It is expected that over half of the country’s building industry workers will receive a salary increase up to 5 per cent next year, annual salary guide by Hays Construction and the New Zealand Institute of Building (NZIOB) reports.

The survey on salary and recruiting expectations shows that project managers, construction managers, quantity surveyors, estimators, site managers, project engineers and forepersons are in high demand. Besides that, Hays NZ managing director Jason Walker, said the growth of salaries had been “relatively sedate”.

Despite the fact that employers showed little interest to increase the salary next year, only 7 per cent of them completely ruled out the possibility when they were asked what percentages they planned for the hike salaries.

The salary for cadets falls between $45,000 and $60,000 and $75,000-$90,000 for foreman. While project managers were earning between $100,000 and $110,000 and business development managers were earning $120,000-$150,000.

With 73 per cent of participated organisations reporting increased business activity, Walker said the construction sector was performing well.

There is a positive outlook this year as 61 per cent of organisations are planning to raise the number of permanent staff and more than 35 per cent are scheduling to increase the use of contracting and temporary staff to deal with the current workload.

The demand for OHS managers has increased due to the policy changes in health and safety legislation. Their salaries are expected to rise up to $125,000.

Walker was happy to see sustained growth in a foreseeable future, removing the “boom and bust” stigma.

“The challenge for employers in the current environment is to ensure the current workforce is retained, non-salary benefits are attractive and work conditions and projects are engaging enough to ensure that their staff stay.

It was a good time to invest in the development of new apprentices, promote and encourage others to train in those difficult to find professions, and to consider a more diverse workforce,” he added.