Construction work includes building roads, bridges, buildings, and public water lines. It also includes infrastructure repairs and building renovations. Here are seven interesting facts about construction workers in this billion dollar industry.


The number of construction workers in the U.S. in 2015 was around 8 million, and that number varies from year to year depending on demand. For example, a housing bust in 2010 caused the reduction in the number of workers from 11.5 million in 2006 to 9 million.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970 to protect workers from unsafe workplaces and company practices. Regulation covers personal protective equipment to help keep workers safe, like hard hats, steel toe boots, and hi-vis clothing.

Industry Value

The construction industry in the U.S. spends approximately 900 billion dollars a year with New York topping the list. Private construction was 687 billion dollars in 2014. During the first half of 2016, industry spending was 539.8 billion dollars.

Age and Demand

The average age of workers in the construction industry is 47. The number of workers is expected to rise 21 percent from 2010 to 2020. 40 percent of the increased demand will be for construction helpers and not for workers with specialized training.


In 2014, the average annual salary for a construction worker was 35,750 and the median salary was 31,090 dollars. Highest paid workers received 59,900 dollars and the lowest paid received 20,230 dollars.

Skill Level

Most of the jobs at construction sites require minimal skills that can be learned quickly. Only a few jobs require special skills, such as masonry, working with explosives, running hydraulic equipment, and surveying.

Famous Photo

A photo showing 11 construction workers sitting on a beam eating lunch was taken in 1932 and was widely used as a commercial poster. They were on the 69th floor of the GE building and the photographer was Charles Ebbets.