Construction Worker Jobs in Saudi Arabia

Adam Fayed
13 min readFeb 7, 2024

Construction Worker Jobs in Saudi Arabia

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Nowadays, a lot of people have been searching for jobs in the construction field.

Construction jobs are among the best careers that can be acquired by an expat, especially compared to other jobs that require no experience.

What is the role of the construction industry?

The construction industry primarily conceives, creates, and maintains residential, commercial, and industrial structures.

It also involves constructing and maintaining infrastructure like roads, bridges, and utility systems.

Many people associate the construction industry solely with new construction projects.

However, professionals also undertake tasks involving additions, renovations, repairs, and the ongoing maintenance of buildings and infrastructure.

Construction Scenario in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital and largest city, is continuously undergoing urban development and expanding its infrastructure.

The city’s construction sector includes economic growth and job creation, particularly following the Vision 2030 initiative.

The construction industry has become a central focus for development, increasing construction projects and employment opportunities.

Riyadh’s construction sector provides various roles, allowing workers to advance their careers and explore multiple avenues.

According to a survey, the average annual salary for a construction engineer in Riyadh stands at $42,724.

Project managers earn an average of $58,746 annually, while construction managers receive an average salary of $66,757 annually.

The Saudi Arabian General Authority for Statistics predicts a 7% growth rate in Riyadh’s construction industry for 2023.

This expansion will lead to numerous job openings in the sector, with ample opportunities for career progression for qualified individuals.

More than 5,200 projects with a total value of $819 billion are in progress within the country.

These projects constitute 35 percent of all active project values in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region.

The construction industry in Saudi Arabia is expected to witness a substantial demand for skilled professionals, including project managers, engineers, architects, and skilled labor.

This demand is projected to keep growing, particularly as Saudi Arabia and the entire GCC region are focused on diversifying their economies.

In a report released in May, the US-Saudi Business Council highlighted that the construction sector in the country saw a significant increase in the value of awarded contracts.

The Riyadh Development Authority reports a pipeline of construction projects worth over $267 billion in Riyadh.

These projects include:
⁃ Development of new cities
⁃ Constructing highways
⁃ Expanding the metro system
⁃ Providing professionals with the chance to work on exciting and impactful initiatives

Workers Choosing Saudi Arabia Over The UK

One of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious construction endeavors is “The Line.”

This is a linear city enclosed within a multi-story structure that spans 170 km in length, rises to 500 m in height, and has a width of 200 m.

In the UK, there has been a remarkable 293% year-on-year increase in online searches for construction jobs in Saudi Arabia.

The online tradesperson marketplace, Rated People, reports this information.

This surge in interest is attributed to the allure of a higher quality of life and improved career prospects.

Such favorable aspects are prompting UK tradespeople to explore job opportunities abroad.

Saudi Arabia has emerged as a potential destination of interest alongside Australia.

Australia has also witnessed substantial year-on-year growth in searches for construction jobs.

In Australia, there is a specific demand in fields such as:
⁃ Plumbing (171%)
⁃ Painting (158%)
⁃ Plastering (157%)
⁃ Roofing (130%)
⁃ Carpentry (129%)
⁃ Tiling (129%)

The percentages provided above represent the year-on-year growth in searches from the UK.

The heightened interest in Saudi Arabia coincides with an unprecedented influx of investments in the country’s “giga projects.”

This includes the ambitious Neom economic development zone and extensive Red Sea tourism initiatives.

According to the US-Saudi Business Council, the value of awarded contracts in Saudi Arabia surged to $51.3 billion in 2022.

This represents a 35% increase compared to 2021.

GlobalData anticipates an average annual growth rate of 4% in the Saudi construction market from 2024 to 2027.

In contrast, the UK’s construction output, as per the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, showed a decrease of 0.2% in May 2023.

List of Job Opportunities in Construction

The following compilation provides an overview of 20 different career paths within the construction industry.

This highlights their primary responsibilities and insights:

Construction Worker

Primary tasks: Construction workers carry out physical labor typically associated with construction work, including jobs like:
⁃ Clearing
⁃ Excavation
⁃ Construction

Their duties encompass manual labor such as:
⁃ Transporting materials to the job site
⁃ Site preparation
⁃ Operating machinery
⁃ Measuring and cutting building materials to precise specifications
⁃ Using a variety of hand-based and mechanical tools

They also interpret blueprints to understand project requirements and adhere to safety protocols on the job site.

