Construction Job Outlooks by Job Title

If you're actively looking for work in the Construction industry or simply browsing to see what's out there, here's some information you'll find useful.

Project Manager / Construction Manager / Assistant Project Manager

With 2012 median pay reported to be $82,790 per year ($39.80 per hour), the outlook is bright for members of construction management teams. Most professionals at this career level have received on-the-job training and/or Bachelor's degrees. The projections for growth in this sector are better than average at 16% and the 485,000 jobs listed in 2012 are expected to swell by 78,200 from 2012 to 2022.

Superintendent / Foreman and Supervisors

The median wage for front-line and on-site construction supervisors in 2013 was $60,380 per year ($29.03 hourly) and anticipated growth in this area is much faster than average at 22% (or even higher in some areas of the US). There are currently 546,000 of these types of positions across the country and 187,100 openings are projected to be created by 2022.

Construction Engineer / Project Engineer

Engineers in the construction industry can expect to earn an average of $79,340 per year, or $38.14 per hour (as of 2013, civil engineers in particular earned an average wage of $85,640 per year). These positions require a Bachelor's degree and have a better than average outlook: the 272,900 jobs counted in 2012 are expected to expand 20% (53,700) by 2022.

Construction Executives – President / CEO / VP

The senior leaders of construction companies can expect to be rewarded handsomely for their work. With an annual median wage of $171,610 ($82.50 hourly) as of 2013, the lucrative nature of this role offsets the gloomy outlook of slower than average growth at 3%–7%. As of 2012, there were 331,000 executives in the construction industry, and that number is expected to grow by 87,800 in 2022. Most professionals in these positions hold graduate degrees and many have advanced certifications as well.

Cost Estimator

Although they may not receive the most compensation, cost estimators have the brightest outlook of any of the positions on this list. Their ranks are expected to grow by 26% from 2012–2022, which would add 53,000 positions to the current level of 202,200. Cost estimators can also find work in the manufacturing industry and claim median pay of $58,860 per year ($28.30 per hour). A Bachelor's degree is generally required for this occupation, but highly experienced construction workers may be able to qualify based solely on their industry expertise.


Median pay for architects is $73,090 per year or $35.14 per hour. Although this occupation is projected to experience faster than average growth between 2012 and 2022 (17%), it's still a fairly exclusive club with only 107,400 architects currently employed nationwide and 18,600 new positions opening up over the next eight years. This field requires a Bachelor's degree and state licensure. Approximately 20% of architects are self-employed.

Drafting / CAD

An Associate's degree is all that is needed to become a drafter or CAD specialist. However, this occupation has the worst outlook of any on this list with little to no change anticipated. There are 199,800 positions across the US currently, and only 2,200 are expected to be added by 2022.

Contract Administrator

According to data from March 2014, salaries for contract administrators range from $61,000 to $82,000. Educational requirements vary depending upon the employer and scope of work, but most demand at least a Bachelor's degree in a particular subject area. Growth prospects for this role are average with a 10% expansion predicted between 2012 and 2022.


Median pay for inspectors is $53,450 per year or $25.70 per hour according to 2012 statistics. To get into the field requires a high school diploma and moderate on-the-job training, however, it's important to note that opportunities are rather limited. With the addition of 12,500 positions between 2012 and 2022, this field that currently boasts 102,300 professionals throughout the US is slated to experience only average growth.

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