourly wage of $19.34 in 2010. Factors such as cost of living differences, experience and the type of construction performed may also affect wages, but the BLS does not elaborate on the disparities. According to the BLS, the top-paying metro area for construction workers was Trenton, New Jersey, at an average hourly wage of $27.74, as of May 2010.

Job Outlook

The BLS also indicates that the number of new jobs in the construction field is expected to increase by 20 percent from 2008 to 2018. The bureau notes that construction jobs will be largely dependent upon economic factors and require positive economic growth. Emphasis by the government upon improving national infrastructure should create additional job opportunities. The bureau notes that jobs will be especially prevalent in areas such as road and bridge construction. Additional opportunities in environmentally friendly construction should also be more common, according to the BLS.

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