Construction Inspector

Primary responsibilities: Construction inspectors, often employed by local government agencies, visit construction sites to inspect the work.

Their role involves ensuring that all buildings and structures comply with:
⁃ Contract specifications
⁃ Zoning regulations
⁃ Building codes
⁃ Ordinances
⁃ Safety standards

Flooring Installer

Primary duties: Flooring installers specialize in laying and finishing floors within buildings, adhering to project specifications.

They work with various flooring materials, including wood, carpet, tile, laminate, linoleum, and vinyl.


Primary tasks: Surveyors visit potential construction sites before commencement to assess the site and gather data on its location, elevation, and contours.

This data is then used to update boundary lines, determine structural locations, and establish foundation requirements.

Surveyors also present their findings to government agencies and other clients.


Primary responsibilities: Glaziers specialize in cutting and installing glass for windows, skylights, storefronts, and display cases.

They adhere to project specifications when cutting glass to the required size, shape, and thickness.

Additionally, glaziers remove the old or damaged glass before installing the new glass and apply weather seals around the glass edges post-installation.

Tile Setter

Primary duties: Tile setters are tasked with cutting and installing tiles on floors, walls, and ceilings in residential and commercial buildings.

They prepare surfaces and ensure each tile is laid evenly before applying grout and sealing.

Brick Mason

Primary responsibilities: Brick masons construct walls, fireplaces, patios, walkways, decorative trims, and other structures using bricks, concrete blocks, and man-made stones.

They meticulously cut or shape each brick or stone to the correct size, apply grout, and finish the structure.


Primary tasks: Roofers install and repair roofs on residential and commercial buildings.

They also conduct inspections and maintenance to maximize roof durability.

Concrete Finisher

Primary responsibilities: Concrete finishers follow cement trucks to ensure smooth and level concrete placement.

They correct imperfections, fill depressions, and finish corners while removing excess cement.


Primary duties: Ironworkers use iron and steel to assist in constructing commercial, industrial, and public structures like roads, bridges, and large buildings.

They collaborate with crane operators to manually position iron or steel and interpret blueprints to ensure project accuracy.

Crane Operator

Primary tasks: Crane operators employ various crane machinery to move heavy or oversized materials, placing them in high or low locations.

They coordinate with ground-based construction professionals via hand signals and radios for precise placement.

Crane operators also conduct minor equipment inspections and minor repairs and maintain detailed material logs.


Primary responsibilities: Plumbers install, maintain, and repair pipes and fixtures that add up to plumbing systems in residential and commercial buildings.

They inspect fixtures, such as sinks, showers, toilets, and sewage lines, ensuring proper functioning and making repairs as necessary.


Primary duties: Carpenters utilize drywall, wood, and fiberglass to construct, remodel, install, and repair various frameworks and structures in residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.

Their tasks include reading blueprints, preparing drawings, and accurately measuring, cutting, and shaping materials.

Carpenters may also employ cranes or rigging hardware for framework installation.


Primary responsibilities: Painters prepare surfaces in residential and commercial buildings for painting, mix and apply paint.

They also conduct tasks like cleaning, repairing, and taping off areas as needed.

They also protect objects near the painting area and clean up upon completing their work.


Primary duties: Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical systems and wiring in residential and commercial buildings.

They ensure the functionality of electrical systems, troubleshoot issues and perform repairs as needed.


Primary tasks: Pipefitters shape and install pipes in residential and commercial buildings, utilizing various techniques such as welding, cutting, soldering, grinding, rigging, bending, and threading.

Cost Estimator

Primary responsibilities: Cost estimators assess the potential cost of construction projects and communicate cost expectations and project timelines to clients.

They determine project costs by gathering and analyzing data on materials, labor, and time requirements.

Throughout the project, cost estimators maintain detailed records comparing actual costs to estimates.

Safety Manager

Primary duties: Safety managers establish and implement safety rules, regulations, and procedures to minimize on-site accidents or injuries.

They conduct daily site inspections, routine safety audits, safety training sessions, accident investigations, and incident tracking.

Construction Manager

Primary responsibilities: Construction managers, also known as project managers, plan, coordinate, and oversee all aspects of construction projects.

