The home building industry is continuously evolving and using innovation to meet the demands of a growing population, providing shelter for us all. Behind the scenes, there are way more people at work than you may think. Besides the typical hard-hatted builder, a wide range of skilled professionals bring architectural visions to life, from skilled craftsmen to project managers. The industry offers plenty of opportunities for workers seeking rewarding careers.
In this article, we’ll explore the best-paying jobs in homebuilding, shedding light on the occupations that offer the highest annual median salaries in the industry. We’ll also reveal each state's highest-paying job, highlighting the salaries varying for the most lucrative roles nationwide.
The Top 20 Best-Paying Jobs in Homebuilding
1. Construction Managers - $100,480
Construction managers are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the entire building process. They manage on-site construction activities, obtain necessary permits, manage resources and materials, and resolve any issues. Construction managers are also responsible for compliance with safety regulations and communicating with all subcontractors involved in the project.
2. Project Management Specialists - $84,310
A project management specialist working in the home building industry is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the entire lifecycle of the construction project by defining objectives, developing plans, and establishing timelines and budgets. They ensure that project milestones are met and communicate with all stakeholders involved.
3. Architects - $80,480
Architects design homes according to building codes and regulations. They develop plans and oversee construction to ensure the design vision is realized. Architects work closely with their clients to make sure that their needs and preferences are met while considering environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in their designs.
4. Cost Estimators - $75,350
Before the construction process begins, a cost estimator assesses and estimates the expenses associated with the project. They analyze construction plans and project requirements to determine the cost of the materials, labor, equipment, and resources that will be required. Cost estimators provide accurate cost projections and budgets for the entire project by gathering price information and negotiating contracts.
5. First-Line Supervisors - $74,330
During the homebuilding process, a first-line supervisor oversees and coordinates the day-to-day operations of the construction site. They manage and direct a team of construction workers and ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and according to project plans. First-line supervisors guide and support on-site workers and enforce safety regulations throughout the project.
6. Tapers - $62,480
Tapers use specialized tools and techniques to tape and mud joints, fill gaps and imperfections, and sand down surfaces to achieve a smooth finish. Tapers ensure that walls and ceilings are ready for painting or wallpapering, so their attention to detail and expertise plays an important role in the overall aesthetics and quality of the completed home.
7. Architectural Drafters - $61,670
Architectural and Civil Drafters transform the designs created by Architects into precise technical drawings. They use CAD (computer-aided design) software to produce detailed plans, elevations, and sections to guide the construction process. Architectural Drafters ensure accuracy while adhering to building codes and regulations.
8. Realtors - $59,550
Realtors assist their clients in finding suitable lots or properties for construction. They consider factors such as location, zoning regulations, and budget. Realtors also connect clients with builders, architects, and other construction professionals. They provide valuable market insights, negotiate contracts and ensure smooth communication. During the construction phase, Realtors keep their clients informed of progress or any issues.
9. Brickmasons and Blockmasons - $59,130
Brickmasons and blockmasons are skilled craftsmen who cut, shape, and set bricks or blocks to construct the walls, foundations, chimneys, and other structural elements of homes. Their expertise in masonry techniques ensures the precise alignment and durability of the building.
10. Interior Designers - $55,720
Interior designers work closely with their clients to understand their visions and budget for their new homes. They create functional and aesthetic designs by selecting and coordinating the project's interior elements, including materials, furniture, and color schemes, and ensure they align with the home's overall design.
11. Hazardous Materials Removal Workers - $54,480
During the construction phase, Hazardous Materials Removal Workers are responsible for identifying, containing, and removing hazardous substances from the site. They specialize in handling materials such as asbestos, lead, mold, and other contaminants that can pose health risks.
12. Carpenters - $52,400
Carpenters specialize in the construction and installation of wooden structures and components included in the home’s design. They are responsible for building and assembling frameworks, stairs, doors, windows, and other integral elements of the building.
