U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Employment Statistics
Most of the largest construction occupations were the construction trades occupations.
- The largest occupation,
construction laborers, had
the lowest wage among the
- The six occupations shown
accounted for over 63 percent of
employment in construction and
- Of the largest construction
occupations, the occupation with
the highest mean wage was first-line supervisors of construction and
The highest paid construction occupations were specialized construction trades
workers or their supervisors.
- Construction and extraction
workers earned an average of
$21.09 in May 2010.
- Electricians was the largest high-paying construction occupation,
with more than half a million
workers. Pile driver operators was
the smallest of the high-paying construction occupations, with only
- Three of the occupations in
figure 25 were also among the
largest construction occupationsfirst-line supervisors of construction
trades and extraction workers;
electricians; and plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.
Employment for the largest occupations in the building construction industry was distributed
differently between nonresidential and residential building construction.
- Construction occupations
accounted for 64 percent of
employment in residential building construction and 62 percent of
employment in nonresidential
- Carpenters made up almost half
of the employment for construction
occupations in residential building
construction, but accounted for
less than a third in nonresidential
- First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction
workers and construction
managers were more prevalent in
nonresidential building construction,
accounting for about 4 percentage
points more of the employment for
construction occupations than in
residential building construction.
Mean wages were consistently higher in nonresidential building construction than residential building construction.
- The mean wage for construction
occupations was $19.55 in
residential building construction,
compared with $22.64 in
nonresidential building construction.
- Cost estimators had the largest
nominal difference in mean wages,
with a $4.74 spread between
nonresidential and residential building construction.
- Carpenters had the largest
percent difference in mean wages
between nonresidential and
residential building construction at
Employment decreased in 40 of the 46 construction occupations between May 2006 and May 2010.
- Four of the construction
occupations with the largest
percent decrease in employment between May 2006 and May 2010
were different types of helpers of
construction trade workers.
- Overall, employment for
construction occupations decreased
25 percent between May 2006 and
- Employment for tapers and
carpenter helpers fell by over 50
percent. Employment declined by 22,400 for tapers and 57,290 for
- With a 37 percent decrease in
employment, carpenters did not
have as large of a percent decrease
as the occupations shown, but did
have the largest overall decrease in
employment, declining by 365,580.
- Wages for the occupations
shown grew near the average
wage growth for construction
occupations. Wages for
construction occupations grew 11
percent between 2006 and 2010,
slightly lower than the average
occupational growth of 13 percent.
The construction occupations that grew between May 2006 and May 2010 tended to be smaller occupations and were not related to new building construction.
- Employment for septic tank
servicers and sewer pipe cleaners
increased from 22,090 in May 2006
to 24,350 in May 2010.
- Wage growth for most of the
occupations in figure 29 ranged
from 2.1 percent for mechanical
insulation workers to 16.6
percent for rail-track laying and
maintenance equipment operators.
Nevada had the largest percent decrease in employment of construction and extraction occupations from May 2006 to May 2010, and also had the largest increase in mean wages for them.
- In Nevada, mean wages for
construction occupations had an
increase of 27.8% or an annual
average increase of 6.3 percent
from May 2006 to May 2010.
- California had the largest
absolute decrease in employment of
construction occupations between
May 2006 and May 2010, falling
from 815,510 to 485,120.
- Carpenter helpers was one of
the occupations with the largest
declines in employment in all 10 of
the states highlighted in figure 30.
Two statesNorth Dakota and Wyominghad an increase in employment of
construction occupations, attributable to increases in varying occupations.
- In North Dakota, two
occupations in particular
contributed to increased
employment of construction
occupations. Employment for
highway maintenance workers increased over 65 percent. The
occupation with the largest absolute
increase in employment was first-
line supervisors of construction
trades and extraction workers.
- Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators
and electricians contributed to the increase in employment for
Pascagoula, MS, had a larger share of its employment in construction occupations than any other
metropolitan area, with over three times the national average.
- The concentration of
employment for every construction
occupation in Pascagoula, MS,
was higher than the U.S. average,
with the exception of highway
- At $19.07, the mean wage
for construction occupations in
Pascagoula, MS, was below the
U.S. average of $21.09.
- Of the occupations in figure
32, only one occupation had a
higher-than-average mean wage:
helperspipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA, had the highest mean wage ($30.13)
in May 2010 for construction and extraction workers.
- Carpenter helpers and floor
sanders and finishers in San
Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City earned almost twice the
national average wage for their
- Most occupations with the
highest wage premiums were construction trades occupations.
With the exception of carpenter
helpers, most helper occupations
had a below average premium.
- Although wages for construction occupations were higher, on average, in the San Francisco-
San Mateo-Redwood City, CA, metropolitan division, employment in construction occupations was below average. Nationwide, construction occupations accounted for 4 percent of employment, compared with 3 percent in San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City.
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Last Modified Date: October 24, 2011