Whether times are good or we hit the eventual slump, construction compensation always offers some unique challenges. As an industry, overall pay never goes backwards it’s always growing. It’s just a matter of how much. This article reviews recent pay increase activity in our sector, provides current pay rates for both staff and craft positions, addresses some pay escalation issues, and revisits one of our most pressing compensation concerns in construction – compression.
Staff & Middle Management Pay Practices
For staff level positions, 2021 increases came in at 4.2% for contractors granting increases and 4.1% when the 4% who reported no increase are added in. There was quite a swing in the actual increase numbers with the Northwest region reporting an average increase of 5.3%, the Western states at 4.9%, and the Rocky Mountain area at 4.8%. At the lower end, the New England region reported an average increase of 3.5% and the Great Lake states reported 3.8%. The Heavy, Highway, and Municipal sectors had some slight variances from the national average.
The 2022 Construction/Construction Management Staff Salary Survey (CCM) indicates all contractor types are projecting a 2022 increase of 4.2% with 4% also indicating that they were freezing pay. Again, the Heavy, Highway, and Municipal sectors had variances from the national average.
All of our surveys are broken into multiple demographics reflecting type of contractor, types of construction performed, region of the country, revenue size, and so on. The following represents the national average base pay for several positions.