what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

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what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby maggy » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:28 am

If im building a thai house , what kind of salaries should i give the workers , are there any guidelines, average construction worker salaries in thailand? i want to be a somewhat fair boss , after all, people in thailand deserve decent pay....
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby fredlk » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:34 am

maggy wrote:i want to be a somewhat fair boss , after all, people in thailand deserve decent pay....

Ask them what they usually earn and then pay them 50% (or more) above that.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby BKKBILL » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:15 am

It has been a couple of years now since our last addition but at that time in our area of BKK the rate was 300B for laborers 500B for concrete finishers per day and that is what we payed.

All seemed happy with that although a few lazy ones were run off. That seemed to help the over all project as no one who does work wants to get the same wages as a slacker.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby jazzman » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:29 pm

Paying them 50% over the top with most certainly not get better results or more respect for you. If anything, it will increase their contempt for 'stupid farangs', and because they now know that you are rich, just before your project is nearing completion they will be knocking on your door for even more money - with a refusal to continue if you don't agree.

Direct hired labour teams tend to 'forget' that you are expecting to pay direct-hire wages. Those who may have already worked on the labour roll of a larger company know that the firm doubles the labour cost when billing the client. Perfectly normal too - a company has more overheads to cater for than most of the posters on this forum realise. So such workers will pretend that those are the normal costs of labour.

What the workers actually get from their employers, the team foreman (if you have offered him a lump sum), or from you should be:

Foreman (who can read a set of shop drawing perfectly and manage the on-site workflow, and can use a laser-level): 300 - 450 per day
Skilled worker (genuine electrician, carpenter, welder, etc, with a vocational college certificate): 250 - 350 per day
Good allround semi-skilled worker (gypsum ceilings, basic electrics, basic plumbing, tiling, simple welding, etc. can use a spirit level and knows how to calculate a 90° angle, and a plumb-bob):230 - 300 per day
General labour (digging out footings, bricklaying, cement mixing, nailing formwork, raising scaffolding, pushing wheelbarrow, etc.) 220 - 280 per day
Women (general digging, hand mixing mortar, fetching bricks from the brick pile, light tasks, cooking): 140 - 200 per day

What you need to do, is to have a firm understanding of the amount of work that can reasonably be expected in a day. This calculates the approximate build time of a house depending on the number of workers on site.

If you pay by the day and are not watching, they will scive to prolong the build time and hence their employment.

Much depends on the tools they bring with them, or if you are expected to buy the tools. In the worst case scenario, you could be looking at investing up to 50,000 for a cement mixer, a welding engine, a genset, water pump(s), cut-off saws, rotary hammer-drills, steel scaffolding, power tools, wheelbarrows, etc - a small price really, but one which needs to be clear before starting. Most labourers only possess a trowel, a small spirit level, a plumb-bob, a pair of black-wire twisters, a rebar bender, a chalk-line marker, a hammer, a reel of nylon fishing line, and a black plastic bucket.

If you hire a rag-tag team through its self appointed foreman, be aware that he will be charging you the rates above per nose, but when you make an impromptu site visit you will see the work is being done mainly by all the women, grandmothers, and children from his extended family. I have known young boys from 10 years old being taken out of school to help on the building sites, and girls from 12 taken out of school to do the cooking and cleaning and sharpening of hand-tools.

Generaly speaking, as a (very) rough guide, a team of 6 - 10 can build a house at a rate of about 1 - 1.5 days per m2. because of the technical difficulties involved and extra scaffolding, a two storey house will take longer. Two storey houses always cost more to build anyway.

There has been a lot of speculation on this site about the % rate labour : materials. There are a couple of rules of thumb, but depending on the quality of materials (breeze-block vs Superblock; aluminium vs uPVC doors and windows; floor ties, roof tiles, insualtion, sanitary ware, etc), while he labour cost will generally remain static, the cut between labour and materials costs could be anything between 40-60, 50-50, or 60-40.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby Rick B » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:50 pm

I fully agree with Jazzman about a decent pay rate for Thai workers. Paying 50% over what they normally receive is simply throwing money away. To me, decent pay means a fair wage and in my definition that means paying the going rate for the respective level of skill. The rates that my builder paid his team memebers fall in line with Jazzman's ranges of pay by skill level. And, believe me, the Thai workers are happy to get those rates and are happy to at least have decent work.

Also, in addition to the amount Jazzman mentions about providing special tools for the workers you hire, which, by the way, I think is a little on the light side, you must also consider the cost of wooden forms for concrete pours and the wood used for supporting the forms for beams above grade. This can amount to a fair amount of money also. These costs are normally included in a builders labor quote if you are paying a lump sum amount, rather than hiring the laborers yourself.

One last item, depending on the physical location of the build to where the workers live, some builders typically give their workers a small amount to pay for daily gas usage to and from the work site, especially if the build is far from where the workers live. Over a six month or so project duration, this can add up to a good chunk of change also.

