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The Definitive Guide To Working in The Construction Industry In 2022 (USA)

If you're considering a career in construction, this is the guide for you. In it, you'll find an overview of the construction industry in the USA, common job titles and descriptions, average salaries, and what the future looks like for this growing field. Plus, we've included some tips on how to get your foot in the door. So whether you're just starting out or looking to make a change, this is everything you need to know about working in construction in 2022.

Table of content:

Chapter 1. Overview of the construction industry in the USA.

Chapter 2. Reasons to work in construction.

Chapter 3. Most common job titles in construction and their descriptions.

Chapter 4. Salaries in construction in the USA.

Chapter 5. Outlook for the construction industry.

Chapter 6. Tips how to get a job in construction.

Chapter 1. Overview of employment in the construction industry in the USA.

In the United States, the construction industry employs more than 10 million workers, making it one of the largest industries in the country. The industry is made up of a diverse range of occupations, from carpenters and electricians to bricklayers and roofers. Construction workers build, repair, and maintain the buildings and infrastructure that we use every day. The construction industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy.

In 2018, the construction industry contributed $1.28 trillion to the economy, or about 6.5 percent of GDP. The industry directly employs about 10 million people, with another 2 million employed indirectly in related industries such as manufacturing and transportation.

Construction activity has been on an upward trend since 2009, when it bottomed out during the recession. Construction spending hit a record high of $1.3 trillion in 2019 and is expected to continue to grow further.

Construction jobs in Lakeland, FL
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The growth is being driven by strong demand for housing (both single-family homes and apartments), office buildings, hotels, retail space, and public works projects such as roads and bridges. The vast majority of construction workers are employed in private companies (83 percent), with the remainder working for state or local governments (12 percent) or federal government agencies (5 percent).

There are many different types of jobs in the construction industry – from manual labor jobs such as carpentry or masonry work, to skilled trades such as electrical work or plumbing, to project management roles overseeing entire construction projects from start to finish.

Most construction workers are paid hourly wages rather than salaries – although some salaried employees may receive benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation days.

Source: Statista

Chapter 2. Reasons to work in construction.

Construction workers are in high demand and the industry is booming. Here are six reasons to enter the construction field:

1. Construction workers are in high demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of construction workers will grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to an increase in population and the need to repair and replace aging infrastructure.

2. The construction industry is booming.

Construction spending reached a record $1.628 trillion in 2017 and is expected to continue growing further. This boom is being driven by an increase in homebuilding, commercial construction, and public works projects such as bridges and highways.

3. Construction worker pay is on the rise.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual earnings for construction workers were $38,974 in 2021, up from $35,790 in 2015 (adjusting for inflation). Earnings vary depending on occupation, experience level, and geographic region but overall they are rising as the industry grows.

4) There are many opportunities for advancement.

Those with experience can move into management positions or become self-employed contractors . There are also many specialized fields within construction, such as carpentry, masonry, or electrical work, that offer opportunities for those with specific skillsets.

5) Working conditions have improved significantly.

Due to advances in technology and safety regulations, working conditions have greatly improved since previous generations of construction workers. Workers now have access to better equipment, safer materials, and more effective methods of preventing injuries on the job site .

6) Building something tangible can be very satisfying.

Unlike many jobs where employees feel like they're stuck behind a desk all day or working on tasks that may never see completion, construction workers get to see their progress every day as they work. For many people, there's a great sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you helped create something that will be used by others for years to come.

Chapter 3. Most common job titles in construction and their descriptions.


A carpenter is a skilled tradesman who builds things out of wood. He may make cabinets, doors, frames, stairs, or other wooden objects. A carpenter can also be involved in construction projects such as building houses and installing drywall.

Construction Worker

A construction worker is a laborer who helps with the construction of buildings, roads, and other structures. He may do manual labor such as digging trenches or hauling materials. A construction worker may also operate heavy machinery such as bulldozers or cranes.


An electrician is a tradesman who installs and repairs electrical systems. He may run wires through walls and ceilings, connect switches and outlets, or install lighting fixtures. An electrician must have knowledge of electrical code to ensure that his work is safe.


A plumber is a tradesman who installs and repairs plumbing systems. He may install pipes and fittings, fix leaks, or unclog drains. A plumber must be familiar with local plumbing codes to ensure that his work meets regulations.


A roofer is a tradesman who installs roofs on homes and businesses. He may lay shingles, install metal roofing, or apply tar paper to roofs. A roofer must be able to work safely on scaffolding or rooftops.


A mason is someone who works with stone or brick laid with mortar to build structures such as bridges or walls. This trade has existed since ancient times but became more widespread during medieval Europe when Gothic cathedrals were being built.

