Highest-paying construction jobs in Salem

Written by:
February 20, 2022
Flamingo Images // Shutterstock

Highest-paying construction jobs in Salem

The term “recession-proof” has taken on a new and important meaning in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, a meaning that has been renewed during the pandemic. One recession-proof industry has proven to be construction. Residential and commercial real estate, roads, bridges, power and energy, hotels—each of these sectors has weathered economic storms and proven to be dependable ways for a person to support a family.

The American Institutes of Architects’ Consensus Construction Forecast predicts that nonresidential construction will grow 4.6%, while the overall commercial construction market will see a 5.4% increase. This is against market expectations of global construction gains of 3.7%, meaning the U.S. market is expected to be ahead of the curve. Moreover, road and highway construction is expected to reach $108 billion annually by 2024.

Aside from ongoing supply chain woes that have caused delays in materials delivery, one source of concern in construction is workforce shortages. Analysis from Deloitte says that labor shortages are the result of a lack of qualified candidates and a skills gap between generations in an industry growing more technologically savvy by the year.

But this does not mean there are no jobs out there—to the contrary, there are a great number of construction jobs out there, and many of them are high-paying and offer career opportunities. To that end, Stacker compiled a list of the highest paying jobs in construction in Salem using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked based on annual pay as of May 2020. Job descriptions are from O*NET.

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Pixabay

#27. Helpers--electricians

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $33,510
- #90 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,440
- Employment: 73,920
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Cedar Rapids, IA ($55,070)
--- New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($53,920)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($52,310)
- Job description: Help electricians by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
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Vera Larina // Shutterstock

#26. Sheet metal workers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $40,550
- #232 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,320
- Employment: 128,220
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($132,900)
--- Kankakee, IL ($91,140)
--- Olympia-Tumwater, WA ($87,030)
- Job description: Fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings. Work may involve any of the following: setting up and operating fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal; shaping metal over anvils, blocks, or forms using hammer; operating soldering and welding equipment to join sheet metal parts; or inspecting, assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces. Includes sheet metal duct installers who install prefabricated sheet metal ducts used for heating, air conditioning, or other purposes.
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Carl Mydans // Library of Congress

#25. Tile and stone setters

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $41,010
- #92 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $48,490
- Employment: 38,150
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Champaign-Urbana, IL ($78,200)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($69,740)
--- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($63,630)
- Job description: Apply hard tile, stone, and comparable materials to walls, floors, ceilings, countertops, and roof decks.
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Canva

#24. Painters, construction and maintenance

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $42,490
- #153 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 540

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,460
- Employment: 217,880
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($69,360)
--- Salinas, CA ($64,630)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($63,070)
- Job description: Paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.
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Pixabay

#23. Hazardous materials removal workers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $42,910
- #78 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,170
- Employment: 44,010
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Knoxville, TN ($79,260)
--- Salinas, CA ($72,170)
--- Kennewick-Richland, WA ($70,300)
- Job description: Identify, remove, pack, transport, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, or contaminated soil. Specialized training and certification in hazardous materials handling or a confined entry permit are generally required. May operate earth-moving equipment or trucks.

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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#22. Stonemasons

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $44,480
- #17 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $48,290
- Employment: 11,830
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($66,710)
--- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ($66,480)
--- Stockton-Lodi, CA ($64,300)
- Job description: Build stone structures, such as piers, walls, and abutments. Lay walks, curbstones, or special types of masonry for vats, tanks, and floors.
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Pixabay

#21. Construction laborers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $44,640
- #87 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,570

National
- Annual mean salary: $43,000
- Employment: 971,330
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($66,670)
--- Kankakee, IL ($65,730)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($63,860)
- Job description: Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris, and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.
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Nagy-Bagoly Arpad // Shutterstock

#20. Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $44,920
- #31 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,860
- Employment: 32,780
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($89,190)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($79,670)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($71,130)
- Job description: Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.
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Canva

#19. Helpers--brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $45,350
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $40,190
- Employment: 21,410
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- St. Louis, MO-IL ($63,660)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($61,010)
--- Reno, NV ($54,490)
- Job description: Help brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
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Canva

#18. Floor layers, except carpet, wood, and hard tiles

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $47,120
- #28 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,740
- Employment: 16,720
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($70,760)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($70,190)
--- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ($69,690)
- Job description: Apply blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing, sound-deadening, or decorative coverings to floors.

