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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

  • $23,650

    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 jobs

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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 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
Construction Skill Labor Earthtech West, Ltd Norwood, CO Mar 30, 2016 $38,334
Construction Laborer ROL-TEC Systems, Inc. ND Apr 13, 2015 $37,023
Construction Laborer John Allman TX Feb 02, 2015 $36,168
Concrete Construction Laborer Delaney Concrete Construction Company, Inc. IA Apr 01, 2015 $35,959
Construction Laborer Mid-Atlantic Tennis Courts, Inc. Chantilly, VA Dec 10, 2016 $29,536
Construction Laborer Mid-Atlantic Tennis Courts, Inc. Chantilly, VA Dec 28, 2016 $29,536
Construction Laborer Winn Construction Inc. ND Apr 01, 2015 $29,218
Construction Laborer 1 Curiel M Rebar Steel, LLC AZ Apr 04, 2015 $29,114
Construction Laborer 1 Strong Arm Pool Services AZ Feb 11, 2015 $29,114
Construction Laborer Aguinaga Builders MS Feb 15, 2015 $26,672
Construction Laborer Henderson Concrete, Inc. TX Jan 23, 2015 $26,547
Construction Laborer CJR Framing, Inc. TX Apr 01, 2015 $26,505
Construction Laborer Luchette Concrete, Inc. PA Mar 09, 2015 $26,505
Construction Laborer Kesten Poured Wall, Inc. PA Mar 02, 2015 $26,505
Construction Laborer Ventura Building and Construction, Inc. TX Feb 02, 2015 $26,505
Construction Laborer Collier Foundation Systems, Inc. PA Apr 01, 2015 $26,505
General Construction Laborer Industrial Restoration & Coatings, Inc. UT May 01, 2015 $26,484

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Top Skills for A Construction Labour

ConstructionSiteWorkersDrywallSafetyRulesJobSiteIdentifyBuildingMaterialsHandToolsWindowsHeavyConstructionProjectsPossibleHazardsHeavyEquipmentGeneralConstructionLaborAppropriateLocationsProjectPlansCraftWorkersPhysicalLaborMasonryStructuresSignalEquipmentOperatorsDIGTrenchesFacilitateAlignmentGradeSpecifications

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Top Construction Labour Skills

  1. Construction Site Workers
  2. Drywall
  3. Safety Rules
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist construction site workers in erecting structures and demolition.
  • Build custom homes, performed carpentry, plumbing, drywall, kitchen and bath remolding.
  • Followed safety rules and regulations on all work zones and flagging sites.
  • Checked on job sites to make sure subcontractors were on time and doing a good job.
  • Load, unload and identify building materials, machinery and tools, and distribute them to the appropriate locations.

Top Construction Labour Employers