The Average Wage for a Scaffolder

Construction crews rely on scaffolders to erect sturdy platforms for them to stand on when they work on tall buildings, stadiums, bridges and other lofty structures. Some even work in the shipping, oil and mining industries so builders can construct ships, erect oil derricks and support mines.

Scaffolders calculate the amount of materials they need for construction projects, such as the wood and steel support tubes, and test the scaffolding for durability. They must disassemble the scaffolding when projects are completed. Scaffolding salary exceeds the national average wage of ​$39,810​ per year. As of January 2021, scaffolding salary averaged ​$44,696​ per year plus overtime wages of ​$6,864​, according to the job website Indeed.

Scaffolding Salary and Qualifications

Scaffolders usually get paid by the hour. The average hourly wage in January 2021 was ​$19.33​. Most have at least high school educations and two or more years experience building scaffolds. And since many scaffolders are carpenters, they must complete three- or four-year apprenticeships with experienced carpenters to qualify for carpentry work. Other essential qualifications include physical strength, the ability to stand or kneel for many hours per day, manual dexterity and organizational and problem-solving skills.

Scaffolding Salary by Region

In 2020, average annual scaffolding salary for U.S. workers widely ranged from ​$30,000​ to ​$79, 000​ according to PayScale, which equals ​$14.00​ to ​$29.05​ per hour for 40-hour work weeks. For example, in the Northeast region, they averaged ​$51,543​ in Maine; ​$47,111​ in Pennsylvania; and ​$48,439​ in New York.

Examples of scaffolder salary in the West region include Hawaii with average earnings of ​$41,777​ and ​$45,060​ in California. Scaffolders in the South region such as Louisiana and Mississippi annually earn ​$43,832​ and ​$41,218​, respectively. Those in the Midwest region such as South Dakota average ​$48,526​ and ​$52,356​ in Minnesota.

Other Contributing Wage Factors

Scaffolders, like other workers, usually earn more as they gain experience. They may qualify for better-paying jobs when they have five or more years experience. Moreover, scaffolder salary is higher in certain industries.

Carpenters who worked in nonresesidential construction, for example, earn higher wages than those who build houses, according to May 2019 BLS data – ​$53,040​ per year versus ​$46,290​. Wages for scaffolders are likely to be commensurate since many are carpenters. And they are likely to earn more in states with a higher cost of living.

Scaffolder Job Outlook

The job outlook for carpenters, including scaffolders, is expected to remain steady in the next decade, which is slower than the 4 percent projected growth for all occupations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Job opportunities for scaffolders and other construction workers are contingent on the economy. Prospects will be better in parts of the country where the economy is strong and construction starts are happening. This should also increase available jobs for scaffolders.

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