High-paying careers:
Construction affords opportunities with substantial pay and benefits

Welder on staircase

            There’s no better time to work in the construction industry. With a growing shortage of skilled workers, salaries remain high and career opportunities are plentiful. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) released its annual Construction Craft Salary Survey, which lists the average annual salaries of craft professionals from industrial and commercial construction firms across the country. Average annual salaries ranged from $47,700 to more than $92,000.

            As high as these salaries are, the reality is that what skilled craft professionals earn is typically far greater. The salaries listed in NCCER’s survey are average, base salaries, not including overtime, per diem, bonuses or other incentives. Construction is known for having plenty of overtime and travel opportunities as well as bonuses. In addition, many contractors have incentives that pay for employee training, vacation time, retirement plans, cell phones, vehicle allowances and/or per diem or housing, depending on the length of a project.

            Few industries offer the high salaries, incentives or growth opportunities found in the construction sector. While many craft professionals can earn well over six figures, it is important to remember that project location, company size, construction type, credentials, certifications and experience are some of the factors that determine a skilled professional’s salary.

No limits on where craft professionals can go

            These salaries show the earning potential that the construction industry offers individuals with or without a college degree. Construction is one of the few sectors where individuals can earn while they learn through industry training programs at local community or career colleges. Regardless of where a person starts, there’s no limit to where he or she can go in this industry.

            In construction, individuals can enter the workforce straight out of high school and start earning a salary. From there, they can develop their skills and take advantage of endless opportunities with huge earning potential. There’s no better way to earn a living if you ask me! 

Jennifer Wilkerson
Jennifer Wilkerson,
Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Build Your Future at NCCER

This article is reprinted with permission from “Breaking Ground: The NCCER (The National Center for Construction Education and Research) Blog” at blog.nccer.org. The salary statistics have been updated since the article and blog were originally published.

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