Their roles vary depending on project size and scope but may include:
⁃ Hiring and training workers
⁃ Creating project timelines
⁃ Coordinating daily activities
⁃ Negotiating costs
⁃ Communicating progress to clients
⁃ Ensuring compliance with budgets and schedules

Civil Engineer

Primary duties: Civil engineers design construction projects, assess their feasibility and practicality, and ensure they comply with environmental, safety, and legal regulations.

They also address issues that arise during the design and development phases.

Now, let us look at the construction jobs in Saudi Arabia and all the necessary details related to them.

Overview of Employment in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s recent efforts to diversify its robust economy have created numerous job opportunities.

However, the promotion of Saudization, aimed at increasing employment for Saudi nationals, may present challenges for expatriates seeking work in the country.

Additionally, it is essential to be aware of the prevalence of nepotism within Saudi businesses and its cultural nuance.

You should mainly be aware when discussing both positive and negative aspects of employment.

Saudization — Saudization, introduced by the Saudi Arabian government, is a national policy to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign workers in critical positions and enhance job prospects for Saudi citizens.

Demographics of Foreign Workers

Saudi Arabia hosts over ten million foreign workers, primarily from Southeast Asia, who often secure employment as manual laborers.

Approximately 125,000 foreign residents from Western countries also work in Saudi Arabia.

These numbers are expected to remain steady as the government implements its Saudization plan.

This aims to prepare Saudi youth for the workforce and potentially reduce the reliance on foreign labor.

This is despite government initiatives to enhance job prospects for Saudi citizens through education and expat quotas.

Economic Landscape

Saudi Arabia’s economy heavily relies on petroleum, with oil accounting for a substantial portion of export earnings, budget revenues, and GDP.

However, diversification efforts have led to significant growth in the service sector.

Now, the service sector contributes significantly to the national economy.

Agriculture plays a minor role due to the challenging climate and topography, but the government has made efforts to reduce food imports.

The manufacturing industry has also seen significant development, especially in:
⁃ Petrochemicals
⁃ Power generation
⁃ Telecommunications
⁃ Natural gas exploration sectors

Substantial investments have been made in economic cities to stimulate innovation and productivity.

Opportunities for Expats

While finding work in Saudi Arabia can be challenging, expatriates with specialized expertise and experience have opportunities in fields such as:
⁃ Engineering (especially in the oil industry)
⁃ IT
⁃ Healthcare
⁃ Finance
⁃ Teaching
⁃ Telecommunications
⁃ Construction

As Saudi Arabia invests in urban planning, transport infrastructure, food processing, and water resource management, foreign specialists may also find promising job prospects.

Recruitment Process

Most expatriates secure job offers while still in their home countries.

It is rare for foreigners to arrive in Saudi Arabia without prior employment arrangements.

Recruitment for managerial positions is often handled by private consultants or agents representing Saudi employers worldwide.

Intra-company transfers within multinational corporations are usual.

Potential job seekers are advised to contact their country’s chamber of commerce for guidance.

Work Permits and Sponsors

Individuals must have a confirmed employment offer to obtain a work permit in Saudi Arabia.

Work permits are not self-applied; sponsors, usually employers, must apply on behalf of expatriate employees.

Sponsors, individuals, companies, or institutions serve as guardians and guarantors during an expatriate’s stay in Saudi Arabia.

Offenses committed by expatriates may reflect negatively on their sponsors, underscoring the importance of maintaining a good relationship with them.

Employment for Expat Spouses

Female expatriate spouses require their work visas to work in Saudi Arabia.

While opportunities for female expatriates are limited, they can find temporary employment in healthcare, teaching, or real estate.

Especially with the proper qualifications.

Local recruitment agents can assist in securing jobs and work permits, but official permission from a guardian (typically a husband) is necessary to begin employment.

Financial Benefits

Working in Saudi Arabia offers financial advantages, including higher salaries compared to Western countries and the absence of income tax.

However, expatriates are responsible for private health insurance and personal or corporate pension plan contributions.

Additionally, an “end of contract” bonus, provided after two or more years of employment with the same employer, can be a significant financial benefit.

Saudi companies are increasingly offering long-term contracts instead of short-term arrangements.

Business Culture and Etiquette

Business culture in Saudi Arabia is influenced by Islamic principles, with religion playing a central role in all aspects of life, including business meetings.

Family ties are highly valued, and nepotism is a sign of a strong business structure.

Building a vast network of connections is crucial, as many businesses are family-based, and family members often hold senior positions.

