The 10 Best States for Construction Worker Salaries

Do you know which states have the best salaries for construction workers? The answers may surprise you. Salaries for construction workers can vary greatly depending on which area of the country you are living in and among the various trades. For example, an electrician in New York makes an average annual salary of $73,010 while an electrician in Alabama only averages $46,390 a year. A construction laborer in Illinois can make almost as much ($56,180) as a first-line supervisor in North Carolina ($57,710).

For more information on construction worker salaries, be sure to check out our new interactive infographic: The Best (and Worst) Paying Construction Trades.

We’ve put together a list of the 10 best state for construction worker salaries. The data used was based on annual wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics for Construction and Extraction Occupations. The most current data is from May 2016 and covers a wide range of occupations from first-line supervisors to construction trades like electricians, masons and roofers to construction laborers and helpers.

Here are the 10 best states for construction worker salaries:

  1. Alaska – $67,210
  2. Hawaii – $65,140
  3. Illinois – $64,400
  4. New York – $62,960
  5. Mississippi – $61,240
  6. New Jersey – $60,100
  7. Washington – $57,090
  8. California – $56,770
  9. Minnesota – $56,040
  10. Connecticut – $55,650

The worst three states for construction salaries were North Carolina at $38,660, South Dakota at $38,300 and Arkansas at $36,450.

Because the cost of living differs greatly in each state, we also put together a list of the 10 best states for construction worker salaries factoring in the cost of living index for each state compared to the national average index score of 100.

State Average Annual Salary X (Cost of Living National Average / State Cost of Living) = Adjusted Annual Salary

  1. Illinois – $67,932 – Cost of Living Index: 94.8
  2. Missouri – $57,052 – Cost of Living Index: 89.9
  3. Wyoming – $56,050 – Cost of Living Index: 90.9
  4. Minnesota – $55,928 – Cost of Living Index: 100.2
  5. Indiana – $55,344 – Cost of Living Index: 87.2
  6. North Dakota – $54,912 – Cost of Living Index: 96.7
  7. Wisconsin – $54,259 – Cost of Living Index: 95.1
  8. Michigan – $53,782 – Cost of Living Index: 90.7
  9. Washington – $53,405 – Cost of Living Index: 106.9
  10. Ohio – $51,433 – Cost of Living Index: 92.8

The three worst states for construction worker salaries when factoring cost of living were New Hampshire with a Cost of Living Index of 120.7 and an adjusted annual salary of $38,070, Maine with a Cost of Living Index of 112.3 and an adjusted annual salary of $36,651 and Vermont with a Cost of Living Index of 121.3 and an adjusted annual salary of $36,438.

3 thoughts on “The 10 Best States for Construction Worker Salaries

  1. Hi Kendel–I get your point about how the cost of living indexes affect the actual value of a given salary in a given state, but I can’t figure out your math.

    Take California (please). The cost of living index is second worst in the nation at 142.7. How do you figure that impacts the mean salary of $56,770 (in other words, please do the math for me or tell me how you do it because I am using your story in an upcoming issue of a magazine (with full credit).

    Bill Davis

    1. Bill, to calculate you divide the national cost of living average by the state’s cost of living and then multiply that by the mean salary. For California that would be $56,770 * (100/142.7) = $39,783

  2. As a union carpenter in Wisconsin I can tell you that our average income is way above 54,000 Unless you mean net income after taxes. With only 40 hour weeks which we rarely work we make 72 grand a year! We very seldom I laid off in the winter anymore even in Wisconsin and build all the way through winter. I see this kind of information all the way across the Internet and I are skilled trade industry is over looked quite often when we’re actually earning very high wages and doing very well. It’s not easy work but very lucrative!

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