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Report: Top-paying construction jobs in Tampa region lag national average

Regional construction work could boom with federal projects and robust residential demand.

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  • | 5:00 p.m. February 19, 2024
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Tampa Bay's construction jobs will benefit from $2 trillion in federal spending and a robust residential demand, a new report says.
Tampa Bay's construction jobs will benefit from $2 trillion in federal spending and a robust residential demand, a new report says.
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Going up?

Repair workers for and installers of escalators and elevators lead the Tampa Bay region for highest construction salary, according to a new report.

Installers and repair workers make median pay of $38.04 per hour, or $79,120 a year. There are about 320 such jobs in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area, according to the report by Construction Coverage. That pay rate is well below the national median hourly rate of $47.60 (or a $99,000 annual median) for such workers — but it's tops in the region.

The fate of commercial real estate may vex the stability of elevator and escalator work because of the post-pandemic work-from-home trend, which could mean fewer new office towers. But federal projects nationwide over the next decade could make up for commercial real estate doldrums, stimulating construction work, according to the report. About $2 trillion in federal work is expected over 10 years, the report says.

Coming in No. 2 in the Tampa region for pay, the report found, is first-line construction supervision and extraction work, at $31.46 per hour, or $65,430 in median annual pay. There are 8,480 such jobs in the region, the report shows. 

Construction and building inspectors are ranked No. 3, making a median of $26.65 per hour, or $55,430 annually. There are 1,850 such regional jobs. 

The U.S. median for all construction and extraction employees is $24.31 per hour, or $50,570 annually. There are 7.3 million construction jobs in the United States.

The report says the construction industry experienced a period of heightened activity over the past several years, "driven by significant growth in private residential construction and record increases in public funding for infrastructure projects." The upcoming $2 trillion in federal construction work is expected in transportation, energy, manufacturing, broadband and more, the report says.

Construction employment ranked by hourly pay, Tampa Bay
Construction jobMedian hourly wageMedian annual payWorker total
Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers$38.04$79,120320
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers$31.46$65,4308,480
Construction and Building Inspectors$26.65$55,4301,850
All Construction and Extraction Occupations, U.S.$24.31$50,5707,335,500
Source: Construction Coverage

The ranks of certain construction segments will swell too.

"Occupations projected to be particularly sought-after include solar photovoltaic installers, with a projected increase of 22.3%, and highway maintenance workers, anticipated to rise by 7.9%," says Jonathan Jones of Construction Coverage. "This high demand for construction workers translates to competitive wages."

Construction Coverage researchers analyzed the most common construction jobs, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and ranked construction occupations by median hourly wage. 

The report says earnings can "significantly vary based not only on the nature of the construction role, but location" as well: Hawaii and Illinois have median hourly wages exceeding $35, while Massachusetts and Alaska approach $33 per hour.

On the other end is the South, where numerous states pay less than $22 per hour for construction labor, the found.


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