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Forestfolks // Flickr

#17. Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $47,700
- #38 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $43,930
- Employment: 29,880
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Joplin, MO ($71,930)
--- Stockton-Lodi, CA ($70,340)
--- Rochester, MN ($63,200)
- Job description: Clean and repair septic tanks, sewer lines, or drains. May patch walls and partitions of tank, replace damaged drain tile, or repair breaks in underground piping.
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Canva

#16. Carpet installers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $50,150
- #23 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,150
- Employment: 23,020
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD ($70,920)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($66,990)
--- Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($65,110)
- Job description: Lay and install carpet from rolls or blocks on floors. Install padding and trim flooring materials.
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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

#15. Carpenters

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $55,830
- #68 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,830

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,200
- Employment: 699,300
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($82,950)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($82,300)
--- Hanford-Corcoran, CA ($79,870)
- Job description: Construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood and comparable materials, such as concrete forms; building frameworks, including partitions, joists, studding, and rafters; and wood stairways, window and door frames, and hardwood floors. May also install cabinets, siding, drywall, and batt or roll insulation. Includes brattice builders who build doors or brattices (ventilation walls or partitions) in underground passageways.
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Canva

#14. Cement masons and concrete finishers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $55,860
- #54 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 360

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,390
- Employment: 195,580
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($86,370)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($81,730)
--- Rockford, IL ($78,320)
- Job description: Smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. Align forms for sidewalks, curbs, or gutters; patch voids; and use saws to cut expansion joints.
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Pixabay

#13. Roofers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $56,470
- #31 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 430

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,010
- Employment: 128,680
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Worcester, MA-CT ($82,700)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($71,520)
--- Trenton, NJ ($71,260)
- Job description: Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, or related materials. May spray roofs, sidings, and walls with material to bind, seal, insulate, or soundproof sections of structures.

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wandee007 // Shutterstock

#12. Earth drillers, except oil and gas; and explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $57,200
- #23 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,040
- Employment: 22,540
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Lafayette, LA ($98,100)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($69,160)
--- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($69,090)
- Job description: Operate a variety of drills such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic to tap subsurface water and salt deposits, to remove core samples during mineral exploration or soil testing, and to facilitate the use of explosives in mining or construction. Includes horizontal and earth boring machine operators.
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Philip Lange // Shutterstock

#11. Highway maintenance workers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $59,720
- #10 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

National
- Annual mean salary: $43,200
- Employment: 149,890
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($72,040)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($66,270)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($65,290)
- Job description: Maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement and repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear brush from along road, or plow snow from roadway.
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Canva

#10. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $60,050
- #104 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 700

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,280
- Employment: 402,870
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($96,440)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($93,620)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($93,320)
- Job description: Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.
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Canva

#9. Drywall and ceiling tile installers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $62,600
- #18 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,930
- Employment: 99,700
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($90,640)
--- Bellingham, WA ($78,580)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($78,170)
- Job description: Apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound. Materials may be of decorative quality. Includes lathers who fasten wooden, metal, or rockboard lath to walls, ceilings, or partitions of buildings to provide support base for plaster, fireproofing, or acoustical material.
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Canva

#8. Helpers--carpenters

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $64,070
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,360
- Employment: 30,900
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salem, OR ($64,070)
--- New Bedford, MA ($45,720)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,900)
- Job description: Help carpenters by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#7. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $64,480
- #82 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 440

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,100
- Employment: 417,440
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,100)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($94,280)
--- Kankakee, IL ($93,420)
- Job description: Assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. Includes sprinkler fitters.
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#6. Electricians

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $68,360
- #58 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 820

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,550
- Employment: 656,510
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,680)
--- Trenton, NJ ($90,210)
--- Kankakee, IL ($88,530)
- Job description: Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.
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sculpies // Shutterstock

#5. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $68,980
- #168 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 880

National
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- Employment: 614,080
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,870)
--- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($103,930)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($100,620)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.
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Canva

#4. Tapers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $70,680
- #8 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,140
- Employment: 16,320
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($92,500)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($86,080)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($83,860)
- Job description: Seal joints between plasterboard or other wallboard to prepare wall surface for painting or papering.
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John Leung // Shutterstock

#3. Brickmasons and blockmasons

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- #16 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,420
- Employment: 59,940
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($90,610)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($90,290)
--- Pittsfield, MA ($90,070)
- Job description: Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.
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Canva

#2. Construction and building inspectors

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $76,500
- #26 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,470
- Employment: 113,770
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($102,920)
--- Salinas, CA ($98,360)
- Job description: Inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.
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Canva

#1. Glaziers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $85,640
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

National
- Annual mean salary: $50,970
- Employment: 52,190
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Olympia-Tumwater, WA ($89,250)
--- Salem, OR ($85,640)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($81,240)
- Job description: Install glass in windows, skylights, store fronts, and display cases, or on surfaces, such as building fronts, interior walls, ceilings, and tabletops.

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