OK, maybe it’s time to tell the kids! Some of the hottest jobs in the country aren’t associated with Silicon Valley. In fact, high-demand construction jobs can be found from coast-to-coast and don’t necessarily require a four-year degree.
From the field to the office, the construction industry just landed nine (yes, you’re not seeing things, really it was NINE) of the top job spots on Indeed’s Top 25 Best Jobs list. In fact, commercial Project Manager was the No. 1 hot job in the country—leaping up the rankings from No. 19 in 2017. The worldwide employment-related search engine said the position was propelled by an average base salary of $81,023 and an impressive 277% growth in job postings between 2014 and 2017.
Anyone who follows construction is probably none-too-surprised considering that construction is booming and the skilled labor market is tight. The estimating role is clearly a sought-after position with Chief Estimator and Construction Estimator roles both making the list.
Here’s a closer look at where construction jobs ranked on Indeed’s Top 25 Best Jobs List, along with average salaries, and percentage growth in the number of job postings:
1. Commercial Project Manager
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 277
Average Base Salary: $81,023
5. Preconstruction Manager
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 126
Average Base Salary: $95,337
6. Construction Superintendent
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 122
Average Base Salary: $85,170
9. Chief Estimator
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 101
Average Base Salary: $116,848
12. Construction Estimator
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 76
Average Base Salary: $78,052
14. Plumbing Engineer
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 51
Average Base Salary: $82,063
15. Project Superintendent
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 48
Average Base Salary: $83,326
19. Construction Manager
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 37
Average Base Salary: $85,655
20. Project Architect
Percent Growth in Number of Postings: 34
Average Base Salary: $77,931
High Pay and Opportunities
To identify the best jobs in America in 2018, Indeed focused on two factors: salary (jobs with a baseline of at least $75,000) and abundance of opportunities (jobs that have seen the most growth on Indeed since 2014). By comparison, tech jobs dominated the 2017 list, with seven of the top 10 titles. According to Indeed, red-hot construction spending led the sector to report the fastest job growth year-over-year, with office construction experiencing a revival. Indeed Chief Economist Jed Kolko noted construction spending is soaring and three-quarters of employers in the sector reported plans to add staff in 2018.
In addition, more than 200,000 construction jobs were added to the labor force last year, and construction spending experienced a spike in real estate and private construction projects. “Our data shows that construction firms are looking to hire for all levels of experience as managers and superintendents may be in short supply or hitting retirement age,” said Indeed SVP Paul D’Arcy.
For example, a quick search in late March for construction estimator jobs on Indeed revealed 4,252 new jobs. A search for a plumbing engineer netted over 150 jobs in Denver, Colorado. There were also more than 1,000 listings for construction project manager in Dallas, Texas.
Lukewarm Interest in Hot Jobs?
While construction jobs can be quite attractive salary-wise, the industry is still struggling when it comes to actually attracting younger workers. In fact, a National Association of Home Builders Survey in 2017 showed that only 3 percent of adults ages 18 to 25 picked the construction trades. Those who were interested said the pay (80%) and the ability to learn useful skills (74%) were the two most important benefits. For those undecided respondents, nearly half (48%) want a less physical job, and two-thirds (32%) thought construction work was difficult.
While it is thrilling to see the industry finally getting its due, it is also worrisome in light of a potential $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal that is pending in Washington, D.C. While there are no provisions for worker training in the plan, some local government agencies have started their own initiatives. For example, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) in Washington, D.C. has opened an Infrastructure Academy to meet the need for skilled infrastructure professionals.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
For many Millennials who would like to forgo a four-year college degree, the good news is that some of these hot jobs require only a high school diploma, plus experience. Many construction companies do prefer a minimum of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field or equivalent experience in construction.
Even as job postings continue to rise, interest in construction-related job searches has been trending downward on Indeed. While many see it as a lukewarm interest in construction positions, it could also indicate that many employers are doing a better job at retaining top talent. By being proactive, they are keeping experienced workers from looking elsewhere for their next big job in construction.
Are you planning to hire as you gear up for the busy summer season? Don’t miss our handy infographic on 5 Quick Tips for Hiring a Great Estimator. This provides a quick overview of how to assess talent—from weighing field experience to analytical skills. Check out the infographic.