Entertaining and relationship-building are essential in Saudi business culture.

When giving instructions to subordinates, be unambiguous, as initiative may not be encouraged.

Embrace Arabic characteristics in communication, including compliments and flattery.

Be mindful that people in Saudi Arabia may hesitate to deliver bad news directly.

Reading between the lines and maintaining perspective is essential.

In meetings, engage with enthusiasm and establish firm eye contact to convey interest and respect for your counterparts.

Average Salaries Paid to Construction Workers in Saudi Arabia

— Construction Worker

A construction worker’s estimated salary in Saudi Arabia ranges around SAR 96,000 per year.

This roughly estimates to $26,000 per year, considered the average salary in Saudi Arabia.

— Construction Manager

The median salary for this average salary is set at SAR200,000, which is double the average salary in Saudi Arabia.

The average bonus pay offered to a construction manager can be as high as SAR 190k.

— Flooring Installer

The average annual salary for a flooring installer is around SAR 102,000, which sets the average hourly range at SAR 49.

— Surveyor

The average salary of a land surveyor in Saudi Arabia is around SAR 7,000 per month, going as high as SAR 8,500.

— Glazier

The average pay offered to a glazier in Saudi Arabia is around SAR 105,000 annually, and it is around SAR 50 per hour.

— Tile Setter

The approximate annual pay range offered to a tile setter in Saudi Arabia ranges around SAR 130,000, with an average hourly pay of SAR 60.

— Brick Mason

Brick Masons in Saudi Arabia obtain an average annual salary of around SAR 75,000 per year, with an hourly average pay of SAR 35.

— Roofer

In Saudi Arabia, the average annual pay offered to a roofer is around SAR 110,000 per year, while the hourly range is SAR 50.

— Concrete Finisher

Finishers in Saudi Arabia get an average yearly salary ranging between SAR 85,000 to SAR 100,000.

The hourly range for this role is around SAR 40 to SAR 50.

— Iron Worker

Ironworkers in Saudi Arabia are known to expect an average salary of around SAR 70,000 to SAR 105,000 per year.

On the other hand, the hourly pay offered for this role ranges from around SAR 35 to SAR 60.

— Crane Operator

Crane operators, either mobile crane operators or tower crane operators, usually earn an average salary of around SAR 120,000.

The hourly pay of a crane operator in Saudi Arabia is around SAR 55 to SAR 60.

— Civil Engineer

In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the average monthly salary of a civil engineer is estimated to be around SAR 22,000.

However, the median salary for this role is said to be around SAR 72,000 per year.

— Construction Inspector

Construction site inspectors in Saudi Arabia earn around SAR 75,000 per year.

— Safety Supervisor

The average salary earned by a safety supervisor in Saudi Arabia is around SAR 88,000 per year.

Disclaimer — Even though the average salaries may not be exact, they provide a guideline to estimate the wages.

The pay range may differ based on various factors such as location, experience, specific trade, company, and so on.

In this way, several positions in Saudi Arabia offer substantial salaries in the construction sector.


Compared to Saudi Arabia, some other countries offer the same range of salaries to construction workers or even higher.

The list of countries that are known to be the best for construction workers are:
⁃ Switzerland
⁃ UK
⁃ Belgium
⁃ US
⁃ Canada
⁃ Singapore
⁃ Luxembourg
⁃ China
⁃ Netherlands
⁃ Denmark

Of all these countries, Switzerland is known to pay the highest salaries for people in the construction sector.

The average pay offered to someone in a construction role in Switzerland is around USD 80,000.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the construction sector in Saudi Arabia is experiencing remarkable growth.

This surge is driving significant demand for skilled professionals across various roles in the construction industry.

The momentum is expected to continue as Saudi Arabia and the entire GCC region focus on economic diversification.

Furthermore, the country is actively developing local talent, providing ample opportunities for Saudi nationals in the construction industry through various initiatives and programs.

Therefore, considering the construction sector in Saudi Arabia may be a good career option for most individuals.

Another significant aspect of considering a role in the construction sector is that you don’t have to possess prior experience.

Yes, that is right.

Most roles in construction are even available for expats who don’t possess prior experience in that specific skill.

Regardless of whether you are an expat or a resident, the construction sector in Saudi Arabia may offer decent salaries to individuals.

That being said, I firmly hope that the information presented within this article was proven to be helpful to you.

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