Construction workers are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, construction workers rate their career happiness 2.7 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 9% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy construction workers are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Plumber
2.8
$35k
Marine electrician
2.8
$61k
Tile and marble setter
2.7
$33k
Brickmason
2.7
$38k
Construction painter
2.7
$29k
Construction worker
2.7
$28k
Drywall and ceiling tile installer
2.6
$31k
Roofer
2.6
$31k
Fork lift operator
2.5
$29k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are construction workers happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do construction workers find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as construction workers?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are construction worker’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are construction workers making the best use of their abilities?

Are construction workers happy with their salary?

Construction workers rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.0/5. Few are explicitly unhappy with their salaries, with most construction workers having generally positive views of their salary.

We asked construction workers how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

3.0 out of 5 stars

5 Star
11%

11% of construction workers rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of construction workers rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
31%

31% of construction workers rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
18%

18% of construction workers rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
13%

13% of construction workers rated their compensation 1 stars

Do construction workers find their jobs meaningful?

On average, construction workers rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.4/5. The majority of construction workers struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked construction workers how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.4 out of 5 stars

5 Star
7%

7% of construction workers rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
12%

12% of construction workers rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
25%

25% of construction workers rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
26%

26% of construction workers rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
30%

30% of construction workers rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as construction workers?

Construction workers rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.4/5. The majority of construction workers find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked construction workers how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.4 out of 5 stars

5 Star
19%

19% of construction workers rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
34%

34% of construction workers rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
25%

25% of construction workers rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
12%

12% of construction workers rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
11%

11% of construction workers rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a construction worker’s work environment?

As a whole, construction workers rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.1/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked construction workers how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.1 out of 5 stars

5 Star
14%

14% of construction workers rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
28%

28% of construction workers rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of construction workers rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
18%

18% of construction workers rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
14%

14% of construction workers rated their work environment 1 stars

Are construction workers making the best use of their abilities?

Former construction workers on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.7/5. Construction workers tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.

We asked construction workers how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.7 out of 5 stars

5 Star
10%

10% of construction workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
17%

17% of construction workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
25%

25% of construction workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
26%

26% of construction workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
23%

23% of construction workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars