Though President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package is called the American Jobs Plan, he’s provided few details so far on exactly what type of job openings some 9.7 million unemployed Americans could prepare for in the coming months if his plan comes to fruition.
But Biden’s remarks when he unveiled the proposal and a White House “fact sheet” indicate that the infrastructure plan, if signed to law, would lead to increased demand for electricians, urban planners, and construction workers, among others.
The proposal, which Biden says is the “largest American jobs investment since World War II,” calls for repairing roads, bridges and public transit, as well as installing more than 500,000 electric-vehicle charging ports.
Along with the recently passed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the package would create “over 18 million jobs over four years,” Biden said, citing estimates of “some Wall Street outfits.” (White House officials didn’t specify the source of the estimates when MarketWatch inquired.)
Currently, the U.S. unemployment rate hovers at 6%, down from 6.2% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.
Here’s a look at the jobs the American Jobs Plan would likely create and their typical pay.
Electrician work was one of the professions Biden singled out in his speech Wednesday. Electricians would be some of the people put to the task of “laying thousands of miles of transmission line, building a modern, resilient, and fully clean grid,” Biden said.
An electrician’s median pay is $56,900
The median annual pay for all occupations was $41,950 as of May 2020, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
An electrician’s median pay is $56,900, according to the bureau. Many electricians learn the job through an apprenticeship, but some attend technical school, according to the BLS. Most states require electricians to be licensed.
Workers building 500,000 EV charging stations
Biden also said that “skilled workers” would be needed to help build “a nationwide network of 500,000 charging stations” for electric vehicles.
That will likely require more electrical power-line installers and repairers and urban and regional planners, according to a BLS brief on careers within the electric-vehicle industry.
Urban and regional planners may help “determine how many charging stations are necessary to support a given number of vehicles, as well as where to situate them to reach the greatest number of citizens.”
The median annual pay of urban and regional planners and electrical power-line installers and repairers is slightly above $75,000
Typically entry-level workers in urban planning have a master’s degree “from an accredited planning program.” But some can bypass graduate school by applying for certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners “if they have the appropriate combination of education and professional experience, and pass an examination.”
Their median annual pay was $75,950 as of May 2020, according to the BLS.
Electrical power-line installers and repairers, who would be responsible for installing and maintaining the electrical infrastructure that powers the charging stations, earn similar median wages of $75,030. However, they don’t typically need a master’s degree. Instead, they tend to have one to five years of experience and a high school diploma.
Workers ‘modernizing’ highways and roads
Biden also said “we’re modernizing 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets that are in difficult, difficult shape right now.”
Doing that would require people who know how to operate paving and surfacing equipment. The median salary on that line of work is $41,540, according to the BLS.
The going rate for construction laborers is $37,890
Biden’s plan also seeks to have more than 500,000 homes available for low- and middle-income homebuyers.
That will involve construction workers. The going rate for construction laborers is $37,890, according to the BLS. But specialties pay more. For example, a roofer’s median pay is $43,580 and a drywall installer’s median pay is $48,830.
Workers replacing lead-based water pipes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are some 98,000 public schools and 500,000 child-care facilities not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Act, originally passed in 1974, allows the EPA to enforce and set safe drinking water standards for public water supply.
But under federal law, the 98,000 public schools and 500,000 child-care facilities “may or may not be conducting voluntary drinking water quality testing,” according to the EPA.
Plumbers’ and pipefitters’ median pay is $54,980
Biden wants to “put plumbers and pipefitters to work, replacing 100% of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines so every American, every child can turn on a faucet or a fountain and drink clean water,” he said Wednesday.
Plumbers’ and pipefitters’ median pay is $54,980, according to the BLS.
Most learn either on the job or through an apprenticeship program. Some also attend a vocational school before working.