15 of the Highest-Paying Jobs in Construction

Discover the construction roles where hard hats meet high earnings.

architects working on construction site
Updated May 28, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Construction jobs have become more in demand in recent years with the increase in infrastructure projects.

The Association of Builders and Contractors estimates a need for more than 500,000 additional construction workers than what’s available in the market today.

Could you be one of these construction workers? Check out these high-paying positions to see if one might be right for you and to help you get ahead financially.

Get paid up to $225 a month while watching viral videos

Instead of sitting around watching viral videos on YouTube, you could be getting paid actual cash taking surveys for InboxDollars instead.

It's simple. You sign up here and confirm your email. Then you watch videos and take surveys. Then you earn cash (yes, actual cash … not "points"). Log in during your spare time and see how you can earn up to an extra $225 every month.

BONUS: Free $5 when you sign up, confirm your email and phone.

Sign up and start getting paid today

Elevator and escalator installer

Tomasz Zajda/Adobe engineer inspecting new elevator

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers deal with the inner workings of elevators and escalators. The specialization of the position can lead to an impressive salary and the opportunity to boost your bank account.

Elevator and escalator installers can earn an estimated $99,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Many positions only need a high school diploma to start an apprenticeship. Most states will also require you to be licensed to work in the position.


Freedomz/Adobe architects and engineers mapping blueprints

Some projects start with a unique design from an architect for a building or home. You may plan the exterior of a building or design interior space as part of the design. Architects usually require a bachelor’s degree as well as passing an exam.

Architects can expect to earn a median annual wage of $82,840.

Construction manager

Halfpoint/Adobe male engineer inspecting site holding blueprints

A construction manager is responsible for overseeing a project to make sure everything is running correctly. 

Construction managers can be responsible for the project from start to finish by coordinating contractors, overseeing construction progress, and making sure the project’s budget is covered properly.

Expect to earn a median annual wage of $101,480 as a construction manager.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.1

How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.

Try it

Constructor or building inspector

godshutter/Adonbe male worker inspecting site with checklist

Construction and building inspectors are responsible for reviewing a structure during construction to ensure everything is being built properly and within regulations. 

You usually need at least a high school diploma for the position, but it’s also important to have previous experience in the construction field.

A construction or building inspector makes a median annual wage of $64,480, according to the BLS.


cihan/Adobe engineer molding iron rods on site

Ironworkers install the structural and reinforcing iron and steel for buildings, roads, and bridges. 

You can get a job as an ironworker with a high school diploma followed by an apprenticeship or other on-the-job training.

Ironworkers can expect to make a median annual wage of $58,330.

Civil engineer

I Believe I Can Fly/Adobe engineers building blueprints together

Civil engineers are responsible for planning and designing the structures being built. You may have to analyze plans, understand construction regulations, or get permit approvals for work.

Civil engineers make $89,940 in median annual wages for a position expected to see 5% job growth by 2032.


Kurhan/Adobe male plumber fixing sink

Plumbers and pipefitters put together piping throughout a construction project. You may be responsible for planning plumbing fixtures and pipe systems throughout a building or home, or you might have to repair issues as part of a reconstruction project.

Plumbers can expect to earn $60,090 in median annual wage, according to the BLS.


sculpies/Adobe male carpenter fixing roof

A carpenter uses wood and other materials to construct and install a building’s framework. You also may be responsible for interior cabinetry, like kitchen cabinets, molding, and other wood-based additions.

The BLS estimates that carpenters make a median annual salary of $51,390.

Construction equipment operator

perfectlab/Adobe female crane operator in cabin

Construction projects may need heavy equipment to help build or repair structures as part of the process. These heavy machines need specialized workers to operate and maintain the on-site equipment.

Construction equipment operators can make $51,050 in median annual income.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!2

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today


John Casey/Adobe male worker grinding industrial steel

Boilermakers are responsible for boilers and other closed vats you may need as part of the construction process. You may have to install and repair boilers, inspect systems, or clean boiler vats.

As a boilermaker, you can expect to make $66,920 in median annual wages.


puhimec/Adobe male electrician connecting cables in switchboard

Electricians are responsible for installing and repairing electrical power, communications, and control system equipment. 

Electricians usually need additional education or an apprenticeship. You’ll also need to check if your state requires electricians to have a license to work.

Electricians earn a median annual wage of $60,240, with positions for electricians expected to increase by 6% over the next decade.

Drywall installer

Tomasz Zajda/Adobe male contractor using drill machine

Drywall installers connect drywall to a framework and tape it up to seal any cracks between the pieces. Drywall installers can work in residential construction, like homes, or commercial construction, such as new office buildings.

The BLS estimates that drywall installers earn a median annual wage of $51,160.

Cost estimator

auremar/Aadobe new contractor consulting site supervisor

A cost estimator is responsible for reviewing a construction plan and estimating the costs involved in a project. You may need to know how to source materials, budget for projects, and work on the financial aspects of pricing out a project.

Cost estimators can earn a median annual wage of $71,200.


LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe female surveyor using radio set outdoors

Surveyors are essential to the construction process as they find the precise measurements for property boundaries to direct construction projects.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, surveyors earn a median annual wage of $63,080.

Pile driver operator

mavoimages/Adobe african female operating forklift at warehouse

A pile driver operator runs the machines to drive pilings in for things like retaining walls and foundations for buildings and bridges.

You’ll need an apprenticeship or vocational school; employers could also require certification to be a pile driver operator.

Pile driver operators earn a median annual wage of $64,310.

Bottom line

visoot/Adobe engineers discussing blueprints at construction site

Construction work may be a good option if you want to make a career change or you’re trying to save money for your financial goals. The right career path can help you stop living paycheck to paycheck.

You should also budget for any continuing education you might need to get a job in construction, such as a commercial driver’s license. Or a potential employer may cover the cost.

SurveyJunkie Benefits

  • Over $55,000 paid to members daily
  • Earn up to $130 a month taking 4 or more surveys daily
  • $76 million paid out to date
  • 20M+ lifetime members and BBB accreditation

Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.