12 Jobs in Construction That Pay Well

By Jamie Birt

Updated July 7, 2022 | Published October 7, 2019

Updated July 7, 2022

Published October 7, 2019

Jamie Birt is a career coach with 5+ years of experience helping job seekers navigate the job search through one-to-one coaching, webinars and events. She’s motivated by the mission to help people find fulfillment and belonging in their careers.

Construction engineer

If you seek a career with a changing daily schedule, you may want to consider one of the many jobs available in construction. This field offers a great opportunity for long-term employment, chances of advancement and high job security.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports construction jobs should grow by 7% between 2020 and 2030, a rate on par with the national average for all other jobs. From entry-level positions to jobs for highly skilled or certified workers, the construction field offers many career options.

In this article, we explore 12 construction jobs for a variety of skill sets, experience levels and career goals.

Why work in the construction field?

Construction jobs of all types allow you to work with your hands, often outside and at various locations. As a construction worker, you will build houses, roads, hospitals, bridges and other structures that are necessary for everyday life.

The construction field also offers many chances for professional development, as employers often pay more to have workers certified to handle hazardous materials, operate high-tech equipment, ensure workplace safety, lead a team and more. As a construction worker, you may also have the opportunity to learn a trade.

Related: 4 Types of Construction Projects (Plus Construction Careers)

High-paying construction jobs

Although you will also want to factor in your skill set, goals, education and core values, salary is often a high-priority consideration for finding the ideal job. Below are 12 high-paying jobs in the construction field to consider in your job search. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the links provided.

1. Heavy equipment operator

National average salary: $24.08 per hour

Primary duties: Heavy equipment operators control machines like bulldozers, hydraulic cranes, forklifts and backhoes. Workers in this role may be responsible for excavating ground, paving roads and transporting and installing building materials. Employers require heavy equipment operators to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

2. Mason

National average salary: $24.96 per hour

Primary duties: Masonry workers complete tasks related to concrete, brick and stone. Masons mix and pour concrete to construct sidewalks, curbs, floors and walls. It is also important for masons to read blueprints to ensure that their work meets the contractor’s requirements. In most places, you can become a mason with just a high school diploma or GED, but some states require you to have governmental certification.

Read more: What Is Mason Work? (Definition, Types and Salary)

3. Ironworker

National average salary: $25.17 per hour

Primary duties: Ironworkers cut, weld, grind and shape metal to form columns, girders, beams and other building materials. They participate in the construction of buildings, bridges and other structures. Individuals in this role also work with heavy equipment operators to deliver finished materials to the correct place on the job site. Most employers only require ironworkers to have a high school diploma or equivalent and professional certification.

4. Electrician

National average salary: $25.88 per hour

Primary duties: Electricians design, install and maintain wiring systems in construction projects. They direct the placement of lighting fixtures, circuit breakers and electrical control systems. Most electricians only need a high school diploma or GED, although in many states you will need to be officially licensed.

Read more: How To Become an Electrician: Challenges and Solutions

5. Plumber

National average salary: $28.45 per hour

Primary duties: Plumbers follow blueprints to map and install pipes in construction projects. Workers in this job are responsible for drainage fixtures, toilets, sinks and pipes for air, water and other liquids. You can become a plumber with a high school diploma, but most states also require an official certification.

Read more: 5 Types of Plumbers and Their Duties and Salary

6. Pipefitter

National average salary: $28.79 per hour

Primary duties: Pipefitters, also known as steamfitters, design, assemble and install pipe systems for a building project’s heating, cooling and water systems. Pipefitters are usually skilled with welding, brazing, soldering and cementing pipes to ensure their proper installation in a structure. In most cases, you can work as a pipefitter with a high school diploma or equivalent.

7. Construction inspector

National average salary: $31.22 per hour

Primary duties: Construction inspectors oversee the completion of projects to ensure they meet government codes, local ordinances and the contractor’s specifications. It is the construction inspector’s duty to approve plans that meet codes and issue stop-work orders when necessary to get buildings into compliance. Individuals in this job inspect all components of a building, including the framework, plumbing and electrical systems. You can become a construction inspector with a high school diploma or GED, but some employers prefer a college degree.

8. Building Engineer

National average salary: $31.25 per hour

Primary duties: Building engineers oversee the creation and maintenance of structural, electrical and mechanical components of a building job. They may also analyze budgets and other reports to ensure their work fits in a project’s guidelines. Building engineers often stay on-site after construction to perform repairs and preventive maintenance. Entry-level building engineers need a degree from a two-year college, and you will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree to become an advanced building engineer.

9. Boilermaker

National average salary: $34.32 per hour

Primary duties: Boilermakers install steam boilers and boiler houses in new construction projects. They may also be responsible for cleaning and maintaining boiler systems after construction is complete. To become a boilermaker, you will need a high school diploma or GED and to complete an apprenticeship training program.

Read more: How To Write a Boilermaker Resume (With Example and Tips)

10. Construction Superintendent

National average salary: $34.78 per hour

Primary duties: Superintendents supervise all aspects of a construction project. They are responsible for hiring and managing engineers, vendors, contractors, subcontractors and consultants.

Construction superintendents ensure that projects meet health, safety and environmental standards. It is also a superintendent’s job to keep projects within a budget and on schedule. After a job is complete, superintendents perform quality control and order any extra tasks necessary to finalize the project. Although you can become a superintendent with a high school diploma, most positions require a bachelor’s degree.

Construction work can be an exciting and rewarding career. In this field, your labor produces some of society’s most important and useful structures. Many construction jobs are available for a wide variety of skill levels. Use this list of 12 construction jobs to help you find a position that pays well.

Related: Construction Foreman vs Superintendent: Key Differences

11. Civil engineer

National average salary: $35.08 per hour

Primary duties: Civil engineers design and oversee construction of a variety of projects including roadways, airports, bridges, harbors, power plants, public and private buildings and more. It is also a civil engineer’s responsibility to ensure that projects meet environmental, health and safety standards. To become a civil engineer, you will need a bachelor’s degree, although many also hold a master’s degree.

Read more: 7 Types of Civil Engineering Specializations (Plus Tips)

12. Construction manager

National average salary: $44.37 per hour

Primary duties: Construction managers oversee planning, design and assembly of most aspects of a job. Workers in this role set attainable deadlines for a job’s completion and ensure that projects stay within budget guidelines. Managers also assign roles to other workers like electricians, plumbers and general laborers and supervise them in their duties. Most employers require construction managers to have a bachelor’s degree.

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