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Construction laborers and helpers learn their trade through on-the-job training (OJT). The length of training depends on the employer and the specialization. Formal education is not typically required.Education
Although formal education is not typically required, high school classes in mathematics, blueprint reading, welding, and other vocational subjects can be helpful.
To receive further education, some workers attend a trade school or community college.Training
Construction laborers and helpers learn through OJT after being hired by a construction contractor. Workers typically gain experience by performing tasks under the guidance of experienced workers.
Although the majority of construction laborers and helpers learn by assisting experienced workers, some construction laborers opt for apprenticeship programs. Programs generally include 2 to 4 years of technical instruction and OJT. The Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) requires a minimum of 4,000 hours of OJT, accompanied by 300 hours of related instruction in such areas as signaling, blueprint reading, using proper tools and equipment, and following health and safety procedures. The remainder of the curriculum consists of specialized training in one of these eight areas:
Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs, which usually have only a basic age qualification—age 18 or older—for entrance. Apprentices must obtain a high school diploma or equivalent before completing their apprenticeship. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Laborers who remove hazardous materials (hazmat) must meet the federal and state requirements for hazardous materials removal workers.
Depending on the work they do, laborers may need specific certifications, which may be attained through LIUNA. Rigging and scaffold building are commonly attained certifications. Certification can help workers prove that they have the knowledge to perform more complex tasks.Advancement
Through experience and training, construction laborers and helpers can advance into positions that involve more complex tasks. For example, laborers may earn certifications in welding, erecting scaffolding, or finishing concrete, and then spend more time performing those activities. Similarly, helpers sometimes move into construction craft occupations after gaining experience in the field. For example, experience as an electrician’s helper may lead to becoming an apprentice electrician.Important Qualities
Color vision. Construction laborers and helpers may need to be able to distinguish colors to do their job. For example, an electrician’s helper must be able to distinguish different colors of wire to help the lead electrician.
Math skills. Construction laborers and some helpers need to perform basic math calculations while measuring on jobsites or assisting a surveying crew.
Mechanical skills. Construction laborers are frequently required to operate and maintain equipment, such as jackhammers.
Physical stamina. Construction laborers and helpers must have the endurance to perform strenuous tasks throughout the day. Highway laborers, for example, spend hours on their feet—often in hot temperatures—with few breaks.
Physical strength. Construction laborers and helpers must often lift heavy materials or equipment. For example, cement mason helpers must move cinder blocks, which typically weigh more than 40 pounds each.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Carpenter Helper
Top Careers After Carpenter Helper
Hispanic or Latino12.9%
Black or African American0.6%
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Delgado Community College9.7%
Baton Rouge Community College8.4%
Sowela Technical Community College6.5%
South Texas College6.5%
Southeastern Louisiana University5.8%
University of Phoenix5.8%
Hinds Community College4.5%
Trident Technical College4.5%
Universal Technical Institute4.5%
Hudson Valley Community College3.9%
Northwestern State University of Louisiana3.9%
University of Louisiana at Lafayette3.9%
University of Louisiana at Monroe3.9%
East Central Community College3.2%
River Parishes Community College3.2%
Lamar Institute of Technology3.2%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Carpenter Helper||Carter Mitchell Woodworking||Nantucket, MA||Apr 01, 2015||$53,636|
|Helpers--Carpenters||Falls Framing LLC||Brownton, MN||Nov 01, 2016||$38,964|
|Carpenter Helper||Maxime & Co.||ND||Apr 02, 2015||$35,354|
|Carpenter Helper||Maxime & Co.||Fargo, ND||May 03, 2016||$35,041|
|Carpenter Helper||D and M Roofing Company||Fargo, ND||Apr 06, 2016||$35,041|
|Carpenter Helper||Dropmasters Co||Hamilton, NJ||Aug 22, 2008||$34,602|
|Helper of Carpenter||Focus Framing, Door and Trim LLC.||Las Vegas, NV||Jun 29, 2016||$33,872|
|Helper of Carpenter||BMC West Corporation||Las Vegas, NV||Apr 05, 2016||$33,872|
|Helper of Carpenter||BMC West Corporation||Las Vegas, NV||Feb 02, 2016||$33,872|
|Helpers--Carpenters||Falls Framing LLC||Edgeley, ND||Nov 15, 2016||$33,225|
|Carpenter Helper||Erickson Construction||Roseville, CA||Apr 15, 2016||$32,933|
|Helper of Carpenter||BMC West Corporation||Vacaville, CA||Jul 26, 2016||$32,933|
|Carpenter Helper||Erickson Construction||Roseville, CA||May 02, 2016||$32,933|
|Helper of Carpenter||BMC West Corporation||Vacaville, CA||Apr 15, 2016||$32,453|
|Helpers--Carpenters||Ottavio de Vivo D/B/A 'Ottavio's Custom Woodworking Shop'||New Rochelle, NY||Jan 31, 2014||$29,994|
|Helpers-Carpenters||John Santos Construction, Inc.||Fall River, MA||Apr 09, 2012||$29,910|
|Carpenter Helper||Peterson and Collins, Inc.||Washington, DC||Oct 25, 2011||$29,827|
|Carpenter Helper||J.A.J. Suarez Framing, Inc.||TX||Feb 02, 2015||$29,552|
|Carpenter Helpers||H2 Incorporated||MN||Aug 15, 2014||$29,385|
|Carpenter Helper||Timon, LLC.||MN||Apr 01, 2014||$29,197|
|Carpenter Helper||Phoenix Framing, LLC||TN||Mar 27, 2014||$29,155|
|Helpers-Carpenters||Mike Ferrell Construction||San Mateo, CA||Nov 24, 2010||$29,016|
|Carpenter Helper||Texas General Builders LLC||TX||Mar 14, 2014||$25,900|
|Helpers-Carpenters||Everlast Construction||NJ||Feb 19, 2010||$25,858|
|Helpers-Carpenters||P.M. Construction & Home Improvement Corp.||NJ||Jan 30, 2009||$25,691|
|Helpers-Carpenters||K & R Farms, LLC||TN||Jul 05, 2014||$25,274|
|Carpenter Helper||TC Thompson Builder, Inc.||Artesia, NM||Apr 23, 2008||$24,783|
|Helper Carpenter||Jc Roadrunner, Inc.||GA||May 01, 2014||$24,627|
|Carpenter Helper||Seashore Builders Inc.||NC||Oct 29, 2013||$24,606|
|Carpenter Helper||MB Framing and General Contractors, Inc.||GA||Oct 01, 2014||$24,397|
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Training for a Career as a Union Carpenter
Career Advice on becoming a Carpenter by Jermaine S (Full Version)