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Become A Form Setter

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Working As A Form Setter

  • 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

  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Form Setter 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 Form Setter

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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Average Length of Employment
Cement Finisher 5.0 years
Form Carpenter 3.6 years
Concrete Carpenter 3.4 years
Form Setter 3.0 years
Setter 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Form Setter
Carpenter 19.9%
Foreman 8.9%
Framer 5.4%
Cook 4.8%
Welder 4.1%
Technician 3.5%
Painter 3.5%
Finisher 3.0%
Cashier 2.8%
Driver 2.6%
Roofer 2.6%
Top Careers After Form Setter
Carpenter 14.7%
Foreman 10.0%
Owner 5.1%
Welder 4.4%
Finisher 3.3%
Supervisor 3.1%
Installer 3.1%
Technician 3.0%

Do you work as a Form Setter?

Form Setter Demographics

Gender

Male

83.8%

Unknown

12.5%

Female

3.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

23.1%

Black or African American

6.8%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Form Setter Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

8.6%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

University of Colorado at Boulder

6.9%

Idaho State University

6.9%

Pueblo Community College

6.9%

University of Northern Colorado

5.2%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

5.2%

Linn-Benton Community College

5.2%

Boise State University

5.2%

Arizona Automotive Institute

5.2%

Dine College

5.2%

ITT Technical Institute-Boise

3.4%

Pima Community College

3.4%

Washington State University

3.4%

Point Loma Nazarene University

3.4%

Refrigeration School Inc

3.4%

Central Texas College

3.4%

San Juan College

3.4%

University of Pennsylvania

3.4%

Lincoln College of Technology - Denver

3.4%
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Majors

Business

16.6%

General Studies

10.4%

Automotive Technology

9.8%

Precision Metal Working

8.3%

Construction Management

6.2%

Computer Science

5.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

5.7%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.1%

Drafting And Design

3.6%

Education

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

Civil Engineering

3.1%

Property Management

3.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Management

2.6%

Project Management

2.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.6%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Kinesiology

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

51.6%

Associate

20.8%

Bachelors

12.6%

Certificate

10.7%

Diploma

2.5%

Masters

0.9%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$39,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$22,000
Min 10%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Zachry Construction & Materials
Highest Paying City
Lehi, UT
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Form Setter make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Form Setter in the United States is $39,857 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $69,000.

Real Form Setter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Form Setter Simoes Concrete, Inc. Manassas, VA Apr 09, 2010 $50,213
Head Concrete Form Setter Leeco Construction Wilmington, DE Apr 29, 2016 $45,510
Concrete Form Setter/Laborer G.L.Cook Concrete Inc. CO Apr 01, 2013 $40,342
Form Setter Davenport Foundation Repair & Construction West Jordan, UT Feb 12, 2015 $37,566 -
$43,827
Concrete Form Setter/Laborer G.L.Cook Concrete Inc. CO Apr 03, 2014 $35,792
Concrete Form Setter/Laborer G.L.Cook Concrete Inc. CO Apr 01, 2015 $34,874
Form Setter JB Concrete Denver, CO Jun 16, 2010 $34,665
Concrete Form Setter/Laborer G.L.Cook Concrete Inc. Steamboat Springs, CO May 20, 2016 $34,498
Form Setter Ironstone Construction Inc. Lakewood, CO Mar 31, 2008 $33,392
Form Setter Ironstone Construction Inc. Lakewood, CO Jan 15, 2008 $33,392
Formsetter Columbine Hills Concrete Inc. Silverthorne, CO Feb 28, 2008 $33,392
Concrete Form Setter&Finisher Miner Construction LLC American Fork, UT Apr 09, 2009 $31,827
Form Setter/Finisher Quality Paving Company CO Nov 28, 2007 $31,305
Form Setter/Finisher Quality Paving Company CO Oct 29, 2007 $31,305
Formsetter Structures Unlimited Riverside, CA Nov 01, 2007 $30,742
Form Setter Love Utah Inc. Layton, UT Dec 23, 2009 $28,362

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Top Skills for A Form Setter

  1. Form Setting
  2. Rebar
  3. Residential Foundations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Form setting, grading, light concrete finishing, bobcat, and off road fork lift.
  • Oil the forms and put wire and/or rebar in the proper location and adjust until correctly placed.
  • Set forms for residential foundations.
  • Form setter responsible for the reading and layout of footer and concrete forms to blueprint specifications.
  • Study specifications in blueprints, sketches or building plans to prepare project layout and determine dimensions and materials required.

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Top 10 Best States for Form Setters

  1. Illinois
  2. Connecticut
  3. Hawaii
  4. Minnesota
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Alaska
  7. Wisconsin
  8. New Jersey
  9. Washington
  10. Rhode Island
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