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Working As A Construction Assistant

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Repetitive

  • $29,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Construction Assistant Do

Construction laborers and helpers perform many tasks that require physical labor on construction sites.

Duties

Construction laborers and helpers typically do the following:

  • Clean and prepare construction sites by removing debris and possible hazards
  • Load or unload building materials to be used in construction
  • Build or take apart bracing, scaffolding, and temporary structures
  • Dig trenches, backfill holes, or compact earth to prepare for construction
  • Operate or tend equipment and machines used in construction
  • Follow construction plans and instructions from supervisors or more experienced workers
  • Assist craftworkers with their duties

Construction laborers and helpers work on almost all construction sites, performing a wide range of tasks varying in complexity from very easy to extremely difficult and hazardous. Although many of the tasks they perform require some training and experience, most tasks can be learned quickly. 

Construction laborers, are also referred to as construction craft laborers, perform a wide variety of construction-related activities during all phases of construction. Many laborers spend their time preparing and cleaning up construction sites, using tools such as shovels and brooms. Other workers, for example, those on road crews, may specialize and learn to control traffic patterns and operate pavement breakers, jackhammers, earth tampers, or surveying equipment.

With special training, laborers may help transport and use explosives or run hydraulic boring machines to dig out tunnels. They may learn to use lasers to place pipes and to use computers to control robotic pipe cutters. They may become certified to remove asbestos, lead, or chemicals.

Helpers assist construction craftworkers, such as electricians and carpenters, with a variety of tasks. They may carry tools and materials or help set up equipment. For example, many helpers work with cement masons to move and set the forms that determine the shape of poured concrete. Many other helpers assist with taking apart equipment, cleaning up sites, and disposing of waste, as well as helping with any other needs of craftworkers.

Many construction trades have helpers who assist craftworkers. The following trades have associated helpers:

  • Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons, and tile and marble setters
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Painters, paperhangers, plasterers, and stucco masons
  • Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
  • Roofers

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How To Become A Construction Assistant

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:

  • Building construction
  • Demolition and deconstruction
  • Environmental remediation
  • Road and utility construction
  • Tunneling
  • Masonry
  • Landscaping
  • Pipeline construction

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.

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Construction Assistant Career Paths

Construction Assistant
Assistant Specialist Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Assistant Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Crew Member Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Crew Member Driver Foreman
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Crew Member Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Foreman Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Specialist Shift Supervisor
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician
Field Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Quality Control Inspector Quality Engineer
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Owner
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Specialist Crew Leader
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Electrician Maintenance Supervisor
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Electrician Estimator
Assistant Superintendent
5 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Heavy Equipment Operator Construction Foreman
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Construction Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$29,000
Show Salaries
$23,000
Min 10%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Walbridge Aldinger
Highest Paying City
Springfield, MA
Highest Paying State
Massachusetts
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Construction Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Construction Assistant in the United States is $29,259 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $23,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $36,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Top Skills for A Construction Assistant

  1. Job Site
  2. New Construction
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Unloaded job site specific materials, organized construction materials, and cleaned work environment
  • Performed framing and carpentry assistant with new construction of residential and commercial buildings.
  • Assisted in building homes* Responsible for proper safety procedures
  • Work included both exterior and interior projects such as masonry, tile, painting and drywall repair.
  • Prepared and issued site notification letters to general contractors upon confirmation of completion of projects.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Construction Assistants

  1. Montana
  2. Nevada
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Vermont
  6. Alaska
  7. North Dakota
  8. Minnesota
  9. Idaho
  10. Massachusetts
  • (40 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)

Construction Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,584 Construction Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Construction Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Construction Assistant Demographics

Gender

Male

76.4%

Female

19.0%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.6%

Hispanic or Latino

18.5%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.9%

French

5.9%

Chinese

4.6%

Mandarin

4.2%

German

3.8%

Portuguese

2.5%

Italian

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Russian

1.7%

Carrier

1.3%

Amharic

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Braille

0.8%

Czech

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Swedish

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Hindi

0.4%

Korean

0.4%
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Construction Assistant Education

Schools

University of Alabama

6.8%

Miami Dade College

6.8%

Texas A&M University

6.1%

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

5.4%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

5.4%

University of Georgia

5.4%

Ohio University -

4.7%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.7%

Michigan State University

4.7%

San Francisco State University

4.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.7%

Texas State University

4.7%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

4.7%

University of Kentucky

4.7%

Florida International University

4.7%

Western Washington University

4.7%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.7%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

4.1%

Brigham Young University

4.1%

University of North Texas

4.1%
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Majors

Business

26.0%

Civil Engineering

6.8%

Criminal Justice

6.5%

General Studies

6.4%

Construction Management

5.0%

Mechanical Engineering

4.7%

Psychology

4.4%

Architecture

4.0%

Computer Science

3.6%

Management

3.6%

Communication

3.6%

Accounting

3.5%

Finance

3.2%

Automotive Technology

3.0%

Marketing

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Biology

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.7%

Education

2.5%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.7%

High School Diploma

26.7%

Associate

15.7%

Certificate

6.4%

Diploma

5.1%

Masters

3.8%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.2%
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Updated May 18, 2020