The 2024 Craft Workforce Survey
Have you ever heard somebody say that craft will labor will leave a job for $0.50/hr more somewhere else? It’s been said so many times that most people take it to be fact.
We wondered what the actual rate increase was that craft are looking for to change jobs. So, we asked them. And the response was surprising. The average pay rate increase a craft person needs to change jobs is over $8 per hour!
This is something we found out when conducting our 2024 Craft Workforce Survey. In partnership with Jamup Jobsites, we surveyed almost 500 industrial craft workers about all aspects of their jobs, and we learned a lot.
We learned why they take a job.
We learned why they quit a job.
We learned what they’re paid.
We learned about their long-term plans.
We learned about who they think the top companies are.
The responses paint a picture of a workforce that is happier and more engaged than most people give it credit for. This workforce likes the work they do, are glad they got into construction in the first place, and they want to keep working in construction for the long term.
The 2024 Craft Workforce Survey report is 86 pages long and is organized into four (4) sections.
- Section 1: Survey Demographics
- Section 2: State of the Craft Workforce
- Section 3: State of Today’s Jobsites
- Section 4: Deep Dive Into the Numbers
Section 1: Survey Demographics
The first section of the report looks at who responded to the survey.
We received 496 responses to this survey. Each person took an average of 9 minutes and 29 seconds to complete the survey. Keeping somebody’s attention for that long is a miracle these days!
Here is a rundown of the survey’s demographics:
- 5% of respondents were men.
- On average they had 18.5 years of experience in industrial construction.
- The trades with the most responses were welders, electricians, pipefitters, millwrights, and crane operators.
- 35% of respondents considered themselves to be supervisors.
- 55% of were journeymen while just 6.5% considered themselves to be apprentices.
- 36% held NCCER certifications.
Section 2: State of the Craft Workforce
Section 2 dives into how the craft workforce thinks about their jobs.
This section finds out why craft workers decided to get into construction in the first place, what they like about the job, what they would do if they didn’t have to work for money, and whether they’d go into construction again if they had to do it all over – among other topics.
Some of the interesting findings in this section are:
- Almost 20% of respondents live in Texas.
- 43% of respondents originally got into construction because they wanted to make more money.
- 97% of respondents said that most of the time they like the work they do.
- When asked what the best part of their job was, 59% said ‘the pay.’
- If they could leave the construction industry, only 20% of respondents said they would actually do so.
- If money was no object but they still had to work, 49% of respondents said they would still work in construction or something related.
- When evaluating a job, 93% said pay rate is a top 3 factor they consider.
We also asked who the top companies they’ve worked for are and the top five (5) most popular responses were Fluor, Bechtel, Zachry, Turner Industries, and McDermott/CB&I.
Section 3: State of Today’s Jobsites
Section 3 looks at how the craft workforce thinks about today’s jobsites.
This section covers pay rates, reasons craft workers would quit a job, their frustrations on the jobsite, and how they view their supervisors – among other topics.
A few interesting findings from this section were:
- The average pay rate of respondents was $35.73 per hour.
- 74% of respondents believe their pay rate is fair.
- Over 60% of respondents are making more money now than a year ago.
- The average pay raise they would need to leave their current job is $8.13 / hour.
- An unsafe jobsite is the top reason to quit their current job, followed closely by being treated poorly by their supervisor.
- Almost 70% of respondents believe that the average age on jobsites is getting younger.
- When asked about the frustrations on the jobsite, over 65% of responses were people related.
- 85% of respondents say they feel like part of the team on the jobsite.
- When asked to rate their supervisor, 72% give either 4 or 5 starts (out of 5)
- 87% of respondents believe that their supervisor appreciates their work.
- 91% of respondents say they’re treated fairly by their supervisor.
Section 4: Deep Dive Into the Numbers
This final section of the 2024 Craft Workforce Survey is where the magic happens. In this section, we break down the questions from the first three sections into their demographic responses.
These breakdowns allow further insight into how each demographic – by experience level, by gender, by trade, and by supervisor or non-supervisor – answered each question. This level of granularity shows some interesting findings about how each group answers the questions.
A few of the interesting findings from this section are:
- Laborers have the highest percentage of women at just under 50%.
- People with 21 or more years of experience were least likely to say that making better money was a top reason they got into construction.
- Women are more likely to say they got into construction to make better money than men.
- People with 5 years of experience or less were most likely to say they got into construction because they wanted to work with their hands.
- People with 5 years of experience or less were also most likely to say they got into construction because they didn’t want an office job.
- When asked where they work (locally, statewide, regionally, or nationally) supervisors were more likely to work nationwide than non-supervisors.
- People with 5 years or less experience were most likely to work locally.
- When asked about the size of the pay raise needed to change jobs, people with more experience required higher pay raises than people with less experience.
- Supervisors would need almost $10/hr on average to make a change in jobs.
- Men are more likely than women to believe their pay rate is fair.
- Supervisors are much more likely to hold NCCER certifications than non-supervisors.
What are some key takeaways from the 2024 Craft Workforce Survey?
This survey is full of takeaways. If we had to distill these findings into three key takeaways, they are:
- The craft workforce likes working in construction. Several answers point to this finding. This group of people are glad they got into construction, want to stay until retirement and if they had to do it over again, they’d get right back into construction.
- People problems are the biggest problem in construction. We asked an open-ended question for people to identify their biggest frustration. 65% of responses were people related. It wasn’t about the hours or the physical demands or the weather. It was about people. Companies need to find a way to resolve these frustrations.
- There are major differences in how the different generations think about their jobs. Section 4 of the report is interesting because it breaks down answers from the previous sections by demographics – years of experience being one of those demographics. It’s very interesting to see how the generations answer questions differently. Learning about these differences can be very helpful in understanding how best to work with the craft workforce.
What are some next steps that companies can take?
There are several steps companies can take to put themselves in the best possible position heading into 2024.
- Schedule a Free Webinar. There are almost too many findings to review. We - in collaboration with Jamup Jobsites - offer a free 30 minute webinar called The Craft Workforce in 2024: Unlocking its Full Potential where we walk through the results and what you can do about them.
- Schedule a survey of your Understanding your own workforce is critical. Jamup Jobsites offers a comprehensive survey and benchmarking report so you’ll know your people, what’s working and what needs to be worked on.
- Diagnose your company’s people problems. Over 65% of the workforce identified people-related problems as their biggest frustration. Learn how to identify these problems and what to do about it with a free 30 minute webinar called People Problems in Construction: How to Identify and Resolve.
In conclusion, the report is full of findings. You can download the full 2024 Craft Workforce Survey here if you’re interested in learning more. Or you can read our press release here.
We’d love to hear what you think. You can drop us a note at email@example.com.