Specialty Contractors Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Specialty Contractors Industry Profile

Companies in this industry contract to perform construction work in a wide variety of trades, including site preparation, concrete, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and painting. Major companies include APi Group, Comfort Systems USA, EMCOR Group, Performance Contracting, and Quanta Services (all based in the US), as well as Bilfinger (Germany) and Skanska (Sweden).

Global revenue for construction work, including specialty contracting, exceeds $7 trillion per year and is expected to reach $15 trillion by 2030, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The largest construction growth markets are the US, China, the UK, and India. Emerging markets such as Mexico and Indonesia are experiencing growth as increased urbanization and the growing middle class population influence demand for infrastructure and housing. Most specialty contractors focus on a single local or regional market, but some large companies operate internationally.

The US specialty contracting industry includes about 460,000 establishments (single-location firms and units of multi-location firms) with combined annual revenue of about $875 billion.


Demand is driven by new residential and nonresidential construction activity, as well as corporate profits and local government budgets. The profitability of individual companies depends on accurate project bids and efficient operations. Most specialty contractors earn revenues from fixed price contracts, and companies must estimate total costs for projects. If actual material prices or labor costs differ from the estimates and cannot be recovered through change orders, profitability could be reduced. Large companies have advantages ...

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