Davis-Bacon Surveys


  • The WHD conducts a continuing program for obtaining and compiling wage rate information, including the conduct of surveys requesting the voluntary submission of wage data by contractors, contractors' associations, labor organizations, public officials, and other interested parties as the basis for developing Davis-Bacon wage determinations that reflect the wages paid to for laborers and mechanics employed on different types of construction in local areas across the country, which set minimum pay requirements for federal and federally assisted construction subject to DBA/DBRA prevailing wage requirements.
  • Based on the data submitted in response to the such surveys, WHD determines the locally prevailing wages to be issued Davis-Bacon wage determinations for inclusion in DBA and DBRA covered contracts.

Statutory and regulatory requirements

  • The DBA requires that minimum wage requirements to be included in covered contracts be "based on the wages the Secretary of Labor determines to be prevailing for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a character similar to the contract work" in the area (usually a county) in which proposed contract work is to be performed. 40 U.S.C. § 3142(b).
    1. As noted in 29 C.F.R. § 1.1(a). the responsibility for such determinations has been delegated to the WHD Administrator and authorized representatives.
  • 29 C.F.R. Part 1 establishes the procedures for issuing and applying Davis-Bacon wage determinations to covered contracts.
  • The regulatory definition of the term "prevailing wage" is stated at 29 C.F.R. § 1.2(a)(1):
    1. The prevailing wage shall be the wage paid to the majority (more than 50 percent) of the laborers or mechanics in the classification on similar projects in the area during the period in question. If the same wage is not paid to a majority of those employed in the classification, the prevailing wage shall be the average of the wages paid, weighted by the total employed in the classification.
  • The regulation further states at 29 C.F.R. § 1.2(a)(2) that:
    1. In determining the prevailing wages at the time of issuance of a wage determination, the Administrator will be guided by paragraph (a)(1) of this section and will consider the types of information listed in § 1.3 of this part.
  • The WHD conducts a continuing program for the obtaining and compiling of wage rate information, in accordance with 29 C.F.R. § 1.3, which addresses "Obtaining and compiling wage rate information." As mandated by 29 C.F.R. § 1.3(a):
    1. The Administrator will encourage the voluntary submission of wage rate data by contractors, contractors' associations, labor organizations, public officials and other interested parties, reflecting wage rates paid to laborers and mechanics on various types of construction in the area, and .
    2. The Administrator may also obtain data from agencies on wage rates paid on construction projects under their jurisdiction.
    3. The information submitted should reflect not only the wage rates paid a particular classification in an area, but also the type or types of construction on which such rate or rates are paid, and whether or not such rates were paid on federal or federally assisted projects subject to Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements.
  • A listing of types of information that "may be considered in making wage rate determinations is provided in 29 C.F.R. § 1.3(b). It includes:
    1. Statements showing wage rates paid on projects, which should include:
      1. the names and addresses of contractors, including subcontractors,
      2. the locations, approximate costs, dates of construction and types of projects,
      3. whether or not the projects are Federal or federally assisted projects subject to Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements,
      4. the number of workers employed in each classification on each project, and
      5. the respective wage rates paid such workers.
    2. Signed collective bargaining agreements;
    3. Wage rates determined for public construction by State and local officials pursuant to State and local prevailing wage legislation.; and
    4. Any other information pertinent to the determination of prevailing wage rates.
    5. Also, in making wage rate determinations pursuant to 23 U.S.C. § 113, the highway department of the State in which a project in the Federal-Aid highway system is to be performed shall be consulted, and before making a determination of wage rates for such a project the Administrator shall give due regard to the information thus obtained.
    6. This chapter of the DOL Prevailing Wage Resource Book provides information concerning the WHD survey process whereby data is requested, analyzed, compiled, and used to issue the Davis-Bacon wage determinations that are incorporated into DBA/DBRA covered contracts.

Overview Of Davis-Bacon Survey Process

  • When a survey is started, national and local interested parties are notified of the survey, its boundaries, time frame, and cutoff date by letter which requests their participation by facilitating the survey briefing process, encouraging contractors/members to participate in the survey and through the submission of wage data.
  • Contractors are identified initially from construction information provided on F.W. Dodge reports and are sent letters requesting wage data and lists of subcontractors. Subcontractors are also contacted for wage data.
  • Follow-up on all non-responses. Analysts call contractors to obtain missing data and/or to clarify wage data submissions.
  • Wage and fringe benefit data are collected from construction contractors and other interested parties on WD-10 survey forms including an electronic version found at: (https://www.dol.gov/whd/programs/dbra/WD10Instrctns/wd10instructions.htm).
  • Wage data submissions are verified as to area, time frame, construction type, and timeliness. WHD analysis of survey data and resolution of "area practice" issues presented by the data are carried out. ("Area practice" issues arise in the survey process when
  • multiple classifications perform the same work.)
  • Third party verification, contractor verification, on-site verification are conducted.
  • The wage data are tabulated in a computer program and prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits are calculated.
    1. If a majority of the workers in a classification were paid the same rate, that rate will be determined to be the prevailing wage for the classification. For example, if a majority were paid the union rate negotiated for certain work under a collective bargaining agreement in the area, that rate will be determined to be the prevailing wage for the classification.
    2. If the data does not show such a majority for a given classification, the average of the wages paid, weighted by the total employed in that classification, will be determined to be the prevailing wage for the classification. 29 C.F.R. § 1.2(a).
    These wage rates are tested for adequacy. Wage determinations are developed and issued where data adequacy tests have been met.
  • Data from metropolitan counties cannot be used in determining wages for non-metropolitan areas; and vice versa. 29 C.F.R. § 1.7(b).
  • Data collection for multiple construction type statewide surveys range from 4 to 6 months and follow-up analysis and clarification can take 12-18 months after the survey cut-off date.
  • Accurate and comprehensive wage determinations are dependent upon interested party participation in the survey process.
  • Survey participation by federal procurement agencies is sometimes required to issue a new wage schedule.
  • Federal agencies may also play a key role in survey success by encouraging participation.
  • The DOL/WHD prevailing wage determinations based upon survey data cannot reflect wage data that is not submitted. They can only reflect the data that is actually submitted.

