Booming Arkansas Industry: Construction

By Beth Dedman on Monday, October 25, 2021

Construction in Arkansas is more important than ever as the state focuses on revamping infrastructure in the state, inspecting and repairing highways, roads and bridges. That means more jobs will need to be filled in this already thriving industry.

“There are so many positions that are open right now that have to do with tradesmen,” said Zach Sloan, deputy director of the Arkansas Construction Education Foundation. “Not just licensed trading but carpenters and masonry workers. There is such a dire need for these positions that people will pay a lot. Kids going into these industries are gonna be making more than their college counterparts with four years of experience under their belt.”

Average construction employment in Arkansas

A partner of the ACEF, the Arkansas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors is a trade association of commercial general contracting firms, specialty contractors and supply and service firms. AGC Arkansas provides training for future workers in the construction industry through apprenticeships and certifications.

“The nice thing with an apprenticeship is that they can be working and learning as they go and it boosts employment across the state,” Sloan said. “We are pennies on the dollar for the cost of college versus the cost of an apprenticeship. So many employers will front the cost or pay for it altogether. It’s very lucrative, too. There aren’t many 22- to 23-year-olds who can buy a nice truck on their own. When I was in school, you didn’t have many options, but you can have a great career in the trades — especially certified ones.”

Apprentices work a regular 40-hour week and earn while they learn. Apprentices usually pay 50% of a journeyman's wage, and after the completion of the training program, apprentices become journeymen and receive full pay for their skills.

Meet The Pros

More Jobs in Construction

Build structures by reading blueprints, working with materials such as wood and repairing damages when necessary 
Education Level: Apprenticeship
Median Salary: $40,030

Construction and Building Inspectors    
Abides by building codes and zoning laws to survey plans and approve them if they pass specifications
Education Level: Certificate, Associate degree or higher
Median Salary: $46,290

First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers    
Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers
Education Level: Associate degree or higher
Median Salary: $56,710

Install glass in windows, skylights or on building fronts, interior walls and tabletops
Education Level: High school diploma/GED
Median Salary: $35,800

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers    
Remove, transport or dispose of hazardous materials
Education Level: High school diploma/GED
Median Salary: $39,280

Insulation Workers, Mechanical    
Apply insulating materials to pipes, ductwork or other mechanical systems in order to help control and maintain temperature
Education Level: Apprenticeship
Median Salary: $44,410

Painters, Construction and Maintenance    
Paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges and other structural surfaces with the use of brushes, rollers and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting
Education Level: One or more years of on-the-job training
Median Salary: $42,980

Sheet Metal Workers    
Fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes and furnace casings
Education Level: Apprenticeship
Median Salary: $41,260

Construction Managers    
Plan and direct activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures
Education Level: Associate degree or higher
Median Salary: $97,180

Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers    
Smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks and roads
Education Level: One or more years of on-the-job training
Median Salary: $46,000

Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators    
Operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt or other materials to road beds, parking lots or airport runways and taxiways
Education Level: High school diploma/GED
Median Salary: $41,540

Brickmasons and Blockmasons    
Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers and other structures
Education Level: Apprenticeship
Median Salary: $55,080

Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood or related materials
Education Level: High school diploma/GED
Median Salary: $43,580

The 'Fix' Is In

Jacob Slaton

Dave and Jenny Marrs never set out to be the stars of a TV show. But the subjects of “Fixer to Fabulous,” a HGTV home makeover show set in Bentonville, found a way to use their show for their communities here in Arkansas and halfway across the world. See more about the Stars of HGTV’s “Fixer to Fabulous” Making Moves in Northwest Arkansas.

15 Largest Construction Contractors in Arkansas

  Contractor 2019 Revenue
1. VCC $945 million
2. Nabholz Construction Corp. $917 million
3. Baldwin & Shell Construction Co. $287 million
4. C.R. Crawford Construction LLC $281 million
5. CDI Contractors LLC $224 million
6. Clark Contractors LLC $156 million
7. Bailey Construction $102 million
8. Flintco LLC $99 million
9. Huffman & Co $91 million
10. Kinco Constructors LLC $89 million
11. Hill & Cox Corp $58 million
12. Ridge Construction LLC $40 million
13. Richardson Builders LLC $39 million
14. Van Tassel-Proctor Construction $38 million
15. Crow Group Inc. $35 million

(Arkansas Business)