Why High Paying Construction Jobs are Going Unfilled

Why High Paying Construction Jobs are Going Unfilled

Why High Paying Construction Jobs are Going Unfilled


For the past three years, the construction industry has had a major labor shortage. There were roughly 178,000 open construction jobs at the end of 2016, many of them are high paying construction jobs. And that number has only increased. With an explosion of commercial and residential projects and promises of a $200 billion infrastructure investment, contractors are struggling to find enough workers to keep up with the projects. Some contractors and construction companies have dramatically increased base pay for new workers and benefits for existing employees. So why are high paying construction jobs going unfilled?


People’s Reasons for Not Entering the Field

There are a number of reasons that people have cited for not joining trade professions. The most common is lots of travel, misconceptions, and training. Travel can be a part of the profession. And some people considering construction don’t want to travel for work. Or they are unwilling or unable to move to where there is construction work deterring people from entering the trade.


There’s also an issue with the public image of construction. The biggest misconception is that the field doesn’t pay well or its too dangerous. Construction can be very lucrative for skilled workers. Especially with overtime, workers can find themselves earning high pay on construction jobs. Company’s across the industry have stringent safety training programs and continually working on improving the safety of their jobsites.


The final perceived deterrent to entering the construction industry is the time commitment and cost of training. Successful construction laborers know how important training is to the job. But, what people outside the industry don’t always know is that there are ways to get training without an extreme cost.
In order to supply the industry with more workers, more states are creating programs that decrease or completely offset the cost of training. Some companies are offering on-the-job training coupled with formal classes. So they can have enough workers for their projects.



Those are just a couple of reasons why the applicant pool is small. However, there are other ways to bring in and keep workers for these high paying construction jobs. From company culture to technology, construction companies are trying a variety of methods to gain and keep workers.


Social Media Presence

Some companies are trying to increase their presence on social media. Posting about job openings on social media is a good way to get applications. But monitoring those posts is also a good way to know who is interested in the job. And you can answer questions about the job before people apply.


Some companies are also using the social media to build up a company culture. They’ll talk about current projects they’re working on and celebrate employees. These practices showcase the company’s values, culture and appreciation for their employees. Which young people find encouraging and will help fill high paying construction jobs.


Engaging Current Employees

This might sound like a no-brainer, but it helps with employee retention. Engaging current employees about their assigned projects and their job helps employers gain insight into their day. Employers also gain insight into what employees need to do their job and reasonable timelines. This improves the business. It also makes employees feel like they matter when they’re heard. It helps keep current employees in your high paying construction jobs.


Focusing on Safety

Keeping an eye on employee safety helps gain new employees and retain current employees. Following all safety and workplace regulations to keep people safe benefits your business and employee retention. By ensuring that current employees are certified on equipment they use and are up-to-date on company safety policies you’re preventing injuries. The safer a workplace is, the more likely you are to fill high paying construction jobs.


Partnering with Trade Schools

This is a good way to get skilled workers before they enter the market. By working with local trade schools, you can become a part of their apprenticeship program. This allows you to help train future trade workers and gives you an opportunity to recruit. When apprentices graduate, you’ll know they’re fully trained and experienced to work on your team. Plus it provides security to apprentices because they know there are jobs for them.


Implementing Construction Technology

This one might sound odd, but it benefits your business in more ways than one. Implementing construction technology attracts younger people to a business. But it also can improve how your business operates by saving you time and money. With construction management software, you can create project timelines, manage project files, and manage productivity. It helps your business run smoothly. And can help alleviate some of the pressure of not having enough works.


Another option in technology is drones. They’re becoming more common in construction because they can survey a site quickly and efficiently. They can be used to identify safety concerns before workers are in the field. They’re faster than human surveyors, and they collect more data. Which can be used for 3D modeling or other information services.


There are a lot of construction projects in the upcoming year. Making construction a hot job market. The number of high paying construction jobs is going to continue to rise. Now is the time to utilize creative solutions to get more people into the field and retain them.



U.S Chamber of Commerce

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fox Business

CNN Money