Las Vegas, NV

March 3-7, 2026

Open Menu
Close Menu

How to Make Yourself a Top Job Candidate, Employer as Construction Wages Increase



Average wages for construction workers increased by 5.9% to $34.96 as of November 2023. Increasing wages could be good news for job seekers, but the tight labor market can make this difficult for businesses. Inflation has already affected materials, meaning it has trickled down to consumers who now need increased wages to keep up, circling back to employers.

Here are a few reasons why wages are increasing:

  • Underfunded Career & Technical Education (CTE): There is a disconnect between what young people expect construction work to entail and what is required. Getting more CTE programs aimed at younger people will help bridge the gap between expectation and reality.
  • Retirement Outpaces New Hires: In 2022, the median age of construction workers was 41. On top of construction’s misunderstood requirements, we are also coming out of COVID-19 when a lot of construction projects were on hiatus or even cancelled. This can discourage younger workers from seeking construction as a career option.
  • Buy American and Hire American Executive Order: Foreign-born workers are more likely to work in construction. So, employment-based requests for foreign workers submitted to the Department of Homeland Security declined once President Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order. The Biden administration rescinded the order in 2021, but because foreign-born workers are more likely to work for lower wages, wages were already starting to increase to attract a different market of workers.

Sectors With the Most Wage Growth

Roofer helpers assist with tasks like supplying/holding tools, cleaning work areas and equipment. The mean annual wage increased 37% to $40,880 in 2022. Right behind roofing is terrazzo work. Terrazzo workers pour and mix cement and other materials to create durable surfaces. Their mean annual wage increased 35% to $61,680 in 2022. The third largest area of growth is in stone masonry. Stonemasons build stone structures and lay walks or other special types of masonry. Their mean annual wage increased 32 % to $56,100 in 2022.

Make Yourself a Top Job Candidate

With wages increasing, employers are looking for skilled workers who will enhance their current teams. One of the best traits about construction work is there isn’t necessarily a need for a traditional college degree (though there are areas, like engineering, where those may be required).

Your physical ability, dexterity and coordination are huge pluses to potential employers. Job sites are open to all kinds of weather and extreme temperatures. Your ability to handle these conditions safely is crucial. Dexterity is especially important when handling large equipment. Be sure to highlight any work you’ve done that requires these kinds of skills.

Experience with technology will make job seekers attractive to employers. Many construction jobs are introducing new tech and could use workers who are already familiar with the technology – or at least are fast learners.
One of the most important skills you can have is the ability to communicate clearly. Communication on a job site is necessary for productivity and especially safety. Communication can be learned from different kinds of jobs, so it transfers well to other environments. Give examples of how your communication skills have helped your work.

Related to communication is teamwork. Construction requires collaboration and there’s little time for disagreements. Workers who communicate and work well together are more productive, safer and create an overall positive working environment.

Problem solving is another transferable skill. Things go wrong on a job site and being able to pivot quickly and effectively is crucial. This is especially necessary for safety considerations.

Make Your Business Appealing to Newcomers

To get the best talent, businesses must make themselves more attractive workplaces. While a college education may not be necessary, training is. Invest in training for your workers, especially when introducing new technology, but also professional development. Foster learning whether it is related to a specific job or more about cultivating the best team environment.

Your community is a great place to learn about what workers want. Work with local schools to do career talks, vocational training, etc., so students understand the opportunities available in construction. You can also take this opportunity to get first-hand accounts of what new generations expect from the workplace. A business that evolves will grow as the world changes.

Investing in technology is another must for any business trying to stay competitive in construction. Younger workers were practically born with technology in their hands. They expect the workplace to require some level of technology. Look at types of technology to invest in that could help your business while attracting new top-tier talent.

Getting online – and staying active online – will help make your business more attractive to new hires. Younger workers expect tech and are on social media. Engaging on social media and posting to job boards will help find younger workers where they already are.

Finally, ask your current employees to tell their friends about job openings. Ask them what they like – and what could be improved – and make some improvements to make your job even more attractive. Word of mouth travels fast and if you already have skilled workers you trust, they will likely have relationships with similar people.

Subscribe to the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 weekly newsletter to receive more great stories like this.