Construction is a consistent demand, and if you’re someone who’s made a career of it, maybe from this list of the 25 best states for construction workers you’ll find a new home.
When you search for the highest paying and most stable industries in America, construction is never left off the list. It’s also part of some of the most in-demand jobs in the world. The demand doesn’t appear to be diminishing anytime soon because the US is a continuously developing country. There are always new buildings to be created, renovations to be done, and establishments popping up. Because the population keeps growing, there’s a natural growing demand for new houses, condominium towers, and even shopping malls and restaurants. It’s an endless cycle of demand, which is great for anyone who’s in this field.
Construction work isn’t easy. Workers are usually exposed to sunlight and they have to be used to manual labor and a physically demanding environment. You need good stamina and endurance. Also, you have to be skilled in handling tools like mechanical hoists, cement mixers, earth tampers, among others. Construction work is broad and diverse, and one must be prepared for the intense physical and mental demands of the job.
At the moment, there are 887,580 construction workers employed in America. The average hourly rate is $17.57, which comes out to about $36,550 annually. It seems natural that the state that pays construction workers the most will also rank highest on this list. However, while it impacts the criteria, it’s not the only point to take into consideration. In a practical sense, even if you earn higher than the average, if you have to spend most of your wages on living expenses, the amount becomes pointless. For a state to top the list, it should hit the perfect balance between the pay and the cost of living index. We’ll also be looking for states with the best employment rates.
Naturally, cities with the most ongoing construction projects will have more demand, but that’s not all we need to know for this list. We found each state’s cost of living, sourced from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center; the annual median rate for construction; and the employment rates, both sourced from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Let’s say you’re just in this for the money — take a look at our list of the 6 Easiest Jobs in Construction that Pay Well. For this list, though, we ranked each state according to cost of living, wages, and employment rates. Their rankings were averaged to come up with our results.
Without further ado, let’s pack our bags and take a look at the 25 best states for construction workers.
Annual median salary: $26,850
Cost of living index: 99
Employment: 51,270 jobs
Florida’s annual median salary for construction workers isn’t too fancy. It’s way below the national average, but the state offers a lot of job opportunities in this industry. It is still a good state for these workers, as the low cost of living means they don’t have to spend a huge chunk of their wages on living expenses.
Annual median salary: $29,050
Cost of living index: 92.8
Construction workers in Utah, next on our list of best states for construction workers earn more than those in Florida. They also have higher chances of saving and getting more of what they earn because of the lower cost of living index. Apart from that, there are thousands of jobs available for people aspiring to work in the construction field. No shortage of work here.
Annual median salary: $28,520
Cost of living index: 94.4
Louisiana is another state on our list of best states for construction workers with a low salary that is greatly balanced by a low cost of living index. While construction laborers don’t get a huge paycheck, their purchasing power is strong because basic goods tend to be cheaper here as compared to other states. The employment rates look promising, too.
Annual median salary: $29,480
Cost of living index: 98.1
There are tons of construction projects in Arizona, which gives way to this high number of employment rate. The state also offers a salary that is higher than most states, even when it is still lower than the national average. The cost of living index is also sustainable – not too low but still cheaper than others.
Annual median salary: $32,090
Cost of living index: 102.1
There are over 20,000 jobs available for construction workers in Colorado and the state also pays them quite well. The cost of living rate that is higher than the national average, but because the wage is higher than $30,000, it still looks worth it.
Annual median salary: $31,770
Cost of living: 90.8
Kentucky has a very impressive cost of living rate, which looks like it could be sustained even with wages so low. What’s interesting is their annual median salary for construction workers is still higher than most states in America. No wonder most construction laborers try to get a job and make a living here.
Annual median salary: $30,390
Cost of living: 90.4
Like Kentucky, Kansas’s claim to this list is its cost of living index. There are less than 10,000, but that count still looks like a goldmine for people who have been jobless for a long time.
Annual median salary: $49,230
Cost of living: 134.7
Massachusetts, next on our list of best states for construction workers pays construction workers a salary that is higher the national average. At almost $50,000, you might be wondering why this state is far from the top one spot. This is the classic case of making more money but having to spend so much of it on your living expenses. On a brighter note, they have a high employment rate.
Annual median salary: $26,520
Cost of living: 91.4
We are continuing our list of best states for construction workers with Georgia that has among the best employment rates on construction workers in America. Their annual median salary is at the bottom part of the ladder, but when you balance it with their current cost of living index, it could still go a long way. You can still enjoy a big part of what you earn because of how low the living expenses are.
Annual median salary: $28,700
Cost of living: 88.6
With a cost of living rate that low, the median salary Oklahoma has for construction workers could already go a long way. Housing rates, basic goods, and utility expenses are so cheap, you would have so much more left for treating yourself.
Annual median salary: $39,700
Cost of living: 101.1
Minnesota offers a salary that is above the national average for construction workers, which quite explains their employment rate that’s down to over 10,000 jobs. Even so, they still have more jobs for construction work than other states. The cost of living does not disappoint either, as it’s just a little bit over the average. You are still able to have some savings when you balance the income with the expenses.
