General Contractors in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $29.85 per hour. In the world of General Contractors, total cash compensation can vary between $31K and $122K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $15K and $60K, respectively. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Just under a fourth enjoy medical while around an eighth get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to less than one-tenth. The majority of General Contractors claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$32,359 - $117,601
$32K
$62K
$120K
MEDIAN: $62,058
10%
50%
90%

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$14.67 - $57.30
$15
$30
$57
MEDIAN: $29.85
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$32,359 - $117,601  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,086  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $59,696  
Commission
$14,998  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,185 - $122,204  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 401
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$14.67 - $57.30  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.25  
Overtime
$14.35 - $66.87  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,086  
   
Commission
$14,998  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $59,696  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,185 - $122,204  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 740

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United States (change)

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Job Description for General Contractor

A general contractor oversees a variety of construction projects. Normally, the contractor is called in when someone wants to create a new building for business or residential purposes; however, contractors may also work in remodeling and renovation of existing structures as well. The general contractor assesses the work to be done and directs various construction crews to accomplish these tasks.

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General Contractor Tasks

  • Generate cost estimates for labor, materials, equipment, and permits necessary to complete a project.
  • Plan and manage a construction project, coordinating labor, materials, and equipment, hire and supervise subcontractors.
  • Make sure all government regulations are followed, proper permits are obtained, and required inspections carried out.
  • Monitor project progress to ensure it stays on time and within budget.
  • Negotiate contract terms with clients and work with clients and architects to create project plans.

Common Career Paths for General Contractor


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Although it's unusual, some General Contractors transition into jobs as Construction Project Managers. The latter group reports earning a slightly lower median of $75K per year, though. When General Contractors are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Construction Project Managers or Construction Superintendents. Those roles pay an additional $6K and $5K, respectively.

General Contractor Job Listings

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Popular Skills for General Contractor


Survey takers working as General Contractors report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Contractor Management, Operations Management, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 29 percent, 20 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Those listing Roofing Materials Installation as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Drywall and Painting also typically command lower compensation. Most people experienced in Construction Estimating also know Carpentry.

Pay by Experience Level for General Contractor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $42K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $57K. General Contractors bring in $71K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $79K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $63,806

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 47 percent, General Contractors in Los Angeles receive some of the highest pay in the country. General Contractors will also find cushy salaries in Fort Lauderdale (+33 percent), Seattle (+26 percent), San Diego (+23 percent), and Tampa (+22 percent). The lowest-paying market is New York, which sits 22 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Workers in Philadelphia and St. Louis earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (18 percent less and 6 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for General Contractor

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 109 votes.
035
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
17%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
36%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects General Contractor Salaries



National Average
$64,000



Skills That Affect General Contractor Salaries

Contractor Management
up arrow 29%

Operations Management
up arrow 20%



National Average
$64,000

Carpenter
up arrow 2%

Kitchen/Bath
up arrow 2%

Carpentry
up arrow 4%

construction
up arrow 8%

up arrow 17%

framing
up arrow 19%

ELECTRICAL
up arrow 20%

Cabinetry Installation
up arrow 35%

Painting
up arrow 39%

Drywall
up arrow 39%

Roofing Materials Installation
up arrow 43%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 109 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
17%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
36%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 22%
dental benefits
Dental: 12%
vision benefits
Vision: 9%
dental benefits
None: 77%
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