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Become A Construction Labour

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Working As A Construction Labour

  • 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

  • $20,793

    Average Salary

What Does A Construction Labour 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 Labour

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 Labour Demographics

Gender

Male

90.9%

Female

7.8%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

64.1%

Hispanic or Latino

16.2%

Black or African American

10.2%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.4%

French

3.9%

Russian

2.4%

Polish

2.4%

German

2.0%

Dakota

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Carrier

1.6%

Greek

1.2%

Portuguese

1.2%

Turkish

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Irish

0.8%

Hindi

0.4%

Mandarin

0.4%

Korean

0.4%

Danish

0.4%

Fijian

0.4%

Tamil

0.4%

Cantonese

0.4%
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Construction Labour Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.2%

Iowa State University

6.4%

Liberty University

5.1%

Kaplan University

5.1%

Mississippi State University

5.1%

South Dakota State University

4.9%

West Virginia University

4.9%

Universal Technical Institute

4.9%

Utah State University

4.4%

Saint Cloud State University

4.4%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

Fresno City College

4.2%

Temple University

3.9%

University of Wyoming

3.9%

The Academy

3.9%

Kirkwood Community College

3.9%

Northern Michigan University

3.9%

Brigham Young University

3.9%

Ferris State University

3.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.7%
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Majors

Business

20.3%

General Studies

10.0%

Criminal Justice

7.9%

Precision Metal Working

6.9%

Construction Management

6.3%

Automotive Technology

5.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.1%

Computer Science

4.0%

Mechanical Engineering

3.6%

Psychology

3.2%

Education

3.1%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.7%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Accounting

2.6%

Management

2.6%

Industrial Technology

2.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

44.1%

Bachelors

24.8%

Associate

15.9%

Certificate

9.2%

Masters

2.8%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Real Construction Labour Salaries

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 Laborers MRZ Constructions Corporation Phoenix, AZ Apr 27, 2015 $66,784
Construction Laborer R O Excavating Co., Inc. Monroe, NY Mar 06, 2015 $56,930
Construction Laborer North Star Construction and Engineering, Inc. Yuba City, CA Apr 01, 2016 $54,972
Construction Laborer North Star Construction and Engineering, Inc. CA Apr 01, 2015 $54,909
Construction Laborer PYM Construction, Inc. Macomb, MI May 12, 2016 $52,238
Agricultural Construction Laborer Ka Sims Construction Co Inc. South Charleston, OH Apr 05, 2016 $51,132
Construction Laborers Genuine Builders, Inc. Savage, MN Jul 05, 2016 $49,838
Construction Laborers Genuine Builders Inc. Randolph, MN Sep 18, 2016 $49,838
Construction Laborers 30 30 Concrete, Inc. MN Oct 01, 2015 $49,462
Construction Laborers Genuine Builders Inc. Saint Paul, MN Oct 25, 2016 $49,149
Construction Laborers Gunite Specialists, Inc. Ambler, PA Mar 14, 2016 $44,265
Construction Laborer Stueve Construction LLC Aurora, OR Apr 01, 2016 $31,493
Construction Laborer DP Framing Company, Inc. Dillon, CO Apr 26, 2016 $31,451
Construction Laborer 360 Civil, Inc. Gypsum, CO Mar 15, 2016 $31,451
Construction Laborers Island Concrete Form, LLC MA Mar 15, 2015 $31,409
Construction Laborers Lawrenz Specialty Corp., Inc. Salina, KS Mar 22, 2016 $31,388
Laborer, Construction Lawrenz Specialty Corp., Inc. Salina, KS Mar 22, 2016 $31,388
Construction Laborers L&S Construction Inc. New Holland, PA Jun 03, 2015 $31,366
Construction Laborer Jacob Maas Builders, LLC Chippewa Falls, WI Oct 01, 2016 $31,305
Construction Laborer AAAH Plastering and Stucco, Inc. Northport, AL Apr 01, 2016 $28,321
Construction Laborer Star Bridge Services, Inc. FL Mar 01, 2015 $28,279
Construction Laborers JDC Construction Co Wylie, TX Mar 15, 2016 $28,237
Construction Laborer Stueve Construction Co IA Apr 01, 2015 $28,237
Construction Laborers Americas Welders Corp Ingleside, TX Jun 13, 2016 $28,237
Construction Laborers Smith Brothers Land Clearing Inc. Orlando, FL Aug 02, 2016 $28,091
Construction Labor Helper MB Framing & General Contractors, Inc. Duluth, GA Oct 03, 2016 $27,924
Construction Laborers Precision 2000, Inc. GA Aug 15, 2016 $27,924

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Top Skills for A Construction Labour

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  1. Construction Site Workers
  2. Drywall Repair
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work collaboratively with construction site workers in erecting structures and minor demolition.
  • Build Decks Repair Drywall Repair Electrical Paint General Carpentry
  • Use all basic hand tools-Tape Measure-String Line-Level-Chop saw*Run some small equipment*Follows all safety procedures*Follow all OSHA requirements*Wears all appropriate PPE
  • Gathered materials, kept job sites clean, serviced machines and assisted with a variety of site labor tasks as required.
  • Load and unload, and identify building materials, machinery and tools.

What is it like to work as a Construction Labour

5.0

Framer

May 24, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Construction Labour.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Construction Labour?

The mobility of each different job the challenges that it brings psysin.. Show More

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How Would You Rate Working As a Construction Labour?

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Top Construction Labour Employers

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Jobs From Top Construction Labour Employers

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