Most construction projects require enlisting professionals across multiple disciplines, each playing a distinct and crucial role in completing the job. The following is a look at of the highest-paid construction jobs for specialty contractors.
Plumbers are essential in the construction lifecycle, starting as far back as the design phase, in which they plan where a structure’s fixtures and internal pipe systems should be built. They later install the fixtures themselves, including bathtubs, sinks, showers, and toilets, and ensure the unimpeded flow of water and gas throughout the building. A plumber’s median salary is $52,590, according to U.S. News and World Report, making this among the highest-paying construction trades.
Carpenters need to be as skilled in math as they are with power tools. They manage everything from calculating floor space and wall heights to making difficult angled cuts in wood using complicated mathematical formulas… With so much of a carpenter’s work involving structure and foundations, an entire project can depend on the accuracy of their measurements and angles, so they are essential fixtures on any construction site. U.S. News & World Report writes that a carpenter’s median salary is $45,170.
Between the risk of electric shock and potential fire hazards, electricians must exercise extreme precision and caution while on site. Full-time electricians typically undergo a lengthy formal apprenticeship, a vocational training program (or both) and must be licensed by the state. They are responsible for designing a structure’s electrical system, lighting systems, street lights, and more. They also ensure aging structures’ electrical systems remain safe and up to code. U.S. News reports their median salary as $54,110.
4) Masonry, Stonework, Tile Setting, and Plastering
These four types of specialty contractors all play a key role in everything from foundations to finishing touches. The “look” of a finished building is often largely owed to the efforts of masonry workers. U.S. News breaks out this specialty by the primary material they work with. Brick and Blockmasons, which work with brick and concrete to create walls and other structures, earn $49,770 per year on average. Cement masons, which ensure a smooth finished product for sidewalks, roads, curbs, and more, earn an average of $40,650 annually.
Glass has a rich and storied history. From creating iconic color-splashed panels for cathedrals to wrapping towering skyscrapers in glimmering panes of glass. Glaziers are the ones charged with helping make those architectural wonders come to life. by cutting and fitting glass. It’s a physically demanding trade, often conducted multiple stories above ground with little protection from the elements. Consequentially, glaziers are among the highest-paying construction trades, earning earn a median salary of $42,580 annually, according to U.S. News.
6) Sheet Metal Workers
Sheet metal workers also work in a variety of areas, from roofing and siding to installation of ductwork. Sheet metal workers often have fabrication skills, allowing them to make a structure’s components before installing them. Buildings would be a lot hotter in the summer and a lot colder in the winter if not for this trade. The median salary for a sheet metal worker is $47,990, according to U.S. News.
Painters are another key trade found on most construction sites, whose handiwork is responsible for the overall visual appeal of structures from homes to commercial office towers to bridges. Painters are seldom part of the actual building process, but their careful hand is evident on any structure, including the paint itself, finishes, stains, and coatings. A painter pulls down a median annual salary of $37,960, according to U.S. News.
8) Ironworkers and Steelworkers
Look at any city skyline and you’ll be staring at the work of iron and steelworkers. Our ability to create tall buildings is largely owed to these specialty contractors, without whom skyscrapers would be impossible. It’s another risky job, involving heavy metal beams and often working high above the ground. Ironworkers and steelworkers make a median salary of $52,610, according to U.S. News.
9) Insulation Contractors
Insulation professionals have been in greater demand as reducing energy consumption increases in popularity, both in new construction and retrofitting old buildings. A properly insulated building will remain at a comfortable temperature inside no matter what the weather is outside, and it will minimize wasteful expenditure of fossil fuels. The job requires physical dexterity and the ability to squeeze one’s body in often cramped spaces. U.S. News reports an insulation contractor’s median salary to be $39,930.
10) Mechanical Contractors
Losing your heat in the dead of winter or having to deal with a broken air conditioner on a sweltering summer day is not only uncomfortable, it could be deadly for some. Mechanical contractors fill a very important role, they are the people who install or repair our heating and cooling systems, as well as perform piping, refrigeration and plumbing work. The job requires someone who is technically-minded due to the complexity of the systems they typically work on. The average mechanical contractor salary starts at approximately $40,000 per year, according to Indeed.
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