Why Construction Beats Waiting Tables

Date: February 27, 2019

When you think of job stability and great wages, construction jobs are usually not top on the list. As the restaurant industry usually has no shortage of people willing to take minimum wage waiter or host positions, the construction industry struggles to attract talent. So, the question inevitably becomes… “Which is better to pursue, a job in construction or a job as a waiter?”

Here are the facts:

Income. The average waiter can make as low as just $2.13 per hour before tips[1]. Depending on which restaurant you work at and the shift you’re assigned, when you add in tips, you may barely crack $8 per hour. On the other hand, the average construction salary is approximately $35,000[2] per year with benefits. This translates to about $18 per hour. If you have a specialized trade, such as welding or steam-fitting, the base salary can be as high as $85,000 with plenty of opportunities for overtime.

Job security. Waiters and waitresses are a dime a dozen. This is not to discredit the work they do, but there is much more competition. Whether it is a teen looking for their first job, a retiree, or even a stay-at-home mom looking to re-enter the workforce, the restaurant industry attracts all types of willing and able workers. Not to mention, if you want to make the best money, you will likely have to work evenings and weekends. And, if that is not something you are willing to sacrifice, then your job security as a waiter may be limited. With construction, there is a healthy supply of new projects, especially multi-year projects that can ensure a steady stream of high-paying work.

Training opportunities. Other than what you may receive on your first week on the job, the training opportunities in the restaurant industry are low. Most restaurant owners will not mentor or groom you to move beyond your waiter position. However, the construction industry is primed for advancement and continued education. Most positions will require specialized training, and most companies will actually pay for you to attend classes. This knowledge you acquire can be used to expand your skill sets and make you more marketable for future work. If you join a Union, the training opportunities incredibly increase and are often all offered for free.

So, if you’re in the market considering employment opportunities, at least exploring construction-related positions may be worth your while. At the Beam Team, our employees and contractors have come to know and love our transparency and award-winning work ethic that virtually guarantees that we have the work they want, all year round. We invite you to visit our Careers page and see what positions we have available.

[1] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/tipped-workers-minimum-wage.aspx

[2] https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/construction-worker/salary