There are three possible uses of the National Home Builders (NAHB) 2018 listing of highest paid construction occupations – two uses are helpful, one is not.
First, and not useful, find your current role, discover that you might be making less than the median, and get upset. If you feel undervalued, this reaction is natural. Instead of dwelling on your current wage, use the data to your advantage to get paid more – today or in the future.
Understanding the median salaries of each position nationwide can be helpful to (a) negotiate a future salary increase, (b) better evaluate a job offer or (c) aim for a different job down the road.
How to use salary data to get paid more
If the NAHB’s data tells you that a meeting with your boss to discuss a salary adjustment that puts you into the median range for your position is necessary, referencing this information can help start your conversation.
These conversations are delicate and very personal. Using such facts can show that you have a balanced, objective view of your job’s relative worth.
For example, you might brooch the subject, saying, “John, I appreciate the experience I’ve gained in my years with the company. I believe that I am performing well. While I’m pleased with my position, the national median salary for my job is $55,000 per year. My salary is well below. How do I work to earn a raise?”
Notice two aspects of the use of the data. First, the discussion was focused on what can change – including taking personal ownership of the actions required to get a pay increase. There was no “picking a fight” or any accusation of the company taking advantage of the employee’s loyalty in offering a sub-median wage.
Second, the employee’s approach did not demand immediate resolution. There was no threat made or a “pay me more or else” ultimatum laid down that would certainly cause increased tension between employee and management.
For more tips on talking to a current employer about a raise, click here.
Median salaries can help to evaluate job offers
If you are currently considering a move to another company (or position), the NAHB’s data should be an easy, national benchmark for any job offer you might have in-hand.
If, for instance, you’re considering an electrician position for a company in San Francisco offering over $60k annually a quick scan of the data would suggest that your salary is just above the national median. Next, it would indicate that the top 25% in the field make nearly $20k more per year.
Lastly, the relatively high cost of living adjustment in San Francisco (the most expensive city to live in America) should tell you that a salary at the median, while fair, may not afford you the same lifestyle as a less expensive market.
Salaries can help you know where you’re going
It is easy while working at the job site morning until sunset, to neglect aspirational career goals. The NAHB’s median salary data should provide a window into the jobs that could provide a future path toward financial goals you might have.
Do you see yourself as a future C.E.O?
You should expect nearly $200k at the median per year.
Do you have an interest in Training, HR and Development work but are unsure if there is good money to be made working in the office?
The NAHB’s data shows the relative values of any employees whose salary rate would otherwise be unknown to a tradesperson.
After using the data to plan for future ways to reach these lofty positions (and elevated salary), the next step is to read through active job postings (like those listed here). While these postings may be currently out of reach based on your experience level, they provide insights into the skills needed to qualify in the future. Understanding the skills required to land a job in the future can help you seek training or push for expanding responsibilities in your current role.
Ultimately, how you use the NHBA’s data is your choice.
Do you see that you make less than the median and walk off the site in disgust?
Does your current, sub-median income empower you to garner the skills required to get a raise in the future?
Will the data tell you that the job offers you’re considering are sufficient?
Or, will reading about the salary of the company C.E.O. have you wanting their responsibilities?
You are now armed with the latest national benchmark. Now, what will you do with it?
Need help determining your current salary expectation? Contact Goliath today!