Salaries in commercial construction

Posted on 18 February 2016

​Throughout the U.S., salaries differ for several reasons -- the cost of living, state taxes, food taxes, etc. The higher the cost of living, typically, the higher the salary. However, that's not always the case. Let's delve into the booming areas of commercial construction and the wavering salaries of each state.

In mechanical, commercial (HVAC and Plumbing) construction, there are two different tracks one could take. There is the field labor track and the project management track.

Field Labor Track: Foreman, Journeyman, Superintendent, General Superintendent.

Project Management Track: Project Engineer, Project Assistant, Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Project Executive.

There are also different sectors of these tracks, such as sheet metal fabrication, piping, and more. There are also positions in Controls, Detailing, Commissioning, Engineering, Estimating, Purchasing, and Sales. However, there is room for substantial growth within a company in the Field Labor and Project Management tracks.

Usually, the salary range for the Project Management track is between $60,000 up to $140,000. The Field Labor track is between $50,000 up to $120,000. These are not dependent upon areas, as these are just rough estimates.

Based upon locations, commercial construction companies in the Bay Area CA pay their workers a higher salary than most places. Unfortunately, the cost of living is exceptionally high. If you have a family, the rent of an apartment for a family of 4 is nearly $5,000 a month. On the other side of the U.S., in Florida, the rate of salaries is about 33% lower than most states. For example, a Project Manager in Southern California makes about $95,000 a year while a Project Manager in Florida makes about $60,000 a year. However, while Project Managers in Florida make significantly less a year, Florida does not require state taxes, and living costs are much lower in most cities.

PayScale is an excellent source for figuring out your current position's market salary and how it differs from your peers' wages in the same field. It also offers the option of getting an idea of what your salary would be in other states, as well. For more information regarding wages in other states, check out this innovative tool highlighting the wages of different construction areas in the U.S.:

Although salaries play a prominent role in determining what offer you should take, it is also essential to factor in location, company values, cost of living, etc.

Before you decide to uproot your life and move to another state completely, be sure to receive a sufficient salary for you and your family. Look at our article 'So, You Want to Quit Your Job' for further information regarding moving for the correct position.

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