General Contractor Salary (United States)

Very much a male dominated career in the United States, General Contractors earn an average of $26.15 per hour. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Medical benefits are awarded to 26 percent, and 12 percent earn dental coverage. Most General Contractors like their work and job satisfaction is high. The figures in this overview are derived from responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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  
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  
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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While not commonly found, General Contractors who move on to become Construction Managers bring in an additional $12,488 annually. However, General Contractors typically graduate to Project Manager, Constructions or Construction Contractors.

General Contractor Job Listings

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General Contractors report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Sales, Carpentry, and Construction Estimating are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 66 percent, 29 percent, and 19 percent, respectively. Those listing Plumbing as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Employees educated in Construction Estimating are typically practiced in Project Management, too.

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 salaries. Starting out, salaries fall in the $41K range but grow to $55K after five to 10 years. Earnings total $61K after one to two decades. General Contractors experience solid salary growth after working for two decades, bringing in around $77K. The largest number of General Contractors have more than 20 years of experience, followed by those with 10 to 20 years. Workers who have been working for one to 10 years are the least common.

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.
San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for General Contractors, 66 percent above the national average. Other big spenders include Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, and Seattle, top-paying cities where General Contractors see paychecks higher than average (+59 percent, +27 percent, +26 percent, and +18 percent). General Contractors' salaries are heavily influenced by location—General Contractors in San Diego bring in salaries that are 23 percent lower than the national average. 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.

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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%