High-Paying Construction Jobs

Jan 19, 2020

Career Options for High-Paying Construction Jobs

The construction industry can be particularly appealing to individuals who like to work with their hands or operate machinery. Another potential benefit is that many careers in this field involve on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, which means that it's possible to earn a salary while learning a trade. The following construction jobs all have a median annual salary of almost $50,000 or more, which is higher than the median annual income for all occupations in 2018 of $38,640, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Construction Managers $93,370 10%
Pile-Driver Operators $58,680 11%
Boilermakers $62,150 6%
Electricians $55,190 10%
Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters $53,910 14%
Elevator Installers and Repairers $79,780 10%
Explosives Workers, Ordinance Handling Experts and Blasters $49,860 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for High-Paying Construction Jobs

Construction Managers

Construction managers are one of the few professionals in this field who usually need to have a bachelor's degree as well as prior experience in construction. They oversee construction projects and may perform tasks such as hiring subcontractors, developing a budget for projects and ensuring that all applicable safety regulations are followed. The BLS reported a median annual income of $93,370 for construction managers as of 2018, which makes this a lucrative construction career option.

Pile-Driver Operators

As of 2018, the BLS reported that pile-driver operators enjoyed a median annual income of $58,680, which is well above the median salary for all occupations. Pile-driver operators must have a high school diploma or GED and can opt to prepare for this career by attending a vocational school program, completing an apprenticeship or learning through on-the-job training. Pile-driver operators operate machines that are used to put heavy beams into the ground. These beams are used in the construction of things like building foundations and piers.


Boilermakers work with equipment such as boilers and vats, which can hold water and other liquids. The containers they assemble and maintain can also hold gases and are commonly installed in factories or homes. The BLS reported that boilermakers earned a median salary of $62,150 as of 2018, which is around $25,000 higher than the median annual wage the BLS reported for all occupations. Boilermakers need to have a high school diploma or GED and usually learn this trade by completing an apprenticeship.


Electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical systems. They may perform such tasks as wiring a new building and replacing damaged wires or components in a pre-existing structure. It's most common for electricians to earn their license by completing an apprenticeship, though a program at a technical school can also be used to help meet the training requirements needed for licensure. In 2018, the BLS reported that electricians enjoyed a median salary of $55,190.

Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters

Technical school training or an apprenticeship can prepare aspiring plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters for careers in this trade. Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters perform such tasks as installing plumbing or repairing damaged pipes. The systems steamfitters work with are used to transport steam. The BLS indicates these professionals earned a median salary of $53,910, which is around $15,000 higher than the median annual wage for all occupations.

Elevator Installers and Repairers

With the BLS reporting that elevator installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $79,780 in 2018, these professionals enjoy one of the highest salaries in the construction industry. They troubleshoot problems with control systems, repair motors, install and test elevators as well as other types of equipment, such as escalators. To prepare for a career as an elevator installer and repairer, it's necessary to earn a high school diploma or GED and complete an apprenticeship. Many states also require elevator installers and repairers to be licensed.

Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters

When buildings need to be demolished or rocks need to be removed, explosives workers, ordnance handling experts and blasters use their expertise to perform these tasks safely. The BLS indicates that the 2018 median income for these construction professionals was $49,860. Although some workers in this field do opt to complete a postsecondary certificate, most explosives workers, ordnance handling experts and blasters have a high school diploma or GED and learn on the job.

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