13. Stonemasons - $52,270
Stonemasons specialize in the craft of working with natural stone. They shape, cut, and lay stones to construct foundations, walls, chimneys, fireplaces, and decorative features of the home. Stonemasons ensure both structural integrity and aesthetic appeal and enhance the overall quality and character of the building.
14. Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers - $50,590
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers are responsible for finishing the drywall, which forms the interior walls and ceilings of the home. They carefully measure, cut, and hang drywall panels to create walls and ceilings. These installers also install ceiling tiles, ensuring proper alignment and adherence to safety regulations.
15. Plasterers and Stucco Masons - $49,500
Plasterers and stucco masons apply plaster and stucco to the interior and exterior of the home. They prepare and level surfaces to then apply plaster or stucco in order to achieve the desired texture and appearance. They enhance both the aesthetics and durability of the building and work with other construction professionals to align their work with the overall design of the building.
16. Tile and Stone Setters - $49,340
Tile and Stone Setters are skilled craftsmen who create durable surfaces to ensure both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of kitchens, bathrooms, floors, and other elements of the home. They measure and cut their materials to fit specific areas like walls, floors, ceilings, and countertops, ensuring precise alignment, levelness, and proper sealing.
17. Carpet Installers - $48,790
Carpet Installers work with different types of carpet materials and accurately measure and cut them to fit specific areas of the home. They utilize specialized tools and techniques to stretch and secure carpets and ensure a seamless and durable installation. Their expertise enhances the comfort and appearance of the home’s interior.
18. Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers - $48,430
Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers prepare and level the ground, set forms, and pour concrete into the required shape. They meticulously finish and smooth the concrete to ensure durable foundations, floors, and other concrete surfaces of the home while meeting safety and quality standards.
19. Floor Layers - $48,110
Floor layers are responsible for preparing the subfloor, measuring and cutting flooring materials, and applying shock-absorbing, soundproof sheets or decorative coverings. They work with different materials and are experts in creating smooth and even surfaces. Floor layers also need to ensure pattern alignment, transitions, and edge finishing.
20. Roofers - $47,980
Roofers install the roof of the home and ensure weatherproofing. They assess the structure’s needs, measure and cut materials, and apply them according to guidelines and industry standards. Roofers also inspect roofs to ensure safety regulations are met.
The Best Paying Jobs in Homebuilding by State
After gathering geographical data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was revealed that the Construction Manager was the highest-paid occupation in homebuilding in 40 states, making this role the best-paying job in homebuilding in the country. The second most prominent occupations in terms of salary are Project Management Specialists, coming in as the highest-paying jobs in residential construction in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Breaking the mold for the highest-paid jobs in homebuilding in the U.S. are Architects and Tapers, which the data shows to be the most lucrative roles in Mississippi and Illinois, respectively.
What’s notable about this data is that the annual median salary of a Construction Manager is 71.5% higher in New Jersey than in Tennessee. Although the median household income in New Jersey is 53% higher than in Tennessee, it seems that Construction Managers are currently paid relatively higher in New Jersey.
Real Estate Brokers in Washington, DC, are shown to have the highest salary in homebuilding in the country, with an annual median salary of $180,470. This salary is more than double that of DC’s median household income of $69,021. On the other hand, Real Estate Brokers located in Arkansas earn 56% less than those working in Washington DC, with an annual median salary of $78,530. This is despite the median household income being just 32% lower in Arkansas, making the role of a Real Estate Broker in Arkansas significantly less lucrative than the same occupation in Washington, DC.
We gathered data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. After analyzing the National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates of the Residential Building Construction for May 2022, we highlighted the highest-paying occupations for which the highest levels or highest concentration of employment is in the residential building industry. We then broke down the geographical data on these homebuilding occupations to reveal the best-paying job in each state.
Charlotte is a home remodeling specialist at Fixr.com. With a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications, she analyzes industry data to provide homeowners with the best advice and visual representations of the home improvement sector. She is passionate about promoting sustainability within the home, and with a personal interest in interior design, she is always up to date about the latest home remodeling trends.