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Top paid jobs in construction

The top-paid jobs in construction generally are in management or skilled trades, including electricians and plumbers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a non-management construction worker was £14.20 an hour, while construction managers received £24.90 an hour in 2008.

Construction positions that require more education, experience and training generally earn higher salaries. Salary will also vary depending on location, type of construction work and level of difficulty.

Construction Managers

Construction managers organise the plans, personnel and materials used in construction jobs.

They assist in the planning stages, supervise contractors and subcontractors, and coordinate delivery of materials. The position often requires a bachelor's degree in construction science (or a related field), along with national certification from the American Institute of Constructors, Construction Management Association of America or other similar association. Construction managers in heavy and civil engineering earn the highest construction salaries, with an average of £25.90 per hour in 2008.

First-line Supervisors

First-line supervisors directly manage the skilled trades workers at a construction site.

They are responsible for reading plans, managing equipment, scheduling workers, estimating materials and coordinating with management.

This position may require an associate's degree in construction science and on-the-job construction experience. First-line supervisors take home an average hourly pay of £18.10 in 2008.


Electricians design, implement, repair and replace the electrical systems of residential and commercial buildings. They run wires, connect circuits, install circuit breakers and test electrical systems.

Education and experience for electricians come from vocational programs, apprenticeships and on-the-job instruction. Electricians earned an average hourly rate of £14.50 in 2008.


Plumbers plan and implement water pipe systems for buildings.

They must be familiar with blueprints, building codes, mathematics, pipe installation, soldering and welding.

This skilled trade generally requires learning as an apprentice alongside an experienced plumber, along with an associate's degree or vocational training. Plumbers received an average hourly salary of £14.20 in 2008.

Construction Equipment Operators

Construction equipment operators control large construction vehicles to move materials around building sites. Equipment used includes backhoes, bulldozers, cranes, dump trucks, excavators and other specialised heavy machinery. Most heavy equipment operator positions provide apprenticeships or on-the-job training.

However, some employers might look for candidates with previous construction experience or certification through a training program. Construction equipment operators earned an average hourly rate of £12.20 in 2008.


Carpenters construct the forms, framing and finish work for buildings using wood and other materials.

Form carpenters build forms for concrete to be poured into, framing carpenters create the internal structure of a building and finish carpenters install the cabinets, siding, trim and other wood work that finishes a structure.

Education and experience for carpenters comes from apprenticeships, on-the-job training and vocational programs. Carpenters made an average hourly salary of £12.10 in 2008.


Masons work with stones, blocks and bricks to create columns, fences, floors and walls.

They must have knowledge of blueprints, mathematics, mortar and stone or block setting.

As with many construction jobs, masons learn their craft through apprenticeships, on-the-job training or through a vocational program. Masons earned an average hourly pay of £10.90 in 2008.