Key Classes

The following key classes are those normally necessary for each of the four types of construction, and every attempt is made to collect data on these classifications.


  1. Heat and frost insulators
  2. Bricklayers
  3. Boilermakers
  4. Carpenters
  5. Cement masons
  6. Electricians
  7. Iron workers
  8. Laborers - common
  9. Painters
  10. Pipefitters
  11. Plumbers
  12. Power equipment operators (operating engineers)
  13. Roofers
  14. Sheet metal workers
  15. Tile setters
  16. Truck drivers


  1. Bricklayers
  2. Carpenters
  3. Cement masons
  4. Electricians
  5. Iron workers
  6. Laborers - common
  7. Painters
  8. Plumbers
  9. Power equipment operators (operating engineers)
  10. Roofers
  11. Sheet metal workers
  12. Truck drivers


  1. Carpenters
  2. Cement masons
  3. Electricians
  4. Iron workers
  5. Laborers - common
  6. Painters
  7. Power equipment operators (operating engineers)
  8. Truck drivers

Certified Payrolls

  • Data from projects to which Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements applied may be needed to supplement wage data from private projects to allow for development of a wage determination. 29 CFR 1.3(d).
    1. Data from all projects, including those on which Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements applied, are always used in determining the prevailing wages for heavy construction and for highway construction.
    2. In determining the prevailing wages for building and residential construction, data from Davis-Bacon prevailing wage projects will not be used in calculating the prevailing wage if sufficient information is received from non-prevailing wage projects.
  • Federal agencies may be requested to provide data from certified payrolls to supplement data submitted from other sources, where appropriate. Where that occurs:
    1. It is not necessary to send a copy of every certified payroll submitted for a particular project. Only copies of those certified payrolls showing the peak employment week of a worker classification on a particular project by a particular contractor need be furnished.
    2. Certified payroll information will be transcribed to the WD-10 form as it can be electronically scanned into WHD's survey computer program. The use of certified payroll data may materially affect the resulting wage determination.

Survey Form WD-10 & Instructions

DB Survey form

DB Survey form

Instructions for the WD-10 Davis--Bacon Wage Survey
Report of Construction Contractor's Wage Rates

Information about Davis-Bacon Wage Surveys, including dates of current and future surveys, may be obtained at the Davis-Bacon and related Acts (DBRA) web site at https://www.dol.gov/whd/programs/dbra/index.htm


  1. Use blue or black ink.
  2. Hand-print letters/numbers.
  3. Use one block for each letter, number, period, or space. If you use a typewriter or printer to complete this form, ignore the block spacing.
  4. Fill in circles completely.
  5. Use one WD-10 form for each construction project.

This form is machine readable, and should not be copied. For additional forms, please contact (1-866-487-9243), OR fill out and submit your forms electronically using the following site on the World Wide Web: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/government-contracts/construction/surveys/wd10


Apprentice -- A person employed and registered in a bonafide apprenticeship program. (If these Apprentices/Trainees are in a formal program approved by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT), or a state apprenticeship agency recognized by BAT, then information regarding wages and fringe benefits need not be provided.)

Helper -- A person that helps or assists and whose duties are distinct from the journey level class and laborer.

General/Prime Contractor -- The principal contractor on the project.

Subcontractor -- A contractor working on the project responsible for specific work but not the overall project. You are not a subcontractor for purposes of this survey if you supplied only materials.

Subcontractor List -- A machine--readable form for reporting the names and addresses of any subcontractors used by the contractor/subcontractor on the project being reported.

Trainee -- A person registered in a construction occupation program.


