While most of the time you might be thinking about how frustrating road work is in your daily commute, construction affects your day-to-day life in more ways than you often experience. Construction companies and general contractors are responsible for road infrastructure, but they are also responsible for building some of your favorite venues, the manufacturing plants that your food comes from, and the infrastructure you rely on every day. General contractors, in a lot of ways, are the hidden heroes of our lives.
General contractors are the companies that are responsible for the overall project management. Almost all of the largest firms in North America provide services for every step in the construction chain from designing the buildings to the actual construction to facility management and upkeep. They also are in charge of the day-to-day management of the construction project, communication, and hiring of any subcontractors for the job.
As one of the biggest industries in the world, general contractors are large contributors to the $1.4 trillion industry and help provide jobs for their employees and the subcontractors they hire for each project. Within the industry, there are about 745,000 companies that employ 7.6 million employees. Some extremely large corporations do billions in revenue and have many employees on their own, which we will highlight below.
Despite these companies being the top 10 general contractors in the United States, you can tell that they hardly scratch the surface of the number of workers across the country. While these companies handle some of the largest projects, they only employ a fraction of construction employees and we can't forget about all the smaller companies and contractors that help develop these projects possible.
With all that said, here is a list of the top 10 general contractors in the United States. Information in this blog is based on the most recent and public revenue reports.
Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Bechtel is the largest general contractor in the country. With revenues of $17.5 billion recorded in 2021, Bechtel is pretty consistently at the top of this list. Reports on how many employees they have range by quite a large margin but Forbes suggests they employ over 55,000 staff across 50 countries. At the end of the day, these numbers depend on whether they classify subcontractors they hire as their employees or just contracted laborers.
Bechtel is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the types of projects they work on with their engineering, construction, and project management skills. However, their focus tends to be on defense and nuclear security, environmental management, mining, infrastructure, and oil, gas, and chemicals.
Since 1898, when they were founded, Bechtel has completed more than 25,000 projects across 160 countries and on all continents. Some of their most notable projects include the Western Hoover Dam, the Bay Area Rapid Transit, Black Rock Wind Farm, and Edmonton Light Rail.
Headquarters: Reston, Virginia
Revenue: $17.5 billion (2021)
2. Turner Construction
Employing only 10,000 employees, Turner Construction works on about 1,500 projects each year. Although they have a seemingly smaller number of their own staff, they are hiring subcontractors or workers through other means to employ on these projects. The last publicly reported revenue number was the $14.4 billion that they did in 2020.
Headquartered in New York, New York, Turner is an international construction services company. Turner provides solutions including design and building, building information modeling (BIM), logistics, and more. They also serve a wide range of industries including aviation, government, sports, retail, healthcare, entertainment, and lodging, as well as others.
Some of their most popular projects include Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, SeatGeek Stadium in Chicago, Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, and many more.
Headquarters: New York, New York
Revenue: $14 billion (2020)
3. Fluor Corporation
With its headquarters located in Irving, Texas, Fluor Corporation is the third largest general contractor in the United States by revenue with $14.16 billion reported in 2021. They were moved to Irving in 2005 after being founded in California way back in 1912. According to the company, they have just over 41,000 employees at the company.
Fluor Corporation has engineering and construction expertise with a focus on oil and gas, industrial and infrastructure, and power and government like defense, intelligence, and nuclear. Their largest projects include the Alyeska Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline and the Lagoven Refinery Upgrade and Expansion.
Headquarters: Irving, Texas
Revenue: $14.16 billion (2021)
A multinational infrastructure consulting firm, AECOM is another giant in the construction industry. With about 51,000 employees, AECOM is a public company ranked at 260 on the Fortune 500 list. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, AECOM generated $14.11 billion in 2021.
With a focus on architecture, urban planning, engineering, and construction, AECOM operates in more than 150 countries. Some of their most notable projects include the Barclays Center in New York, Amway Center in Orlando, Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Revenue: $14.1 billion (2021)
5. Kiewit Corporation
Founded in 1884 in Nebraska, Kiewit Corporation stays true to its roots with its headquarters still in Omaha. A privately held construction company, Kiewit is the fifth largest general contractor in the United States with a focus on construction and engineering. According to reports, they have 28,000 employees and have revenue of $10.3 billion.
