The median annual wage for construction laborers and helpers was $30,890 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,400, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $58,070.
Median annual wages for construction laborers and helpers in May 2015 were as follows:
Helpers--brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters
Helpers, construction trades, all other
Helpers--pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Helpers--painters, paperhangers, plasterers, and stucco masons
The starting pay for apprentices is usually about 60 percent of what fully trained laborers make. Apprentices receive pay increases as they learn more skills.
Like many construction workers, most construction laborers and helpers work full time. Although they sometimes stop work because of bad weather, they often work overtime to meet deadlines. Laborers and helpers on highway and bridge projects may need to work overnight to avoid causing major traffic disruptions. In some parts of the country, construction laborers and helpers may work only during certain seasons. For example, in northern climates, cold weather frequently disrupts construction activity in the winter.
About 1 in 4 construction laborers were self-employed in 2014. Self-employed construction laborers may be able to set their own schedule. In contrast, very few helpers were self-employed.
Construction Laborers and Helpers
Median annual wages, May 2015
Construction and extraction occupations
Total, all occupations
Construction laborers and helpers
Helpers, construction trades
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics