Highest-Paid Specialty Contractors

14 Top Highest-Paid Specialty Contractors in USA 2022

Are you a Californian independent contractor or prospective employee interested in a career in the construction industry? If so, have you been wondering who the state’s highest-paid specialty contractors are? If so, you’ve ended up on the right side of the internet. There are many well-paying professions available in the construction sector, ranging from those that don’t require any experience to those that need highly specialized craft skills.

Your earnings in a particular career may fall within or exceed the ranges mentioned in this article. The pay for each specialist contractor will vary based on their skill set, years of experience, and the regional labour market.

Even while specialty contractors often make a comfortable income, their compensation varies significantly from place to place. On the West Coast (including Alaska and Hawaii), in specific parts of the Midwest, and some Northeastern states, specialty contractors’ hourly wages are more outstanding. In Hawaii and Illinois, the typical hourly wage exceeds $34, whereas, in California, it hovers around $30. Construction salaries could be as low as $18 per hour in some Southern states.

We’ll define a speciality contractor before discussing the top specialty contractors

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Who Is A specialty contractor?

Those specializing in one construction or repair area are called “specialist contractors.” These people often need a speciality contractor’s license to offer their services to the public and promote themselves as authorities in their field. It’s common practice to employ specialized contractors to maximize a project’s budget or task.

Specialty contractors are responsible for maintaining and fixing everything they build. The rationale is that speciality contractors have the required authorizations to complete a particular work. They must prove their knowledge in the field they apply for to be eligible to apply for a specialized contractor’s license and start working as a speciality contractor.

Education, referrals, or a combination of the two can help them do this. There are several licenses available for contractors, some of which demand that you pass specialized state trade exams.

Due to the specialized nature of their work, specialty contractors are usually self-employed independent contractors. Depending on the client’s requirements and the building project specifics, they are available for hire individually or as a bigger group.

What differentiates a General Contractor from a Specialty Contractor?

It’s important to distinguish between general contractors and speciality contractors. Although they both play a part in a building project’s success, their functions are distinct.

Specialty contractors concentrate on finishing a particular component of a construction project, whereas general contractors are in charge of the overall development and completion of a job. On the other hand, if a general contractor has the necessary licenses for specialty contractors to do the installation, they can “self-perform”; otherwise, a specialist must be hired.

Numerous tasks may be suitable for using specialty contractors, depending on the particulars of the project. For example, rather than employing two separate specialized contractors, the general contractor (GC) or project owner (owner) may typically hire a specialty contractor with dual licenses to assist with installing heating and cooling systems.

Highest-paid specialty contractors

This list’s professions call for a high school diploma or an equivalent. Except for construction and building inspection jobs, which require you to finish an apprenticeship program before you can work in any sector, no employment requires a college degree.

The top-earning or highest-paid specialty contractors are shown below:

  • Elevator installer and repairers ($66,043/year)
  • Boilermaker ($59,956/year)
  • Construction manager ($58,358 annually)
  • Construction inspectors ($57,750 annually)
  • Carpenters ($56,386/year)
  • Masons ($55,077/year)
  • Plumber ($50,480 annually)
  • Terrazzo workers ($48,690/year)
  • Construction equal operators ($47,747)
  • Electrician ($46,805 annually)
  • Tapers ($42,340/year)
  • Roofers ($40,928 annually)
  • Ironworker ($38,049 annually)
  • Sheet metal workers ($35,829 annually)
  • Painters ($33,644/year)

Elevator installer and repairers ($66,043/year)

The job description for this business can be misleading because the work that employees do goes beyond only installing, repairing, and carrying out routine maintenance on elevators. Additionally, they work on escalators, moving walkways, and chair lifts. They are responsible for ensuring the equipment is safe, in working order, and complies with the rules. In several states, you need a license to work as an elevator installer or repairman.

Boilermaker ($59,956/year)

Boilermakers’ principal duties include installing and maintaining boilers, vats, and other sizable liquid or gas-carrying containers. They do machine diagnostics to ensure everything is functioning, clean the machinery, and then fix and replace any broken parts.

Construction manager ($58,358 annually)

The majority of a task, including planning, designing, and assembly, is handled by construction managers. Workers in this field guarantee that projects stay within budgetary constraints and set realistic completion goals for jobs. Additionally, managers delegate responsibilities and oversee other employees, including general labourers, plumbers, and electricians.

Employers often seek construction managers with at least a bachelor’s degree.

Construction inspectors ($57,750 annually)

They make sure that finished projects abide by all relevant governmental regulations, regional legislation, and the contractor’s instructions. Development inspectors are responsible for approving plans that adhere to rules and halting construction when required. All building components, including the structure, plumbing, and electricity, are checked by workers in this position.

Someone who is just starting should not take this job. Typically, you must have a few years of relevant professional experience. However, if you have experience in the sector, it might be an excellent opportunity to increase your income.

Carpenters ($56,386/year)

One of the most well-liked and well-paid specialized contractors in California and a worldwide specialty contractor is the carpenter.

They are necessary for the creation of many different structures, including homes, businesses, bridges, and other kinds of buildings. Carpenter work possibilities are expected to be somewhat stable between 2019 and 2029.

Carpenters are used in a wide range of construction environments. They might hang cabinets inside and give them handles. Before beginning work on the roof, they could install scaffolding around structures outside.

Plumber ($50,480 annually)

The installation and upkeep of the water, gas, and other material conveyance systems in residences and commercial structures fall under the purview of these specialized contractors. They are among the highest-paid specialty contractors in California or the entire United States. To avoid obstructions and other issues, they also clean drains.

To become a plumber, you only need a high school diploma, but most states also demand professional certification. It’s an international specialist contractor.

Masons ($55,077/year)

Masonry workers complete the tasks that require dealing with stone, brick, and concrete. Masons are in charge of building sidewalks, curbs, floors, and walls. They do this by mixing and pouring concrete. Masons must be able to read blueprints to ensure that the work they complete will meet the requirements specified by the contractor.

When a structure is finished, masonry craftsmen are typically and largely in charge of its “look.” They are regarded as one of California’s best-paid specialty contractors.

Terrazzo workers ($48,690/year)

To create unique surfaces and finishes inside and outside buildings and on the grounds, terrazzo artisans employ coloured concrete and tiny fragments of marble, glass, granite, or quartz. The concrete is sealed, cured, and polished to a smooth surface. The projects can be inside, like floors or worktops, or outside, such as patios or walks. People who work in terrazzo must move rapidly and cautiously because concrete sets so quickly.

Construction equal operators ($47,747)

A person who operates large machinery used to create buildings, roads, bridges, or other constructions is known as a construction equipment operator. Depending on the tools and tasks you work on, your duties in this position vary. On a construction site, you frequently use heavy equipment to move, excavate, extract, or dig up dirt and manage or lift building materials.

Operators usually work at night and have irregular schedules. The projected job growth rate for all occupations is 4%, which is average.

Electrician ($46,805 annually)

Electricians maintain, repair, and install electrical systems. Their job duties vary depending on their organization, sector, and location. Rewiring or installing wiring and equipment, examining electrical service panels or fuse boxes for safety hazards, and determining the root of power outages are some of the general duties of an electrician.

You must obtain an electrician license in the majority of states. Along with purchasing electrician insurance, these are the initial steps to a prosperous profession.

Tapers ($42,340/year)

One of the least well-liked and highest-paid specialty contractors in California is the taper. Tapers play a unique and significant part in completing the inside walls of a structure before painting or wallpapering them. Although full-time employment as a taper is not very common, those with the required abilities and access to enough labour can earn a modest income.

Roofers ($40,928 annually)

Roofers construct and fix roofs using a variety of hand tools and machines (e.g., scaffolds). They guarantee that roofs are stable and watertight in any setting. They also construct insulation systems and vapour barriers.

Ironworker ($38,049 annually)

Ironworkers can be found if you are looking for the best-paid speciality contractors in California. We can construct tall structures in large part because of these specialized contractors. Skyscrapers would not be conceivable without them. Lifting big metal beams while working at heights is another risky task.

Ironworkers’ responsibility is to install iron and steel parts into recently built structures such as highways, bridges, and other infrastructure. They also assist in demolishing ancient structures and strengthening existing ones.

Sheet metal workers ($35,829 annually)

One of the best-paid specialty contractors in California is sheet metal. They are also utilized in numerous other industries, including siding, roofing, and the installation of ducts. Sheet metal workers often possess fabrication skills, allowing them to construct building components before putting them into place.

They are responsible for deciding which type of sheet to use, considering each assignment’s requirements. They work on various tasks, including flashing, outside pipes, gutters, and heating and cooling ducts.

Painters ($33,644/year)

Another crucial trade that is typically present on building sites is painting. Due to the variety of the job they do, which includes producing nice-looking homes, offices, bridges, and other buildings, they are considered specialized global contractors.

Painters apply paint, stains, and other finishes to walls and ceilings. Although their tasks are obvious, they must still perform them accurately and quickly. They operate on bridges and other constructions outside as well as within buildings.

They are among the highest-paid specialty contractors in California and worldwide due to their popularity and necessity.


The construction sector also provides numerous prospects for career progression as a specialized contractor because businesses sometimes pay more to have people trained to handle dangerous chemicals, operate cutting-edge machinery, maintain workplace safety, lead a team, and other things. Working in construction may allow you to learn a new skill.


How Do Specialty Contractors Employ Their Skills?

Specialty contractors concentrate on setting up various systems, but they can also handle maintenance, repairs, and enhancements. Most state and local business legislation categorize any form of work that requires a license as a specialist contractor job.

How much do employees at Industrial Specialty Contractors make?

Managers and workers with experience earn much more money.


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