Construction Boom Update: Wages Exceed National Averages

Construction Boom Update: Wages Exceed National Averages

As employment in the residential construction industry continues to grow, the average wage of construction workers is following suit.

Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (OES), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis reveals that the median annual wage of most positions in the residential building sector was $39,000 in 2014. This beats the national average for annual wage, which was only $35,540 in 2014. Moreover, according to NAHB’s analysis, certain occupations within the home building and renovation sector are experiencing wage growth at a rate twice the national average.

For Colorado Construction Institute (CCI), these statistics substantiate the construction boom.

“Fast-rising wages in construction trades shows that the demand for middle-skilled labor remains a top priority for builders,” said Michael Smith, CCI Executive Director. “[Builders] are willing to pay more to attract the best workers, and I think that is great. Construction jobs have always been good jobs; this study shows that a career in construction is truly a pathway to the middle class.”

Particularly promising is the wage growth for Carpenters, the largest sub-sector of construction employers working today. Their median annual wage was $38,990 in 2014, approximately 10% higher than the national average.

Today, CCI offers “Construction Skills Boot Camp” for adults and “CCI YouthBuild” for young adults. These short-term construction training programs prepare individuals for entry-level positions in the trades and can be generally categorized as “pre-apprentice” trainings. To reach the next level and train an individual for a high-demand skilled carpentry position, CCI knows it needs to also offer long-term “apprentice” trainings. To that end, CCI has partnered with Home Builders Association of Metro Denver (HBA) and is in the final stages of developing an “HBA-CCI Joint Residential Construction Apprenticeship” which will launch in 2015. This 2-year program will combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training to prepare graduates for skilled work that commands an annual wage at or above the $38,990 average for carpenters.

“Wages for middle-skilled careers like Carpentry are going to keep rising as we head into the next decade,” continued Smith. “The best thing for someone who wants to become a carpenter is to start training now.”

Colorado Construction Institute (CCI) is a nonprofit training organization providing innovative

21st century pre-apprentice and apprentice programs where disadvantaged people learn the soft and hard skills necessary to bridge the middle-skills gap. For more information on CCI or for information on how to enroll in an upcoming training program, visit To find the NAHB article referenced here, visit

Related | HBA Labor Training Program

Have you heard the news? The HBA has partnered with Colorado Construction Institute (CCI) to create and operate a Labor Training Program specifically tailored to fit the demands of the residential construction industry. Soon we will be reaching out to members outlining how you can participate and support this training program. 

The Labor training program starts with a Construction Skills Boot camp where trainees earn the CORE skills necessary to help prepare them for field work in residential construction.   Learn more about Labor Task Force


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