Skilled craft professionals continue to earn high wages, according to NCCER’s 2018 Construction Craft Salary Survey. More than 130 industrial and commercial construction companies across the U.S., representing over 350,000 employees, participated in the survey. The individual craft areas reported provide average annual salaries, not including overtime, per diem, bonuses or other incentives.
In North Carolina and South Carolina, contractors are facing increasing pressures to find and retain contractors. Salaries across all trades continue to increase as construction firms face competition from other industries, specifically manufacturing.
Of the 32 construction positions surveyed, average annual salaries ranged from $47,700 to $92,500. Project supervisors and program managers topped the list, earning over $88,000 and $92,500 respectively. Professions earning more than $65,000 include boilermaker, mobile crane operator, tower crane operator, millwright, industrial electrician, power line worker, pipe welder, instrumentation technician and combo welder. Additionally, seven more craft areas made more than $60,000 per year. The most significant pay increase was HVAC technician, up 20 percent from previous years, with sheet metal worker a close second at an 18 percent increase. Since many craft professionals receive additional pay incentives, their take-home pay is typically much greater than these incomes reflected.
This survey is one of many resources NCCER and its Build Your Future initiative offer to promote construction careers and help build a pipeline of qualified craft professionals. Complete results are available at nccer.org/research. The organizations that take part in NCCER’s survey do so voluntarily, and all specific company information remains confidential. Only positions which received enough responses to calculate a valid average are included.