As urban populations surge, so does the demand for new construction and architecture professionals. With so many aspects of building projects requiring specialized attention, determining the best construction jobs out there can be challenging.
To assist with this, we’ve combed through data to determine not only the best paying construction jobs but also the best construction jobs for the future, based on economic and social outlooks from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We’ve listed them in no particular order.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Best Construction Jobs: 15 In-Demand Career Paths
#1. Urban Architect
Some of the best paying jobs in construction go towards those who manage to crack the architectural industry in large metropolitan areas. The scale of construction projects in these areas necessitate skilled, professional guidance from architects who ensure buildings are beautiful, safe, and functional.
The top 10% of architects in America earn an average of $129,810 according to the United States Department of Labor. The median salary is still nothing to laugh at: $76,930.
Job forecasts are also stronger than average for urban architects, with an expected growth of 8% through 2028.
#2. Construction Superintendent
Many states have laws ensuring that construction superintendents are present on job sites that reach a certain level of complexity.
America’s increasing urbanization means such projects are popping up at an increasing pace, meaning there is significant demand for construction superintendents.
With a median pay of $93,370 per year and expected industry growth of an above average 10%, the role of construction superintendent is one of the best construction jobs for the future. For smaller projects, architects often fill this role as well, making it quite versatile.
Click here to find out more about what construction superintendents do and the field’s outlook.
#3. Architectural and Engineering Manager
The role of architectural and engineering manager is a step up from your standard entry-level architecture job. Because of the expertise it requires (a minimum of five years in related roles), it is one of the best paying construction jobs out there.
Architectural and engineering managers make a median pay of $140,760 per year and are responsible for coordinating lower-level architects and engineers. At 3%, expected growth through 2028 is slower than the average rate of 5% — but those who manage to crack this industry do very well.
#4. Elevator Workers
Almost all modern, multi-storey buildings have elevators these days. In many cases, it’s a legal requirement for accessibility and safety. Plus, with buildings scaling to near-unfathomable heights every year, elevator workers have their work cut out for them.
Those who install and repair elevators can expect above-average industry growth of 10% and a median salary of $79,780.
#5. Electrical Engineers
As with most of the best paying jobs in construction, an electrical engineer’s work grows more and more complex by the year. Cities are increasingly power-hungry and large construction companies often employ electrical engineers by the hundreds.
Electrical engineers (not to be confused with the electrician that may service your home, although that’s a good-paying job too) earn a median salary of $99,070. Industry growth is predicted to be low at 2% through 2028 but demand is steady and workers can enter this field with a Bachelor’s degree.
Those who enjoy building and working with their hands will be pleased to know that block masonry is among the best paid construction jobs that can be had with a high school diploma and completion of an apprenticeship.
It’s a physically demanding job but the industry is growing much faster than average, at 11% and median pay is a reasonable $44,810.
#7. Concrete Finisher
The words “construction” and “concrete” seem almost synonymous, due to the material’s use in just about every type of structure imaginable.
As with block masonry, concrete finishing is one of the best paid construction jobs for those with a high school diploma who have the propensity to learn on the job.
The best of the best can earn upwards of $72,000 per year but the median salary is still a healthy $40,000 and change. This job is also projected to grow at an astounding rate of 11% annually through 2028 in the United States, making it similarly one of the best construction jobs for the future.
#8. Iron and Steel Worker
Although their job is not for the faint of heart considering the heights often involved, structural iron and steel workers are compensated well for their work and benefit from a strong outlook for industry growth at 11%.
The industry-wide median pay is $52,770 per year.
#9. Construction Equipment Operators
While architects and construction superintendents provide highly valuable supervision of a project’s progress, skilled equipment operators are still required to carry out the work.
Such workers are compensated well for their efforts, with a median pay of $46,990 per year and expected industry growth of 10%.
Carpentry is another one of the best paying jobs in construction for those who enjoy working and building things with their hands. Carpenters primarily construct, install, and repair wooden building frameworks — tasks that require architectural expertise.
Carpenters make an average of $46,590 per year and the industry is expected to grow by 8% through 2028.
A drafter works to turn the work of engineers and architects into technical drawings. It’s one of the best construction jobs for those who don’t necessarily enjoy being out in the field, as much of the work is done with computers.
There’s one downside; experts predict little to no industry growth. Pay is still healthy at an average of $55,550 and drafting is primarily ideal for architects looking to broaden their skills as being able to do both will be a major asset going forward.
#12. Plumbers and Pipefitters
All buildings require plumbing systems, which pipefitters, plumbers, and steamfitters provide. Compensation is solid at $53,910 per year and projected growth is staggering, with an anticipated surge of 14% through 2028 in the United States.
This is largely because new and old buildings alike require plumbing expertise; there’s plenty of maintenance and installation work to be done.
The role of boilermaker is another one of the best construction jobs. In this role, professionals can expect 6% growth through 2028 and a median salary of $62,150 per year, making it one of the best paid construction jobs as well.
#14. Insulation Worker
In warm, cold, and in-between environments, insulators carry out valuable work. As with some other entries on this list, it’s one of the best paying jobs in construction that can be learned in the field with no stringent educational requirements.
Insulation workers earn a median pay of $41,910 per year and industry growth is pegged at 5% through 2028.
#15. Construction Laborer and Helper
Last but certainly not least, we have the role of construction laborer and helper. This may not be among the best paying construction jobs empirically but the role’s lack of educational requirements and the opportunity that it provides to work alongside higher-level professionals makes it a great starter position.
Expected growth is high at 11% and the median pay is $34,810 per annum.