A variety of workers participate in the construction of skyscrapers, but the common term "skyscraper worker" typically refers specifically to structural metal workers. A skyscraper worker's annual income is typically derived from an hourly wage on multiple projects throughout the year.
The average annual wage for skyscraper workers was $40,710 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom 10 percent of these workers averaged $26,330 per year and the bottom fourth of skyscraper workers made $33,040 per year. The upper fourth of skyscraper workers made an annual salary of $61,380 and the top 10 percent made $80,030. The middle half of skyscraper workers earned an average annual salary of $44,540.
An apprentice skyscraper worker typically begins at 60 percent of a journeyman worker's rate and receives regular wage increases while advancing through the apprenticeship program. A skyscraper worker typically spends the first three to four years of his career as a paid apprentice before advancing to the journeyman level. Union members comprise about 40 percent of skyscraper workers and generally earn about 34 percent more than non-union members, according to the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers. The earnings of skyscraper workers are also subject to factors common to all workers in the construction industry such as the economy and the weather.
The industry with the greatest concentration of skyscraper workers was exterior building contractors, who paid their skyscraper workers average salaries of $50,120 per year nationwide. Non-residential building construction employed the second highest concentration of skyscraper workers who received average salaries of $43,480 per year. Companies involved in architectural metals manufacturing paid their skyscraper workers average salaries of $50,100 per year and skyscraper workers working for civil engineering companies made an average salary of $46,790 per year.
The highest number of skyscraper workers were employed in Texas, where they received an average annual salary of $37,820. The next largest number of skyscraper workers was in California, where they received average salaries of $56,280 per year. Skyscraper workers in New York earned average salaries of $71,380 per year and the state of Florida paid their skyscraper workers annual salaries averaging $37,650. Skyscraper workers in Ohio made average salaries of $51,300 per year.