General Contractor Salary (United States)

A sizeable majority of General Contractors in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $26.15 per hour. Total cash income, which bottoms out near $25,197 and peaks near $108,894, incorporates potential for more than $12,027 from bonuses and close to $51K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. 26 percent enjoy medical and dental coverage in this occupation, and 10 percent get vision benefits. Job satisfaction for General Contractors is high. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
General Contractor Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$25,197 - $108,894
(Median)
25K
40K
59K
84K
110K
MEDIAN: $59,152
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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General Contractor Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$12.10 - $50.95
(Median)
12
18
26
40
51
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$25,197 - $108,894  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,027  
Profit Sharing
$494.93 - $50,932  
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).
)
$26,031 - $117,724  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 316
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$12.10 - $50.95  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $56.10  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,027  
   
Profit Sharing
$494.93 - $50,932  
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).
)
$26,031 - $117,724  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 398
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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
  • 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.
  • Make sure all government regulations are followed, proper permits are obtained, and required inspections carried out.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for General Contractor

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Though some General Contractors move into positions like Construction Manager (where salaries climb a $12,488), this progression is not the norm. Becoming a Construction Project Manager or a Construction Contractor is, however, a more typical career progression for General Contractors.

General Contractor Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for General Contractor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
General Contractors generally obtain higher salaries for more plentiful past experience. Workers new to the field can expect to earn $41K, increasing to $55K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $61K. As General Contractors reach 20 years on the job, salary growth continues to be strong, with earnings averaging $77K. The majority of General Contractors have only more than 20 years of practice in the field. Workers with 10 to 20 years make up the second biggest group followed by those with one to 10 years under their belt.

Pay Difference By Location

San Jose
up arrow 66%
Los Angeles
up arrow 59%
Houston
up arrow 27%
Miami
up arrow 26%
Seattle
up arrow 18%
New York
up arrow 9%
Portland
up arrow 5%
National Average
$60,000
Sacramento
up arrow 10%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 14%
San Diego
up arrow 23%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Home to some of the best pay for General Contractors, San Jose offers exceptional salaries, 66 percent above the national average. Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, and Seattle are a few other cities that offer generous salaries, with General Contractors earning around 59 percent, 27 percent, 26 percent, and 18 percent more than average. General Contractors in San Diego earn salaries far below the national average by 23 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Pittsburgh and Sacramento are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median—salaries hover around -14 percent and -10 percent, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects General Contractor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 24%
Experienced
up arrow 1%
National Average
$60,000
Mid-Career
up arrow 10%
Entry-Level
up arrow 32%

Skills That Affect General Contractor Salaries

Sales
up arrow 66%
Carpentry
up arrow 29%
National Average
$60,000
Plumbing
up arrow 22%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
4%
female alumni
 
Male
96%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
14%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
34%
20 years or more
35%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 26% dental benefits Dental: 12%
vision benefits Vision: 10% employee benefits None: 73%
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