Construction laborers and helpers perform many tasks that require physical labor on construction sites.Duties
Construction laborers and helpers typically do the following:
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:
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.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Construction Laborer||Dell-Tech Enterprises, Inc.||Dix Hills, NY||Nov 13, 2015||$81,915|
|Construction Laborer||BMG Constructions Corporation||Phoenix, AZ||Feb 23, 2015||$73,045|
|Intaller/Construction Laborer Foreman||Playsites Plus Surfaces, Inc.||Central Islip, NY||Mar 08, 2016||$70,000|
|Construction Laborer||R O Excavating Co., Inc.||Monroe, NY||Mar 06, 2015||$56,930|
|Construction Laborer||North Star Construction and Engineering, Inc.||CA||Apr 01, 2015||$54,909|
|Construction Laborer||Stueve Construction Co||Zap, ND||Jun 22, 2015||$42,032|
|Construction Laborer||Earthtech West, Ltd||Norwood, CO||Apr 08, 2016||$38,334|
|Construction Skill Labor||Earthtech West, Ltd||Norwood, CO||Mar 25, 2016||$38,334|
|Construction Skill Labor||Earthtech West, Ltd||Norwood, CO||Mar 29, 2016||$38,334|
|Construction Laborer||Earthtech West, Ltd||Norwood, CO||Apr 29, 2016||$38,334|