Their largest projects include T-Mobile Park in Seattle, home of the Seattle Mariners, the For McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore, and the Raglan Mines. Many of their largest projects include industrial markets like food and beverage, water, energy, metals, oil and gas, and mineral processing.
Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska
Revenue: $10.3 billion (2020)
6. STO Building Group
A conglomerate of construction companies, STO Building Group was founded in 1971 and was the 47th largest private company in 2021 according to Forbes. With a revenue of $9.1 billion in 2021, the company is a collection of 8 firms across North America and Europe. According to the data, these firms employ about 4,000 people.
STO specializes in infrastructure modernization, new builds, construction management, pre-construction, site evaluation, sustainability, and more. Their projects include portfolios in education, entertainment, sports, retail, restaurants, and many more. Some of their most popular projects include Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Eataly in London, the University of Utah's stadium, and many more.
Headquarters: New York, New York
Revenue: $9.5 billion (2021)
7. DPR Construction
Based out of Redwood City, California, DPR Construction was founded in 1990 and is a general contraction and construction management firm that focuses on sustainable projects, life sciences, healthcare, and higher education. As a privately held company, they have 30 offices throughout the United States and international offices in Europe and Asia. They have about 9,000 employees across all of their offices and bring in revenue of approximately $6.8 billion as reported last in 2021.
Their most notable projects include data centers for companies like Facebook and eBay, as well as operational plants for pharmaceutical giants like Genentech. They also led the Clif Bar headquarters project and developed the Clemson University Football Complex.
Headquarters: Redwood City, California
Revenue: $6.8 billion (2021)
8. Gilbane Building Company
Another privately held company, Gilbane is a construction and facility management company with more than 45 offices around the world. Founded in 1870 in Rhode Island as a family business, the company has been in the Gilbane family for 6 generations now. They have around 2,842 employees and generated $6 billion in revenue in 2021.
Their services focus on the entire construction value chain including preconstruction, construction, BIM, multimedia, disaster relief, and environmental services. Projects they've played a major part in include the Fenway Park upgrades of 2017, the Prudential Center in New Jersey, and airport infrastructure at O'Hare International Airport, among other governmental and educational buildings.
Headquarters: Providence, Rhode Island
Revenue: $6 billion (2021)
9. Hensel Phelps Construction
Constantly ranked amongst the top 20 contractors by revenue, Hensel Phelps Construction Company was founded in 1937 in Greeley, Colorado, where its headquarters are still located. Primarily a construction, real estate development, and facilities management company, Hensel Phelps had revenue of $5.9 billion in 2021 and over 3,000 employees.
Their projects include a wide range of new builds and renovations including airports, sports, health care, education, research and development laboratories, and more. Notable projects include renovations on the Pentagon and San Jose International Airport as well as the Marriot International Headquarters and Hotel and additions to Nashville's International Airport.
Headquarters: Greeley, Colorado
Revenue: $5.9 billion (USD)
10. Clark Construction Group
With a revenue of $5 billion, last reported in 2018, Clark Construction is one of the largest commercial and civil contractors in the United States. Founded in 1906 and currently employing about 4,200 people, Clark Construction focuses on preconstruction, design-build, virtual design and construction, and sustainability. They are headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.
Their most popular project is easily Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team. Other projects include Aztec Stadium of San Diego State University, Nationals Park in Washington, DC, and Music City Center in Nashville.
Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland
Revenue: $5 billion (USD)
As you can tell, these large general contractors are responsible for some of the most iconic sports venues of the last century, as well as infrastructure including airports, water management, and manufacturing sites. Without their services, we'd probably be able to enjoy fewer events. It should also be noted that they don't have the staff to do these projects by themselves. It's also thanks to the many subcontractors and construction workers they hire for each project that we're able to share so many great moments.