Sections 1 and 2 -- Contractor and Submitter Information

  1. Fill in with information about your company.
  2. Fill in with information about the submitter of the form.

Sections 3, 4, 5, and 6 -- Project Information

  1. Fill in information about the construction project your company worked on and the project's location and description.
  2. Fill in one circle to identify if the project was subject to a federal or state wage determination.
  3. Fill in one circle to identify yourself as either the general/prime contractor or a subcontractor.
    1. Indicate if you had no subcontractors, OR if you did, then indicate whether you are enclosing a list of subcontractors along with the WD-10 form, or if you submitted a list earlier.
    2. If you were the prime/general contractor, provide the date any work began on this project, the date the project ended (indicate if actual or estimated date), and the total project value.
    3. If you were a subcontractor, provide the date your work started and ended (indicate if actual or estimated date) and the subcontract value.
  4. 6. Mark the type of construction project your company worked on. If none of the construction types matches your project, fill in the circle next to OTHER, and indicate the type of construction in the blocks. If you selected APARTMENT BUILDING, NURSING/ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES, or RESIDENTIAL, indicate the number of stories, and fill in the circle if there was a kitchen and/or a bath in each unit.

Section 7 -- Classification and Fringe Benefits

If you only supplied materials, and no employees worked on the project, then fill in the circle marked "Only Supplied Materials," skip the rest of section 7, and sign and date the form.

The remainder of section 7 requests multiple types of information per classification. Fill in each item as defined and described as follows:

Classification(s) are the position titles of jobs within your company (e.g., Carpenter, Electrician, Laborer, Crane Operator, etc.). Fill in one classification per line. If the workers in a classification are paid more than one hourly rate or different fringe benefits, please list them on separate lines. If more than 6 classifications and wage rates need to be listed for a project, report the additional classifications and wage rates on a new WD-10. On the new WD-10 fill out only Sections 1, 3, and 7.

Type of Work Performed - Explain the type of work that each classification performs (e.g., Laborer: landscape, unskilled, pipelayer; Carpenter: carpentry, drywall; Operator: backhoe, etc.).


DB Survey form

DB Survey form

Section 7 -- Classification and Fringe Benefits (continued)

Peak Week Ending Date is the week you had the largest number of employees in a classification.

Number of Employees is the largest number of employees working in this classification on this project.

Hourly Rate is the dollar amount you paid employees per hour working in this classification.

CBA -- If the employee is paid under a Collective Bargaining Agreement, fill in the circle that represents Yes, otherwise fill in the circle that represents No.

  1. Fringe Benefits are paid in addition to the hourly rate. Report only the costs or contributions incurred by your company, NOT the employees. Do not include costs paid by the employer that are required by either Federal, State, or local law such as worker's compensation or unemployment insurance. Fill out the information under each fringe benefit that applies.
  2. Health & Welfare -- Medical or hospital care, or insurance to provide such care, life insurance, long-- or short--term disability, sickness, or accident insurance.
  3. Pension (401K, etc.) -- Retirement/401K, defined contribution plans (including savings and thrift, deferred profit sharing and money purchase pension), annuity cost, or cost of insurance to provide such a benefit.
  4. Apprentice Training -- Defrayment of the cost of apprenticeship or similar training programs.

  5. Vacation & Holiday -- The payment of compensation for holidays and vacation.
  6. Additional Fringe -- If you are not sure of the category of the fringe benefit(s), enter the rate information in the column, and specify the fringe type in the "Description of Any Additional Fringe" field at the bottom of the form.

Fringe benefits can be paid by a straight dollar amount, or by a percentage of the basic hourly rate. Indicate the cost or contribution your company paid to this classification during the peak week of this project.

If the fringe benefits were paid by a straight dollar amount:

  1. Dollars ($) per Employee (EMP.) per
  2. Mark the circle before $ per EMP. per
  3. Fill in the dollar value in the blocks provided. Include the decimal position when you fill in the dollar amount. Do not include the $ sign. (Example: 1.50 for one dollar and fifty cents.)
  4. Indicate how often this dollar value was paid in the block following $ per EMP. per with the values as follows: H for Hourly, D for daily, W or weekly, M for monthly, and A for annually/yearly.
  5. Example - If an employee was provided a straight dollar amount of $1.50 on a weekly basis for health and welfare:
DB Survey form

Item 8 -- Comments or Remarks and Signature

Comments or remarks -- Provide comments or additional information.

Signature -- Submitter must sign and date the for

Consulting Services We Provide

  • Review public works preconstruction contracts
  • Monitor DIR contractor/subcontractor certified payrolls
  • Audit labor classification for each worker employed
  • Review DIR pre-DAS 140/142 submissions
  • Review CAC training fund contributions form CAC-2
  • Review DIR Fringe Benefits Statement PW-26
  • Monitor DIR wage determinations
  • Audit fringe benefits allowances
  • Review DIR holiday payment requirements
  • Audit DIR travel & subsistence requirements
  • Caltrans Labor Compliance
  • County of Sacramento Labor Compliance
  • City of Los Angeles Labor Compliance
  • Los Angeles Unified School District Labor Compliance
  • Federal Davis-Bacon Project Monitoring
  • Federal DBE Implementation & Review
  • Federal FAA AIP Goal Setting
  • DIR & Davis-Bacon Training
  • DIR Civil Wage Penalty Review
  • Local-Hire Review (e.g., San Francisco)
  • Skilled and Trained Workforce

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