Steel construction companies are mainly divided into two groups—fabricators and erectors. Fabricators shape raw materials into the desired specs for each project. Erectors buy finished steel materials from fabricators and install it. Both groups are primarily focused on commercial and industrial projects because steel rarely comes into play in residential projects.
The global structural steel market is valued at $105.57 billion and with a projected 5.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Part of the growth is driven by the rising demand for sustainable building materials. Structural steel is highly recyclable so it’s considered ideal for green building and LEED-certified projects.
The core challenges facing the industry are labor shortages, supply chain issues, and the rising cost of materials. Some steel materials costs increased as much as 200% following the pandemic.
Top 44 Steel Construction Companies
There are roughly 2,500 structural steel manufacturers and about the same number of steel fabricators. While that’s thousands fewer than other construction markets—like glass and glazing or mechanical construction–it can still be difficult to tell which steel construction companies are the best.
Several industry sources publish annual roundups of who’s who in steel construction, like ENR’s Top 600 Specialty Contractors, The Fabricator Fab 40, and Mechanical Construction News Top Metal Builders. But there’s little consistency across these lists. If you look at them all in aggregate, there are more than 800 companies recognized. It’s a lot to sort through.
So we dug into all of the lists from all of the experts to identify the top steel erectors and fabricators generating $50 million in revenue or more. We found 44 companies that met our criteria. Here’s our list of the top steel construction companies.
7 Growing Steel Construction Companies to Watch
Let’s take a closer look at these top companies to see which ones are growing. Quick caveat here: Because most steel construction firms are private companies, there are no public records of annual revenue data. So we can really only evaluate companies that made the ENR list (because ENR compares revenue to the previous year’s earnings).
There are seven companies on this list. Most are AISC certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction and most offer both fabrication and erection services.
1. Lexicon, Inc.
Headquarters: Little Rock, AR
Revenue: $198 million
Revenue Growth: 303%
Lexicon is a third-generation family company that offers steel fabrication and erection under one umbrella. Fabrication subsidiaries include Custom Metals, Prospect Steel, and Steel Fabricators of Monroe. The other four sub-brands (Lexicon Energy Services, Lexicon Industrial Constructors, Lexicon Industrial Maintenance, and Heritage Links) sit under its construction services arm.
Services include steel fabrication, erection, construction, mechanical equipment installation, industrial maintenance, energy services, insulation, scaffolding, and sheeting/siding. Lexicon is best known for developing stadiums, hospitals, airports, and golf courses. Marquee projects include the BBVA Compass Stadium (now known as the Shell Energy Stadium) in Houston, Texas, and VCU Children’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
Learn more on Lexicon Inc.’s website.
2. Schuff Steel Co.
Headquarters: Phoenix, AZ
Revenue: $637 million
Revenue Growth: 46%
Schuff Steel is a steel fabricator and erector founded in 1976. It boasts 1.3 million square feet of fabrication space with the capacity to produce 116,000 tons of steel annually.
Schuff delivers end-to-end service including BIM, design-assist, estimating, international, preconstruction, project management, steel erection, steel fabrication, and structural engineering. It touts a commitment to waste elimination throughout the entire project lifecycle.
The firm's key markets include arenas and stadiums, education, government, healthcare, hotels and convention centers, manufacturing, and office buildings. You can witness its work in California at the Anaheim Convention Center and Apple Park (Apple’s Headquarters).
Learn more on Schuff Steel Co.’s website.
3. Basden Steel Corp.
Headquarters: Burleson, TX
Revenue: $154 million
Revenue Growth: 46%
Basden Steel Corporation brings steel fabrication and erection together to deliver turnkey structural steel solutions. The Texas company was founded in 1985 and became an employee-owned ESPO in January 2020.
Basden has three AISC-certified fabrication facilities with 315,000 square feet of fabrication space, giving it significant production capacity. Services include advanced planning and coordination, pre-bid services, fabrication, and erection.
Its standout reputation has consistently landed it on the ENR 600 every year since 2002. Bel Air High School in El Paso and the Buddy Holly Performing Arts Center in Lubbock top Basden’s highly-acknowledged projects list.
