Best states for construction jobs

Best states for construction jobs

The United States has a booming construction industry worth more than $1.3 trillion that employs over seven million workers. Not all states contribute equally to these figures, though. Keep reading to learn more about the best states for construction jobs based on a variety of data points.

Best states for construction jobs by pay

First, here’s a breakdown of the best states for construction, based on average wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for construction workers.

StateAverage annual salary for construction laborersAverage annual salary for workers in all industries
Hawaii$72,960$58,190
Illinois$70,430$58,070
New Jersey$65,540$63,690
Massachusetts$67,920$70,010
New York$67,580$67,850

As you can see, the average construction worker in each of these states earns an annual salary comparable to those offered in other occupations. In Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey, the average construction worker actually earns more than the average worker in all occupations state-wide.

Best states for construction jobs by number of employees

Of course, pay data alone won’t provide a complete picture regarding what the best places for construction jobs are. It also helps to look at employment numbers, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides for construction laborers.

StateEmploymentEmployment in all jobs
Texas608,11012,102,370
California672,28016,430,660
Florida413,8008,441,750
New York311,4308,691,440
Pennsylvania213,6305,512,120

The key takeaway based on this data is arguably that construction workers comprise a significant percentage of the workforce in each of these states. This should provide some perspective regarding the industry’s significance in these regions whether you’re an individual worker wondering where to relocate or a business looking to expand.


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Best states for construction jobs based on industry GDP growth

According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the following states have seen the most significant real construction GDP growth:

  • Arizona
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • West Virginia
  • New Mexico
  • Washington
  • Florida

Best cities for construction jobs

Looking for some more granular data? Here are the best U.S. cities for construction jobs. 

First, here’s the ranking of cities by employment based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityEmployment
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA59,570
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA30,000
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX29,380
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX25,000
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI23,860
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL17,850
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ16,790
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV16,240

As you can see, the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metropolitan area is home to more construction jobs than any other metropolitan area in the United States (and by quite a wide margin).

Here’s the breakdown by employment growth, according to the AGC:

  1. Dallas-Plano-Irving
  2. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale
  3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
  4. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
  5. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
  6. Nassau and Suffolk Counties (New York)
  7. Omaha (Nebraska)-Council Bluffs (Iowa)
  8. St. Louis
  9. San Diego-Carlsbad
  10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell

As you can see, these metropolitan areas are spread fairly evenly throughout the United States.

Key takeaways when analyzing the best places for construction jobs

Here are some key takeaways from the data we’ve analyzed in this article.

Construction is big business right across America

From New York to California and everywhere in between, construction is a major driver of economic activity across the United States. Indeed, there are no regions within the country that aren’t on the list, whether it be for sheer employment numbers or competitive wages for construction workers.

Construction workers can earn competitive wages throughout America

In each of the regions we’ve highlighted throughout this article, the average construction worker’s salary typically matches or exceeds that of the average worker across all occupations. In other words, construction work pays well no matter where you live in America – and you don’t need to be a higher-up in the industry to earn a livable wage.

Regions with the best pay aren’t always the fastest growing

You’ve likely noticed that the list of best places for construction jobs changes depending on what metric you measure with.

If you’re an established construction worker looking for high pay, for instance, states known for compensating construction workers highly may be of interest to you. If you’re looking for the best state in which to enter the industry, meanwhile, you may care more about the number of positions. Regions don’t always overlap based on the two criteria, which makes this an important distinction.

Pay and availability differ substantially based on the role

The figures we’ve quoted throughout this article are averages across all types of construction jobs (unless noted otherwise). As you might expect, however, pay and job availability differ substantially based on the role. Keep this in mind when looking for the best place for construction jobs; if you have a specific role in mind, conduct research based on it.

Check out this article for a list of the highest-paid construction jobs.

Cost of living should play a role in your decision-making as well

Just because the average construction worker earns more in a particular state doesn’t mean they bring more home than workers elsewhere. Higher salaries are often accompanied by higher living costs. So if you’re using this data to make a personal decision, be sure to compare the average pay for construction workers in a particular state with the average cost of housing and other essentials.

Bridgit Bench is the resource management tool of choice for construction professionals throughout America

No matter where you work in the United States, Bridgit Bench can help streamline your construction company’s resource management processes. Construction professionals across the country use Bridgit Bench to:

  • schedule labor
  • conduct pursuit tracking
  • maintain project and human resource databases
  • conduct remote resource planning sessions
  • easily create resource allocation and utilization reports

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Click here to learn more about Bridgit Bench. You can also read what our customers throughout North America have to say about Bridgit Bench here. If you’re ready to schedule a demo of Bridgit Bench, visit this page.

Brandon-Richard Austin

Brandon-Richard Austin is a writer and content strategist focused on the construction sector. He’s passionate about educating readers on construction management techniques and best practices.