The strength of the world’s economy is inextricably linked to the construction industry. Countries all around the world are not only aiming to accommodate an ever-increasing population but also to compete on a global scale to thrive as nations. Some countries are propelled by the sheer pace of growth, while others are supported by a massive economic force. Construction projects provide jobs, infuse cash and fresh life into communities, and build the infrastructure required to keep the country moving forward.
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As we surge through a post-COVID world, it is worth investigating which countries are vying for explosive growth in the construction industry—and where construction workers are safe, in demand, and receive a fair and respectable wage.
With that in mind, Workwear Guru set out to locate the best places in the world for construction workers to prosper. This study considered three major factors for ranking the best countries for construction workers including:
the average salaries in construction, safety, and cost of living in each country/state.
Top 10 countries for construction workers in the World:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Switzerland, which is one of the most economically and politically stable countries in the world, tops the list of the best countries for construction workers. Switzerland’s construction sector is expected to increase by 2.5 percent in 2021, supported by government investments in infrastructure, residential and renewable energy projects.
The average cost of living in Switzerland is high, luckily, salaries for construction jobs in Switzerland are usually high to match the costs. A person working in construction in Switzerland typically earns around $79,159 per year. With such above-average salaries for construction laborers, coupled with low incident rates (13%) on construction sites, Switzerland unquestionably deserves the epithet of being one of the best countries for construction workers in the world.
The UK Construction Industry has been struggling on a number of fronts the past few years, not only with the Covid-19 outbreak but also with the Brexit uncertainty, which had a major impact on the industry, leading to staff shortages and materials.
However, what remains clear is that UK has maintained its position as one of the best countries to work as a construction worker with an average industry salary of $57,957 and a relatively low cost of living, 1.35% lower than in United States and way lower than in Switzerland and some other countries in the list. Moreover, the UK sits at the top of the list in terms of safety, with an incident rate of only 8%.
Belgium has exceptionally high living, healthcare, and educational standards. It is also one of the world's safest and most peaceful countries. Its geographical location supports its expanding economy, which is powered by a very diverse economic base of both industrial production and service industries. When it comes to construction, the industry is projected to grow $94.5 billion by 2024.
Construction workers would want to move to Belgium and benefit from the country’s open economy. Despite having a relatively high cost of living, Belgium continues to attract job-seeking construction workers due to competitively high salaries ($53,501) and the high quality of life it offers.
With a projected growth rate of 3.1% in 2022, construction is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. ABC expects occupations in construction to add a whopping 430,000 new jobs to meet the demand.
The US comfortably earns a high ranking in our list as the industry remains supported by many jobs available and an average salary of $55,800 per year. However, 20% of worker fatalities in the US are in construction, which calls for a continued incentive to improve safety on construction sites and avoid life-threatening conditions due to factors construction workers cannot control.
Canada is heavily urbanized, with major and medium-sized cities housing 82 percent of the population. It scores highly in terms of quality of life, education, economic freedom, government transparency, and civil rights on a global scale. Besides that, Canada boasts a highly developed construction industry, employing over 1.4 million people and generating over $141 billion annually to the economy.
On top of plentiful job opportunities, construction workers in Canada earn an above-average salary ($55,927) and benefit from an affordable cost of living (unquestionably much more affordable than in Switzerland, Singapore, and other countries in this list).
Which is the Best Country for Construction Workers in the United States?
The construction industry employs over a million people in the United States with a national average of $55,800. The future for this field is positive, with the BLS projecting that employment growth for construction workers will be around 7% until 2030, which is above average for job growth in the United States.
With a new wave of employment openings, now is an excellent moment to explore a career in construction. Based on a combination of the criteria mentioned above, we narrowed down a list of states in the US to find an ideal job in the field of construction.
Top 10 countries for construction workers in the US:
- New York
- New Jersey
There’s a good reason why Illinois tops our list for construction workers. Construction is increasing throughout the state, particularly in Chicago, which has the second-highest number of tower cranes in operation of any city in the United States.
Illinois ranks third for construction salaries (trailing only New York and California) at $65,100 per year. The only factor holding Illionois back is safety. Fatal work injuries totaled 158 in 2019 for Illinois according to BLS, making it one of the most dangerous states to work as a construction worker.
Despite the fact that New York is still dealing with the aftermath of the epidemic, the state's construction industry is thriving. It has the highest construction industry employment rates in the whole country. But what truly stands out about New York is the above-average salaries: $66,900 on average—the highest paying state for construction workers in our list.