Annual median salary: $28,180
Cost of living: 89.8
Tennessee has always been part of lists for best places to live in America, mainly because of how affordable it is to live there. The cost of living rate is easily one of the best in the country, so any salary range seems enough to sustain a living. Plus, their employment index complements the expenses as well.
Annual median salary: $32,390
Cost of living: 91.7
Iowa’s statistics look very promising, with a median wage that is almost at the average. There is also a cost of living that’s cheaper than most states, so you should not have a problem with your budget. Employment rates on construction labor also show the huge demand, which is always a good thing these days when it is not easy to look for a job.
Annual median salary: $36,960
Cost of living: 96.9
Hitting the average for the annual median salary for construction laborers is Wisconsin, which explains why it made it to the list of the 25 best states for construction workers. The cost of living index is also in good shape, making construction workers happy with what they earn here. The employment rate is also a great indication of how great the state is for this job and probably many other work opportunities.
Annual median salary: $37,770
Cost of living: 134.8
California ranks second in the states with the highest employment rates for construction workers. The demand is so high, which results in a median wage that is also higher than the average. The salary is almost always among the highest in the country but is also always dominated by their very high cost of living rates. Nevertheless, the Golden State is still worth a try.
10. New York
Annual median salary: $38,860
Cost of living: 135.2
New York, number 10 on our list of best states for construction workers, has always had the spotlight when it comes to job opportunities and salary. Because it is considered as the center for business, it is no wonder that the state has very high employment rates. Like California, though, the bubble for high wages is immediately burst by its high cost of living rates. The expensive cost of living in New York doesn’t surprise, though, as the state is popular for being that.
Annual median salary: $34,620
Cost of living: 102.8
Pennsylvania’s wage for construction workers is hovering near the national average. Even when you try balancing it with the cost of living, it still makes sense because the living expenses in Pennsylvania are still around the national average. They also have great employment rates for construction jobs, making the state among the best in the country to be a construction worker.
Annual median salary: $39,360
Cost of living: 107.1
Washington, next on our list of best states for construction workers looks like it struck the perfect balance between a good salary rate and a sustainable cost of living index. The state pays their construction laborers more than most American states do, also because the demand is so high. There are other states that have that same balance, but Washington is already a good one since employment shows so much promise.
7. New Jersey
Annual median salary: $45,730
Cost of living: 121
New Jersey ranks fifth when it comes to the wages they offer to construction laborers. It ranks 7th on our list of best states for construction workers. That is surely a compensation that is good enough for the tiring and challenging work they have. However, they might not be able to truly enjoy what they earn, because a huge part of it will surely go to their living expenses. A few sacrifices might be needed to make the most of their salaries. Then again, look at their employment rates. They still outdo most American states.
Annual median salary: $27,740
Cost of living: 90.7
Because Texas has several fast rising small cities, it is no surprise that they rank first in terms of employment for construction workers. They might not pay much – as you can see their salary rates are below average, but with the cost of living, you know you’ll make the most out of it. There’d be no shortage of jobs, too.
Annual median salary: $37,290
Cost of living: 90.8
Missouri’s annual median salary for construction workers is about the national average, and quite a lot more than most construction laborers in American earn. Living in Missouri, next on our list of best states for construction workers is far from expensive, too, since basic goods and utility services are more affordable than the rest of the country. Needless to say, construction workers in Missouri are able to enjoy their high wages than those living in New York and California.
Annual median salary: $38,370
Cost of living: 87.9
If you thought Missouri had an ideal income-expenses balance, you haven’t seen Indiana’s statistics. The wages offered to construction workers is higher than the average. When you factor in how much they spend on their living expenses, they end up with more than enough to save and spend because of their very low cost of living rates. How’s that for a state having over 15,000 jobs in this industry?
Annual median salary: $35,660
Cost of living: 88.2
Michigan’s average wages for construction laborers are just a few dollars shy of hitting the national average. It does not seem so much at first glance, but it sure is worth more when you realize how cheap it is to live here. They have among the lowest cost of living rates in America, which is also why they are a consistent topper in the best states to live in. There are also tons of jobs for construction workers.
Annual median salary: $36,730
Cost of living: 93
With wages just hovering at the national average, working in Ohio, next on our list of best states for construction workers as a construction worker isn’t all that bad. Take their ideally sustainable cost of living rates as your encouragement. You might not earn as much as you could in Hawaii, for example, where average salaries for construction laborers are at $50,050, but the Aloha State also has a ridiculously high cost of living. Ohio offers you average wages, low living expenses, and very good employment rates.
Annual median salary: $49,770
Cost of living: 95.5
Illinois ranked second in terms of wages for construction laborers, so how it topped the list is not a surprise at all. What makes it an even better state to live for construction workers is how cheap it is to sustain a living in the state. Since Chicago and other cities in Illinois are all continuously developing to mega cities, construction jobs do not seem to die down anytime soon.
America’s cities all continue to develop, and always have new establishments getting launched and built from time to time. From that fact alone, we can almost guarantee that construction work will always be in high demand, and maybe even have increased rates every year. As long as these jobs are available, make sure to get one in one of the 25 best states for construction workers.