Wages & Salaries

“Construction workers make good livings,” says Ed Capodanno, president of the American Builders and Contractors, Delaware.

One look at the numbers backs him up. And if you’re more interested in manufacturing, you can look forward to solid wages, too.

The average annual salary for Delawareans in the architecture and construction industries is $50,000, says Luke Rhine, director of career and technical education and STEM initiatives for the Delaware Department of Education. The average in manufacturing is $43,000. But in both instances, those who gain more certification and education make more.

In fact, you can get close to or even above six figures in some areas of both manufacturing and construction. For example, workers in the chemical manufacturing industry earn $95,000 a year on average, according to the Delaware Department of Labor.

A look at the State of Delaware Prevailing Wage Rates for construction workers shows how lucrative some of the sectors can be. For instance, elevator engineers working on state projects in New Castle County
make $93.23 an hour. Work 40 hours a week doing that, and you’ll gross $3,729.20. Those numbers can add up to six figures a year pretty quickly.

Not all wages are as high, of course. For instance, roofers in Sussex who lay shingles and tiles make $17.56 an hour. But electricians in Sussex earn $68.70/hour. The totals vary across the state and in different trades, but there is money to be made in construction.

The Delaware Department of Labor’s Career Compass  provides a range of annual salaries for jobs in manufacturing and the building trades.

In manufacturing, average wages include $69,139 for purchasing agents, and $76,159 for electrical and electronical persons. In architecture and construction, you could make an average of $76,910 a year as an electrical power-line installer and repairer, or $111,167 as a construction manager.

How do those numbers compare to entry-level pay in some of Delaware’s other fast-growing and in-demand occupations?  Here are a few examples from the Delaware Department of Labor’s Career Compass:

• Food Workers: $8.87/hour ($354.80/week)
• Cashiers: $8.88/hour ($355.20/week)
• Retail salespersons: $8.90/hour ($356.00/week)
• Home health aides: $10.75/hour ($430.00/week)
• Customer service reps: $11.36/hour ($454.40/week)
• Elementary school teachers: $20.67/hour ($826.80/week)
• Web developers: $21.79/hour ($871.60/week)
• Registered nurses: $26.91/hour ($1,076.40/week)
• Accountants and auditors: $24.59/hour ($983.60/week)
• Physical therapists: $33.20/hour ($1,328.00/week)

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