The 5 Highest Paying Construction Jobs

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 5, 2018

Jul 5, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Working in construction may not seem very glamorous to the unknowing outsider. But, those who have been in this industry for a while know there are all kinds of interesting opportunities available in construction.

Construction may lead you to work on high-rise buildings, suburban homes, fancy hospitals, and everything in between. No matter what you do though, you have to work hard and have a plan for where you want to end up.

This field doesn't always have to be about laying foundation or driving machines around all day. You can set your sights on one of the highest paying construction jobs and become a project manager or maybe a glazier.

Not sure you have what it takes to be the former? Do you need a bit of clarification on what the latter is? Keep reading for all the insights you need about the best paying construction jobs.

1. Project Manager

A project manager is one of the top dogs on a construction site, if not the actual person at the top. They usually have a higher-up to report to within the construction company or at least a client to communicate back and forth with.

When it comes to the building process, though, everyone looks to this person for decision making and in the moment commands. The project manager is responsible for everything from planning the build before any ground gets broken to supervising the whole build from start to finish. They coordinate with outside specialists and other teams to make sure everyone is on the same page, help allocate the budget, and ensure the safety of each person on site, too.

You'll need a bachelor's degree and some sort of construction experience to start working toward this role. Keep in mind there's no fast track to the top; there will be a few promotions you need to obtain to go from entry-level employee to project manager. Once you're there, you can expect an annual salary of about $91,000 and plenty of hard work to do every single day.

2. Elevator Installers and Repairers

If $91,000 doesn't sound too bad, how about making almost $80,000 a year just for doing repairs on a building? Well, elevator installations and maintenance aren't exactly simple repairs, but then again that's why this is the second of all highest-paying jobs in construction.

This is a great job for those who love the hands-on aspect of construction. It also helps if you don't have a fear of heights. Expect to be working on brand-new escalators and moving walkways as well as elevators. You'll be repairing all of these things from time to time too, and there may be some other lift that will require your special attention on a project.

Most states require elevator installers and repairers to have a license in this skill. Throughout the nation, though, your best bet for landing a job like this is to start as an apprentice and work your way up - get it?

3. Cost Estimator

For those who prefer management tasks and staying on the ground when working in construction, being a cost estimator may be the right job for you.

This person works hand in hand with the project manager to make sure everything stays within the budget, but they make almost $30,000 less. The average annual salary is roughly $63,000.

To make this money, you need to be good at estimating expenses that go beyond financial resources. In addition to balancing the books, cost estimators predict how much time, labor, and manpower is necessary to complete a project. They look at it from all sides in order to come up with the most accurate monetary numbers.

Most people learn how to crunch such numbers with on the job training, which comes after obtaining a bachelor's degree. The work environment happens in the office more often than not, with some on-site visits from time to time.

4. Boilermakers

Have you ever heard of the boiler room in a big building? This is where boilers are stored, which are steam-based heating systems typically used in large factories and other production-related buildings. The people who make the boilers are called boilermakers, and they earn about $62,000 a year.

This is a job best learned by practice. It requires precision, focus, and a deep understanding of proper safety requirements. As such, many people prepare to be boilermakers right out of high school by getting an apprenticeship. Those who find this job later in life still have an opportunity to become one, but still have to start as an apprentice like everyone else.

Note: this job is hard work. It puts people in intense physical conditions and may require you to travel and be away from your family more often than you think.

5. Glaziers $42,580

The construction jobs list has covered everything from the managers at the top to the boilermakers who work in the basement. Then there are the people who manage the money and make sure everyone gets to each floor safely, and finally, those who install the windows all around the building.

The window installers are referred to as glaziers. They make about $42,000 each year for installing and fitting glass into window openings, roofs, and doors. It's another option on this list that is available through apprenticeship rather than going to college.

Glaziers can specialize in anything from high-rise buildings to one-story commercial locations. They may work on brand-new apartment complexes one day and move on to house restorations the next.

It pays to know about more than just windows to be a really good glazier, though. You may find out you have an eye for interior design or an interest in the best insulation practices. These things help you bring something new to the table when working with future clients.

Find the Highest Paying Construction Jobs in Your Area

It's one thing to understand what the highest paying construction jobs are in the industry as a whole, and which ones are the most available to you. You may not be ready to be a project manager yet, or, there may not be a need for many elevator installers in your area.

To find the best job match in the construction field for you, click here.