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Construction Work: Salary vs. Risks

Almost every type of employment or occupation has its advantages and disadvantages. Some will offer great money but unsociable working hours, others may provide superb benefits only for the job to be boring and mundane.


However, jobs in the construction industry are becoming increasingly sought after. An individual looking to become a construction worker has the potential to earn a great salary and receive a number of benefits. Even so, due to the very nature of the occupation, working conditions and associated health risks mean this type of employment isn’t for everyone.


Therefore it is important to understand the implications of becoming involved with construction work.


Salary and security


Since 2010, the average salary for a project manager in the construction industry has been around £44,000, which is the same as quantity surveyors with a similar level of experience.


The majority of employers in the oil and gas industry also recently indicated that they were expecting to give workers a pay rise. If you’re prepared to work in dangerous locations, such as war-torn or politically unstable countries with security problems, pay scales will usually reflect the risk involved.


If you’re working for a major corporation, then the compound or construction site is likely to have safety measures and strict controls on entry.


Other benefits


With standards and regulations for construction spanning different regions and indeed the entire world, skills can be transferred almost anywhere.


One of the other advantages of being a construction worker is self-employment. You can be your own boss, have flexibility over the jobs you take on and don’t have to work for somebody else.


In several instances, working abroad is an attractive option. For example, in Australia a civil engineer can earn upwards of £54,000 while a project manager has the potential to receive £85,000 a year. What’s more, one of the main reasons construction workers move abroad are for the potential tax benefits.




Working on a construction site has various implications regarding safety and potential health risks. Even though it is standard practice to always wear a hardhat and high-visibility jacket, you are always at risk of accidental injury.


Certain sites or buildings may have hazardous materials present such as asbestos. Exposure to this substance can lead to serious conditions including mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. If a construction worker develops mesothelioma, they may be eligible to make an asbestos compensation claim.


Although the construction of buildings and property will always be ongoing, the amount of activity in that area does fluctuate, and recent figures have shown a decrease: in January 2013, the Office for National Statistics noted that output in the private commercial sector fell by 14.5% while new public non-housing decreased by 23.5%.


It is important to note that these statistics can change quite dramatically over a short period of time. However, the number of active construction projects at any one time is far from guaranteed.

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