Concrete Finisher

Concrete finishers are responsible for completing concrete projects by finishing smooth surfaces on walls, ceilings floors, sidewalks, and driveways. In some cases they may operate power trowels or other machinery to do this work more quickly.

Chapter 4. Salaries in construction in the the USA.

Construction workers are among the most essential employees in the United States. They help to build and maintain the country's infrastructure, which is critical for both economic growth and quality of life. Despite their importance, construction workers are often paid relatively low wages. In fact, construction is one of the lowest-paying industries in the United States.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for construction workers was just $38,974 in 2021. This means that half of all construction workers earned less than $38,974 per year, while half earned more. When compared to other industries, however, construction worker salaries are relatively low.

There is a wide range of salaries for different types of construction jobs. For instance, general laborers and helpers earn a median salary of just $34,012 per year, while first-line supervisors/managers earn a median salary of $97,180 per year (2021).

As you can see from the data above, there is a significant difference between earnings at different levels within the industry. General laborers and helpers earn less than half as much as first-line supervisors/managers do on average.

However, it should be noted that many construction workers are paid hourly rather than yearly salaries. As such, actual earnings may vary depending on hours worked per week or month.

In terms of geographic variation, salaries for construction workers tend to be highest in certain parts of the country where costs of living are also high – namely California ($52,090), Hawaii ($51,770), District of Columbia ($50,430), New York ($49,550), and Massachusetts ($48,520).

On the other hand salaries tend to be lower in states like Mississippi ($32,170), Arkansas ($31,690), West Virginia ($31,870), Louisiana ($31,900) and Kentucky($32960).

Of course cost of living must also be taken into account when considering these figures - so although someone earning $50k in D.C. might seem better off than someone earning $33k in Mississippi – they might actually have a similar standard of living due to lower costs associated with living in Mississippi.



U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chapter 5. Outlook for the construction industry.

The United States construction industry is one of the most important in the world, employing over 10 million workers and generating around $1 trillion in annual revenue. The sector is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with an estimated 3% annual growth rate through 2025. This growth will be driven by a number of factors, including population growth, rising disposable incomes, and increased infrastructure spending.

Construction activity in the United States has been on the rise since 2010, following a severe downturn during the global financial crisis. In 2018, construction spending reached an all-time high of $1.3 trillion (in nominal terms), representing a 4% increase from the previous year.

Private investment was responsible for much of this growth, accounting for around two-thirds of total construction spending. Public sector expenditure also grew significantly, increasing by 9% year-on-year.

One of the main drivers of construction activity in the United States is population growth. The country's population is projected to reach 350 million by 2035. This significant increase will lead to higher demand for housing and commercial space, as well as new infrastructure such as roads and schools.

Another key driver of demand is economic growth; as disposable incomes rise and businesses expand their operations, they will need more office space and factories. Finally, increased infrastructure spending by all levels of government will also contribute to industry growth; President Trump has pledged to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure projects over 10 years.

Source: Deloitte

Chapter 6. Tips how to get a job in construction.

Construction is a booming industry in the United States with plenty of room for new job seekers. The construction industry employs over 6 million people, and with an expected growth rate of 4 percent over the next ten years, there are plenty of opportunities for those looking to enter the field. Here are five tips to help you get a job in construction in the USA:

1. Start With an Entry-Level Job.

If you're new to the construction industry, it's best to start with an entry-level job. This will give you a chance to learn about different aspects of construction and gain on-the-job experience. There are many entry-level jobs available, such as laborer, carpenter's helper, or equipment operator. To find entry-level jobs, search online job boards or contact your local employment office.

2. Consider Apprenticeships and Training Programs.

Apprenticeships and training programs can give you the skills and experience you need to get a good job in construction. Many trade associations offer apprenticeship programs that last two to four years. During an apprenticeship, you'll receive on-the-job training as well as classroom instruction.

After completing an apprenticeship program, you'll be eligible for journeyman status, which allows you to work independently in your trade. To find out more about apprenticeships and training programs in your area, contact your local trade association or registered apprenticeship sponsor.

3. Get Certified.

There are many voluntary certification programs available for those working in the construction industry. Getting certified can show employers that you have the skills and knowledge needed to do your job well. Certification can also lead to higher wages and better job opportunities.

4. Join a Union.

Joining a union is another way to get ahead in the construction industry. Union membership comes with many benefits, including access to higher paying jobs, health insurance, retirement savings plans, and other perks.

5. Network.

Last but not least, don't forget that networking is key when trying to get ahead in any career path. Attend industry events and meetups to make new contacts who may have connections to your dream job.