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Overview - Prevailing Wage for State Funded Construction Contracts

In government contracting, a prevailing wage is defined as the hourly wage, usually benefits and overtime, normally paid to the majority of workers, laborers, and mechanics within a particular area. Prevailing wages are established by regulatory agencies, such as government, for each public works trade and occupation, as well as by State Departments of Labor or their equals.

Annual Survey
The Prevailing Wage Unit compiles a list of registered contractors, contractor's associations and labor organizations who will be notified electronically when to voluntarily participate in the annual Prevailing Wage Rate Survey. The Commissioner encourages all interested groups to voluntarily electronically submit data detailing wage rates paid to workers on various types of construction in all localities in Maryland.

The Prevailing Wage Unit conducts an annual survey of wages paid throughout the State during the months of September and October. Contractors, subcontractors, trade associations, and labor groups who wish to participate in the survey must register with the Prevailing Wage Unit in order to be notified when the survey begins and ends. If you would like to be notified when the survey period begins, please register online. If you have not registered prior to the beginning of the survey period, you may still register online and participate in the survey at any time between September 1st and October 31st.

Prevailing Wage Law
The Prevailing Wage law regulates the hours of labor, rates of pay, conditions of employment, obligations of employers and duties of certain public officials under contracts and subcontracts for public works in Maryland.

Services Covered Under The Prevailing Wage Law
The Prevailing Wage law applies to a construction project valued at $250,000 or more if either of the following criteria are met:

  1. the contracting public body is a unit of State Government or an instrumentality of the State, and there is any State funding for the project; or
  2. the contracting public body is a political subdivision, agency, person or entity (such as a county) and the State funds 25% or more of the project including school construction.

Please see the State Finance and Procurement Article for more information regarding Services Covered Under the Prevailing Wage Law.

Prevailing Wage: What You Need to Know

Certified Payroll Statement Submission
Contractors on state-funded construction projects covered by the Prevailing Wage Law are required to submit certified payroll statements (Notice: Users have been experiencing difficulty when using the Internet browser Chrome to complete this online application. The Maryland Department of Labor recommends use of a different browser to complete this application) indicating that the wage rates paid for both straight time and overtime are not less than the prevailing wage rate established for the class of worker and that the worker's class (mechanic vs. laborer) reflects the type of work performed by the worker. Certified payrolls must be submitted to the Commissioner of Labor and Industry electronically within 14 days after the end of the payroll period. Penalties for late submission of payrolls total $10 for each calendar day the records are late.

Prevailing Wage Determination
A wage determination issued for a project specifies the wage and fringe benefit rates for each classification of worker, determined to prevailing in that locality for that type of construction. Wage Determinations are issued for each locality in the State (23 counties and Baltimore City) and are in effect for one year from the date on which they become final. The law requires employees on a public works contract to be paid overtime for hours in excess of 10 hours in a single day, and for work performed on a Sunday or a legal holiday.

Prevailing Wage Under Payment
Anyone found to be paying less than the prevailing wage rate is subject to a fine of $20 per day for each worker paid less than the established rate. This includes workers who are classified as "laborers" or "apprentices" who perform the work of a "mechanic". In order to be classified and paid at the "apprentice" wage rate, the individual apprentices must be registered with the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program.

Prevailing Wage Informational Rates
Maryland Prevailing Wage Rates are issued separately for building and highway projects on a county-by-county and craft-by-craft basis by the Division of Labor & Industry - Prevailing Wage Unit. Registered contracting Public Body Procurement Officers and their registered agents may log in to request the required Prevailing Wage Determination for each classification of worker before the public body advertises for bids or proposals where the contract value is $250,000 or greater with state funding of 25% or more including school construction. Please note: Contractors and subcontractors seeking a Prevailing Wage Determination for a utility project covered by Section 5-305 of the Public Utility Article should select "Highway Construction" as the type of project, and request additional rates for classifications not covered in the Determination by e-mailing

For additional information, contact:
Division of Labor and Industry
Prevailing Wage for State Funded Construction Unit

10946 Golden W Drive Suite 160
Hunt Valley, MD 21031
Ayuda en Español: Jose Ruiz, 410-767-2370