Learn more on Basden Steel Corp.’s website.
4. Sowles Co.
Headquarters: Shakopee, MN
Revenue: $84 million
Revenue Growth: 39%
Sowles Co. is an AISC-certified advanced steel erector. The company was founded in 1961. It was awarded its first notable project in 1968 and has participated in every major high-rise project in the Twin Cities since.
Today, the company serves the upper Midwest, Rocky Mountain area, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. Its capabilities include steel erection, metal decking, precast concrete, reinforcing steel, post-tensioning, metal buildings, bridge erection, and construction engineering.
Sowles primarily erects high rises, sports stadiums, manufacturing plants, warehouses, hospitals, military projects, power plants, oil refineries, parking structures, shopping centers, ethanol plants, paper mills, and mining plants. Project highlights include the Minnesota Zoo, Black Bear Casino in Minnesota, and Salem Hospital in Oregon.
Learn more on Sowles Co.’s website.
5. Sure Steel, Inc.
Headquarters: South Weber, UT
Revenue: $152 million
Revenue Growth: 12%
Company Size: 400
Sure Steel is one of the premier steel and pre-engineered metal building contractors in the US. Founded in Sandy, Utah in 1993, the company now has a presence in Utah, Texas, and North Carolina.
Services include design, fabrication, and installation of structural steel, pre-engineered metal buildings, insulated metal panels, and metal roofing and siding. Its bonding capacity is $250 million for single projects and $600 million in aggregate, allowing it to take on most projects.
Sure Steel is best known for healthcare and medical buildings, distribution centers, education campuses, office buildings, and data centers. Among its noteworthy projects are the FedEx Ground Hub in Houston, the Utah Museum of Natural History in Salt Lake City, and the Oracle Sequoia Data Center in West Jordan, Utah.
Learn more on Sure Steel Inc.’s website.
6. Stonebridge, Inc.
Headquarters: South Plainfield, NJ
Revenue: $95 million
Revenue Growth: 12%
Stonebridge is an advanced-certified steel erector company founded in 1995. Most of its work is centralized in New York and New Jersey.
It specializes in complex industrial, commercial, and institutional projects that require construction and engineering expertise. Scopes of work range from large structural steel to detailed work that requires a high level of precision.
Stonebridge is responsible for some of the most famous steel structures in the New York tri-state area. Some of its noteworthy projects are the LaGuardia Airport Delta Concourse, Red Bull Arena, and Madison Square Garden.
Learn more on Stonebridge’s website.
7. Pittsburg Tank & Tower Group, Inc.
Headquarters: Henderson, KY
Revenue: $100 million
Revenue Growth: 11%
Pittsburg Tank & Tower Group (PTTG) started as a family-owned company in 1919. The founding family converted it to an employee-owned ESOP in 2021. It specializes in designing, building, and maintaining massive steel structures that stand the test of time.
The company serves industrial, corporate, municipal, governmental, agricultural, and commercial clients. Services include design, fabrication, erection, inspection, repair, maintenance, modifications, and demolition.
PTTG areas of focus are storage tanks, communication towers, and structural steel supports. While these aren’t glamorous projects that you would know by name, you can see their work in water towers and cell phone towers around the world.
Learn more on Pittsburg Tank & Tower Group’s website.
What Every Contractor Can Learn from These 7 Steel Construction Leaders
With the astronomical increase in the cost of materials, maintaining more than 10% growth is a feat worth applauding. It’s hard to imagine how you can absorb 200% higher materials costs and still come out on top. This accomplishment requires smart fiscal discipline and foresight into the financial health of not just your company but the industry at large.
At Siteline, we work with some smart steel construction contractors (like Washington Iron Works) that are using our construction billing software to:
- Get paid on time
- Free up more working capital to bid on more projects
- Create efficiencies across the back office team
- Focus on collections rather than the minutiae of assembling and submitting pay apps
- Gain improved visibility into the company's financial health, so they can focus on pursuing work from the GCs who pay on time
- Anticipate dips in backlog with billing projections
If getting paid faster and freeing up working capital would make a difference to your bottom line, we encourage you to take a look at Siteline. Steel contractors love it.