Construction is a huge business, with over $2 trillion spent on construction projects globally in 2022 according to The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
In fact, most people who work as construction project managers do so because they have some sort of degree or certification in construction and engineering. But what about those managing these projects? What does it take to be a successful construction manager? And how much can you expect to earn?
Let’s look at the top countries where being a construction manager pays off and which ones pay more than others. This list includes both salaried workers and hourly paid employees, but keep in mind that there may also be regional variations within each country.
For example, while the U.S. has many states, Canada only has three provinces. So this data will help you decide whether it might make sense to move north or south if your current job doesn’t offer enough money. Or maybe you’d like to check out another industry altogether.
The average annual income of a Swiss CPM was around $215,000 per year in 2022. That means an experienced CPM could pull down up to roughly $329,500 annually. It should come as no surprise then that Switzerland ranks first among all nations when it comes to highest-paying construction managers.
2. United States
In 2022, the median annual wage of a U.S. CPM was around $92,590, according to the BLS. However, the range varies quite a bit depending on experience level.
A newbie would likely start around $60,000 whereas someone with 20 years’ worth of experience could earn upwards of $150,000 per year. Keep in mind that the higher end salaries are mostly due to senior positions such as general manager, vice president, etc.
According to PayScale, the average base salary of Australian construction managers is $90,600 per year ($84,300 net) based upon their length of service. Topping the chart is Paul Rolfe from Queensland, whose compensation package came to AU$161,280 ($136,980), thanks to his 16 years’ tenure.
German construction managers earned an estimated $108,470 per year ($97,780) in 2022, according to LinkedIn research. However, that figure drops significantly to just under $80,000 per year once overtime hours are taken into consideration.
Dutch construction managers enjoy high wages compared to other nationalities. According to LinkedIn, Dutch CPMs received an average yearly income of €103,580 ($116,900) in 2022. On top of that, they get free medical insurance and retirement benefits too.
6. New Zealand
Salaries for New Zealand construction managers hovered between NZD$76,680 ($70,460) and NZD$78,170 ($72,340) during 2021. However, a number of factors affect construction management staff earnings, including location, role, company size, education levels, and more.
According to QNB Research, Qatar construction managers were entitled to receive an average monthly salary of QR 4 million ($1,058) in 2022. Their total remuneration for the financial year amounted to QR 29 billion ($7.75 billion).
While UAE construction managers enjoyed relatively low incomes in comparison to other countries, the average hourly rate increased by 19 percent since last year. Meanwhile, the lowest paying sector was home improvement services with an average monthly salary of Dh15,000 ($4,290).
If you’re looking for a career change but want to stay close to home, consider joining Britain’s building trade union Unite. There, you’ll find opportunities at construction sites across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. As a result, UK construction managers had an average salary of £82,920 ($105,800).
With an average annual salary of EUR83,760 ($96,100), Belgian construction managers are well positioned to command large amounts of cash. Salaries vary considerably though, with entry-level jobs offering less than half of the average. If you join one of the larger companies, however, you can see yourself earning hundreds of thousands of euros every year.
Our next stop is Canadian soil. Like the U.S., the country offers lots of career opportunities for aspiring construction managers.
Although the median income is slightly below AUS$52,600 per year, it’s still worth mentioning since it’s the second largest economy in North America after Mexico. Furthermore, the Canadian housing boom experienced over the past decade resulted in a rise in property values nationwide.
Consequently, employment numbers increased steadily until 2016 when they peaked at close to 900,000. Then, from 2017 onward, the number dwindled down to 792,000 in 2019.
As of late, employers seem to favor hiring younger talent instead of older ones since millennials often possess more experience in managing complex projects.
Additionally, Canadians tend to prefer working remotely rather than commuting long distances into the city for meetings. Lastly, the country continues to grow slowly yet steadily.
Up next is Scandinavia’s largest economy known as Sweden. Since 2015, the Swedish government estimates that construction spending totaled SEK6.89 trillion ($930 billion)! Over the same period, they believe that 3.8% of households hired construction contractors to upgrade their homes.
Moreover, it seems that local firms dominate the market with 40% of contracts going to domestic entities. Because of this, the country attracts thousands of foreign migrants each year seeking employment opportunities.
On average, Swedes earn SEK39,000 ($49,460) annually. They typically work longer weeks and spend more days away from family members. What’s interesting about this particular region is that they’ve been ranked #1 for quality of life four times in the last five years according to the Mercer Quality of Living Rankings Report.
Egypt isn’t exactly known as a hotspot for business investment but that doesn’t mean it lacks potential for growth. In fact, Cairo hosts hundreds of international corporations including Apple Inc, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Samsung Group, Microsoft Corporation, Nike, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Uber Technologies, Twitter, Visa International Services, MasterCard Worldwide, Dell, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Accenture Plc, Cisco Systems, and others.
Given these factors, there’s no wonder why the Egyptian construction industry grew by 16% in 2019 alone. Experts predict that the sector will reach revenues of LE14.5bn ($5.6b) by 2025. Meanwhile, the average hourly wage for a construction worker stands at LE12.19 ($46.73).
So although salary expectations aren’t very high, Egyptians generally enjoy decent benefits. Plus, most of the workforce works from home with a little help from technology.
Nonetheless, there’s always room for improvement. Hence, the best thing about Egypt is that it’s open to outside influences. Foreign investors can easily enter the country provided they follow certain guidelines.
China remains one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Currently, the Chinese population accounts for one fifth of the global population making it the third largest consumer group in the world.
Many experts forecasted that China’s GDP will surpass Germany’s by 2030. Such predictions indicate that the world’s emerging powerhouses will soon become major players in the construction arena.
With regard to construction management, the Middle Kingdom earns the title of fourth best place worldwide. In addition to providing great weather conditions, this area possesses abundant natural resources. As such, it’s no surprise that millions of tons of stone, concrete, steel bars, bricks, timber, glass, paper products, and numerous other materials cross borders each month.
Working here comes with its fair share of pros and cons. First off, Chinese nationals typically hold bachelor degrees in relevant fields. Secondly, the majority of Chinese companies strive to achieve maximum efficiency. Lastly, some locals struggle to adapt to Western culture. Despite these challenges, the country provides tremendous opportunity for upward mobility.
Last but certainly not least, we arrive at Asia’s booming economic juggernauts known as India and Indonesia. Both nations saw significant increases in GDP (+11%) during 2021. One reason why economists think this happened is due to surging investments in infrastructure projects related to water supply, electricity generation, transport networks, roadways, railways, airports, ports, energy distribution, educational facilities, healthcare systems, etc.
India takes the cake when it comes to construction managers. The Indian construction industry comprises 14% of the entire world’s output. Also known as “the workshop of the world,” India produces 80% of cement used globally. Their average salary currently stands at INR22,000 ($290) per month.
So, those are 15 Countries With the Highest Salary for Construction Managers. It goes without saying that having a good job depends largely on staying connected with clients and suppliers. Good Luck!