The Unfiltered Reality: Revealing the Truth Behind Working in the Construction Industry

Here’s the truth about what it’s really like to work in the construction industry. We conducted industry polls to uncover the realities that heavy civil construction professionals face on a daily basis. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key findings.
Commute times in the construction industry can vary significantly. We asked workers about their total daily commute on average, including the time it takes to get to and from work. The results were as follows:

  • 22% of respondents reported a commute under 30 minutes.
  • 32% had a commute between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
  • 32% spent 1 to 2 hours commuting.
  • And surprisingly, 13% of workers had to endure a commute that lasted over 2 hours.

When it comes to working hours, the construction industry demands a considerable amount of time and dedication. We asked professionals in the field how many hours they typically work in a week. Here’s what we discovered:

  • Only 4% of respondents worked less than 40 hours per week.
  • 28% worked between 40 and 49 hours a week.
  • A significant portion, 44%, put in between 50 and 59 hours on a weekly basis.
  • And a staggering 25% of construction workers reported working over 60 hours each week.

Early mornings are a common occurrence in the construction industry. To get a better understanding of this aspect, we asked workers about their wake-up times. The responses were as follows:

  • 9% of respondents said they wake up before 3:59 a.m.
  • 40% reported waking up between 4 a.m. and 4:59 a.m.
  • 37% were up between 5 a.m. and 5:59 a.m.
  • And only 14% stated that they wake up at 6 a.m. or later.

Considering all of these factors, it’s clear that work-life balance is a major concern for those in the construction industry. To delve deeper into this subject, we asked workers about their perception of work-life balance in the industry. Here’s what we found:

  • Only 8% of respondents believed they had good work-life balance.
  • 22% considered their work-life balance to be average.
  • An overwhelming majority of 70% felt that their work-life balance was poor in the construction industry.

These results shed light on the realities of working in the heavy civil construction industry. The long commutes, demanding work hours, early mornings, and poor work-life balance are challenges that many professionals in the industry face, making many leave their companies to seek new construction jobs that improve on these factors. It’s important to acknowledge and address these issues to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of construction workers. Enhancing a company culture that addresses these challenges and creating policies that can help alleviate these factors can have a huge impact on employee retention. The process of hiring a new Estimator, Project Manager, Superintendent, Project Engineer, or any other heavy civil position can be a lengthy and costly endeavor, setting back your capacity to effectively perform or earn work.

Highlighting your company culture and policies that help employees deal with these demands will be an effective tool in hiring construction professionals and attracting the best talent even in the tightest of markets. Please contact us to download our free Employer Branding and Employer Value Proposition (or EVP) Assessment to see how you stack up against the competition.

Taylor Maurer

Taylor Maurer

Taylor is a seasoned professional with a strong background in heavy civil construction and recruiting. He began their career in 2004 at Kimmel & Associates and rose through the ranks to Vice President. Taylor achieved numerous accolades, including a record-breaking retainer agreement, C-level placements, and consistent high billing performance. In 2017, he founded HCRC Inc., offering a range of consulting services beyond recruitment. Taylor is also an avid adventurer and family person, with a passion for long-distance backpacking, motorcycle riding, and outdoor activities.