Published world ranking of the best – and worst – countries to be a construction worker

Construction underway near Waterloo Station in London. UK has the best combination of wages, price and safety after Switzerland (Marina Endermar / Dreamstime)

Clothing maker Workwear Guru has ranked the best and worst countries in the world for being a construction worker, based on wages, cost of living, and health and safety.

They say Switzerland has the best combination of these factors, based largely on its average salary of $ 80,000, the highest in the world. It is followed by the UK, where wages have been bolstered by a shortage of skilled labor after Brexit. Average wages there reached $ 58,000, according to the ranking, and the accident rate is 8%, one of the lowest in the world.

Belgium is in third place, followed by the massive markets of the United States in fourth position and Canada in fifth, despite accident rates of 20% and 22% respectively. The US construction sector is expected to grow 3.1% in 2022, and professional bodies have predicted 430,000 jobs will need to be created to meet demand.

The report also looked at which US states are best for workers. This turned out to be Illinois, based on the current Chicago construction boom, followed by Georgia and Michigan.

After the micro-states of Luxembourg and Singapore, China is in eighth place – which is quite surprising considering its low GDP per capita compared to other top 10 countries. However, construction workers can expect to earn 32 $ 000, the cost of living is just over half of the United States and the accident rate is 9%. In addition, China’s national economy is expected to generate $ 2.1 trillion in construction projects by 2030, thus ensuring that there will be no shortage of jobs.

At the other end of the table, the lowest average wage for a construction worker – $ 875 per month – is paid in Uzbekistan, making that country the least desirable place in the world to work, at the except Yemen.

The most dangerous places to work in construction are Myanmar and Uganda. A recent report by Uganda’s National Building Review Board found that only 6% of the sites reviewed were supervised by professionally qualified staff (see further reading). Myanmar has the highest incident rate of 58%, more than 14 times higher than Poland, which has a rate of 4%.

The lowest cost of living is found in Pakistan and India.

More generally, conditions for construction workers are expected to improve across the world as capital investments that were put on hold during Covid-19 closures get back on the drawing board and demand for workers increases. .

The full ranking can be viewed here.


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