Just more food for thought ...
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby jazzman » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:48 pm

More food...
If they come from far enough away that they wìll need to live on site, they may well expect you to provide them with a 25 Kg sack of rice every 10 days or so. Depending on the local cost of kow niow or kow suay, it could effectively raise the labour cost by another 4,500 baht/month (or up to 45,000 for a 10-month build time).
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby otis-a » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:40 am

jazzman can u confirm the day rates for payao or chaning rai or bkk?

Also what sorta adder for guys who have form making tools such as jig and benders for rebar or say for guy with chop saw / grinder / power tools for getting the work going?

Just a recent story i wanted my electric ditched in
and since elec/pvc crew screaming mo $b
i says ok boys here u chance and explain move bricks w min damage and ditch in and lay the elect conduit

ummm 3 weeks go by and no action neither a quote and with rest of crew fully loaded i says little exercise never hurts and moves the 5 bundles of bricks in about 3hrs ok so now i wants me ditchers and need a bit of cool down by moto around village

1st dude in 20's i waves my 200tb and shows em what i need but him being the sort who clearly has trub shoving the plate away an dropping fork say he needs his dinner ok next 3 kinda shruggs off me 200tb waiving finally get one guy who unnderstands 200tb and digging him idea

have his friend sell me the ubiquitous thai hoe with handle un attached ok no harm done as one never knows when need a head or handle plus now i got the tool and explain the story more easly

next guy umm him got his hoe not need buy mine but points me up road

ok this next fellow has no interest in my 200tb nor me stick, nor digging but him father in law a crossstreet can put me head and stick togather ok good enuf as then have completed tool and maybe him son redii4 work nope 200 tb not interesting for 4hrs work

mind u it now getting close to 2pm and my ditch not digged ok so i pulls a 1000 note out as i want action

approach new group on another side highway waves me completed tool an 1k tb note now we get the eyes following the 1k and moto wheels follow me to site explain the 1k tb only if ditch complete by 5pm so him go and come back with friend redi to ?؟‎?‎
umm...
wife arrives and runs my 2 workers off says they just come to see if i pay each man 1k each

she says way too much i says my men tell me they redi2work so now is her turn to get my ditch done by time electrn crew come as i want them pulling wire when they show

she finds the ditching expert and yepper him look like certified ditcher, drops his waist cloth and 90min later ditch done i lays my pvc conduit /sand bedded/ and since we anit hit 1700 hours call wife to get ditcher back to infill
ditcher never come back to infill so next day i grab few buckets of rendr and finish it out
how the 1k tb was split out by wife i still wonder
an thats the short ditch story
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby jazzman » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:32 am

otis-a wrote:jazzman can u confirm the day rates for payao or chaning rai or bkk?


There are no official rates anywhere per se. The bracketed salary range I provided for each class of worker will cover all regional variations. It is interesting to note that while thousands of Isan labourers flock to BKK, Pattaya, and Phuket to work, they actually get paid less in those places. They go there because at least they get work. The employers exploit the situation. knowing that these guys have no work back home and are desperate for money.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby Nawty » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:51 pm

JM's rates are fine....do not overpay, if you do, more fool you.

You also run the risk of them slowing down and stretching the job out....more days pay at the farang rates.

Pay fair and provide comfy accommodation if required and a few little treats every now and then....but no more, it is rarely appreciated or returned in kind.

If one day they want to go, for whatever reason and even if great workers, they will just go and leave you high and dry.

We were paying skilled workers 300b a day.

Labourers only were 180/200b.....and if they are Cambo or burmese...well bargain basement prices and if you can get them skilled and permits, they will/should stay much longer.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby MrRee » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:08 pm

In Udon, I pay my people near the low end of Jazzman's ranges. It is considered very fair. Foreman gets THB 350/day. Women THB 200 (actually THB 180, but I refuse to pay lower than 200). I agree higher wages does NOT promote better quality. A round of M-150 during or beer after an especially hard workday is very much appreciated and scores "good boss points" with the workers.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby BKKBILL » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:39 am

Here are the minimum wages posted in the Bangkok Post this morning. The aim is for a nation wide rate of 250 Baht per day.

Currently, the minimum wage exceeds 200 baht in Bangkok and Samut Prakan (206 baht), Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Sakhon (205), and Phuket (204). Elsewhere the rates range from 151 baht (Phayao, Phichit, Phrae and Mae Hong Son) to 184 baht (Chon Buri and Saraburi).

Personally think a standard wage is good for the country as it would be a one way to help the inequity of rich and poor here.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby jazzman » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:12 pm

Like everything else in LOS, it will be interesting to see if and how the legislation will be imposed or implemented. The vast majority of building labourers work on the black as they do in almost any country. For some odd reason, except for those doing pukka jobs in factories etc, they just don't even want to be declared for tax, pensions, and enhanced medical cover. Even when they realise this exposes them to exploitation at lower wages.
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Re: what is a fair salary for a thai construction worker?

Postby BKKBILL » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:07 pm

jazzman wrote:Like everything else in LOS, it will be interesting to see if and how the legislation .


Very true jazzman. This was a comment from the PM so possibly some good will come.

And as they say A rising tide raises all boats.

As for the not even wanting to be declared for tax, pensions, and enhanced medical cover. That is not any different from any country. You know when young you will live forever never get sick and the government already has enough money to waste. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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