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IL Study Looks at Wage Comparison

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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A study recently released by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, along with the University Illinois at Urbana—Champaign’s Project for Middle Class Renewal, has found that those enrolled in joint-labor management apprenticeships come away with comparable training hours, graduation rates and pay rates as those who attend four-year colleges in the state.

The study, released on Jan 6., used 2018 data, and found that by midcareer, those who completed a union construction apprenticeship were making an average hourly wage of $40.40, compared to those who earned a bachelor’s degree making $35.28.

JONGHO SHIN / Getty Images

A study recently released by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, along with the University Illinois at Urbana—Champaign’s Project for Middle Class Renewal, has found that those enrolled in joint-labor management apprenticeships come away with comparable training hours, graduation rates and pay rates as those who attend four-year colleges in the state.

Other findings to note include:

  • Joint construction apprenticeship programs require about 27% more hours of training than a four-year university program;
  • Joint program completion rates exceed employer-only programs and “compare favorably to universities”; and
  • Despite the likelihood of a period of unemployment, a union journeyworker is still expected to make about $2.4 million in their lifetime compared to someone with a bachelor’s degree, who would be anticipated to make $2.5 million after student debt.

Bigger Picture

In late November, the National Association of Home Builders released an analysis conducted on the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey that showed that workers in construction have shown an increase in median wages year over year, in comparison to national median wages, 3.2% vs 2.5%.

In information collected from the 2018 OES, the national median wage is $38,640, while more than half of payroll construction workers make more than $47,290.

The OES publishes yearly wages for roughly 380 construction-related occupations. However, only 54 of those jobs are actual construction trades; the rest fall under industry workers in finance, sales, administration and other offsite work.

Beginning with the highest paid construction trade wages, NAHB reports that elevator installers have the highest median wages, with half of them earning more than $78,990 a year, and the top 25% making at least $100,720. Following in second are rotary drill operators who make a median wage of roughly $70,000 annually.

Third on the list are first-line supervisors, with half of them making more than $64,600, with boilermakers reported to be a close fourth, making a median of $64,480. However, the median wages of construction and building inspectors are $60,240, with top quartile wages exceeding $80,580. This can be pointed to the fact that often construction trades are required to partake in formal education, specialized training and even licensing, all of which promote higher wages paid.

While carpenters are reported to be one of the most prevalent construction trades in the industry, the trade tends to involve less formal education. As a result, median wages of carpenters exceed the national median. Half of carpenters working in construction earn more than $46,810, and the top 25% earn at least $61,810 per year. Regarding electricians and plumbers in construction, more than half have been reported to earn more than $53,540, with the top quartile making more than $71,300.

The findings are reportedly consistent with record-high labor shortages reported by NAHB, causing builders to pay higher wages and subcontractor bids and forcing them to increase home prices.

   

Tagged categories: Colleges and Universities; Education; Finance; Good Technical Practice; Labor; NA; North America

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