Best Jobs in the Construction Industry

A ranking of the top fourteen jobs in construction based on average salary and job availability.

Best Construction Jobs InfographicConstruction Pro Tips

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While the "construction industry" may be thought of mainly as a bunch of dudes wearing hard hats and safety vests and swinging hammers at stuff, the industry itself is full of varied and diverse jobs done by people from all walks of life. But which of these jobs is the best? "Best", of course, is a relative term. But by using factors of average salary and job availability it is possible to put together a fairly definitive ranking of the jobs in the construction industry. Here are the fourteen best construction jobs according to U.S. News and World Report:

InsulationDavid Papazian/Shutterstock

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#14 Insulation Contractor

Projected Jobs: 3,200

Median Salary: $39,930

Shutterstock/ zhengzaishuru

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#13 Structural Iron and Steelworker

Projected Jobs: 9,000

Median Salary: $52,610

Shutterstock/ Matej Kastelic

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#12 Construction Worker (Laborer)

Projected Jobs: 150,400

Median Salary: $34,530

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#11 Cement Mason and Concrete Finisher

Projected Jobs: 22,500

Median Salary: $40,650

Shutterstock/ Breedfoto

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#10 Brickmason and Blockmason

Projected Jobs: 9,400

Median Salary: $49,770

Shutterstock/ Linus Strandholm

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#9 Equipment Operator

Projected Jobs: 45,800

Median Salary: $47,040

Shutterstock/ Yuriy Golub

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#8 Glazier

Projected Jobs: 5,300

Median Salary: $42,580

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#7 Painter

Projected Jobs: 21,900

Median Salary: $37,960

Shutterstock/ Francesco de Marco

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#6 Sheet Metal Worker

Projected Jobs: 12,000

Median Salary: $47,990

Trim Featured

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#5 Carpenter

Projected Jobs: 83,800

Median Salary: $45,170

Shutterstock/ only_kim

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#4 Solar Photovoltaic Installer

Projected Jobs: 11,800

Median Salary: $39,490

electric work electrician _303622388Syda Productions/Shutterstock

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#3 Electrician

Projected Jobs: 59,600

Median Salary: $54,110

Shutterstock/ Andrey_Popov

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#2 Plumber

Projected Jobs: 75,200

Median Salary: $52,590

Want to know where plumbers make the most money? Click here.

Shutterstock/ sirtravelalot

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#1 Construction Manager

Projected Jobs: 44,800

Median Salary: $91,370

Best Construction Jobs InfographicConstruction Pro Tips

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An alternative path

Only one of the jobs listed above (Construction Manager) required more education than a high school diploma. With nationwide student loan debt on the rise and a shortage of construction workers across the country, there has perhaps never been a better time for high school graduates to skip the traditional four-year college experience in favor of a job in the construction industry. A couple of years at a technical college should be more than enough to set a hard working individual up for success in the trade of their choice.

Next, check out this story to see how technology is making the construction industry a safer place.