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Become A Helper

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Working As A Helper

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $24,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Helper 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 Helper

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
Farm Helper 2.6 years
Helper 2.0 years
Carpenter Helper 2.0 years
Plumber Helper 2.0 years
Maintenance Helper 1.9 years
General Helper 1.9 years
Helper/Apprentice 1.9 years
Painter Helper 1.8 years
Roofer Helper 1.7 years
Electrical Helper 1.7 years
Line Helper 1.7 years
Driller Helper 1.6 years
Rigger Helper 1.6 years
Shop Helper 1.5 years
Boilermaker Helper 1.5 years
Millwright Helper 1.4 years
Insulation Helper 1.0 years
Top Careers Before Helper
Cashier 15.8%
Cook 7.1%
Driver 4.3%
Volunteer 4.3%
Stocker 4.2%
Technician 3.7%
Server 3.4%
Internship 3.3%
Manager 3.2%
Operator 3.2%
Teller 3.1%
Assistant 3.1%
Top Careers After Helper
Cashier 11.7%
Driver 6.8%
Technician 5.3%
Cook 5.2%
Volunteer 4.4%
Welder 4.4%
Internship 4.1%
Operator 3.6%
Server 3.5%
Supervisor 3.3%

Do you work as a Helper?

Helper Demographics

Gender

Male

72.8%

Female

25.4%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

58.4%

Hispanic or Latino

18.6%

Black or African American

12.8%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.5%

French

7.5%

Chinese

2.7%

German

2.5%

Japanese

2.5%

Mandarin

2.3%

Arabic

1.9%

Cantonese

1.7%

Hindi

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Russian

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Portuguese

1.3%

Tagalog

1.1%

Hmong

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Dakota

0.9%

Korean

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

Greek

0.8%
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Helper Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.0%

Baton Rouge Community College

8.2%

Delgado Community College

6.1%

Del Mar College

5.9%

Houston Community College

5.5%

Lamar University

5.4%

Lamar Institute of Technology

5.0%

South Texas College

4.9%

Tulsa Welding School

4.6%

Hinds Community College

4.5%

Ashford University

4.2%

The Academy

4.2%

Liberty University

4.1%

Universal Technical Institute

4.1%

Lee College

4.1%

Brazosport College

4.0%

Tidewater Community College

3.8%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

3.7%

McNeese State University

3.6%

Southeastern Louisiana University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

18.2%

Criminal Justice

9.2%

General Studies

8.6%

Precision Metal Working

7.0%

Automotive Technology

5.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.9%

Psychology

4.9%

Computer Science

4.7%

Nursing

4.4%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.2%

Education

3.5%

Accounting

3.3%

Medical Assisting Services

3.1%

Graphic Design

3.1%

Kinesiology

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Biology

2.7%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Communication

2.5%
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Degrees

Other

48.5%

Bachelors

20.9%

Associate

15.4%

Certificate

8.3%

Diploma

3.1%

Masters

3.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Real Helper Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Concrete Helper 30-30 Concrete, Inc. Young America, MN May 24, 2016 $49,838
Helper Deca Construction, Inc. Harleysville, PA Apr 14, 2016 $44,265
Helper MTGS Enterprises LLC Elgin, TX Jul 11, 2016 $37,963
Masonry Helpers Rosales Masonry MO Mar 15, 2015 $36,356
Brickmason Helper Above All Masonry Design Inc. Islandia, NY Jun 04, 2016 $34,091
Brickmason Helper Above All Masonry Design Inc. Islandia, NY Mar 17, 2016 $34,091
Helpers BH Contractors LLC Orange, TX Apr 26, 2016 $33,747
Helpers BH Contractors LLC Donaldsonville, LA Mar 23, 2016 $32,349
Masonry Helper Bello's Coping & Tile, LLC PA Mar 09, 2015 $32,307
Helper Hugo Garza Drywall, Inc. Del Rio, TX Apr 08, 2016 $32,307
Stonemason Helper Kneafsey Masonry Restoration LLC Shavertown, PA May 03, 2016 $32,265
Masonry Helper Bello's Coping and Tile, LLC Doylestown, PA Apr 01, 2016 $32,265
Helper Gallegos Masonry Wolcott, CO Apr 25, 2016 $31,931
Helper-Quarry Montes Stone Products, LLC TN Mar 01, 2016 $31,597
Beekeeper Helper Paul Taylor Faith, SD Feb 15, 2016 $28,801
Beekeeper Helper Jason Conrad Thompson, ND Aug 05, 2016 $28,801
Beekeeper Helper Paul Taylor Faith, SD Jul 21, 2016 $28,801
Beekeeper, Helper Texas Best Honey, Inc. Edmore, ND Jul 18, 2016 $28,801
Helper T&J Concrete Foundations, Inc. WI Apr 15, 2015 $28,404
Beekeeper Helper Paul Taylor Faith, SD Feb 15, 2015 $28,362
Beekeeper, Helper Texas Best Honey, Inc. Edmore, ND Jul 18, 2015 $28,362
Beekeeper Helper Absolute Honey, LLC Mylo, ND Jan 15, 2016 $28,362
Groundskeeping Helper Merkle Lawn Care Company, Inc. Wilder, KY Feb 15, 2016 $25,274
Groundskeeping Helper Nature's Way, Inc. Burlington, KY Apr 01, 2016 $25,127
Beekeeper Helper King Bee Apiarys Lake Isabella, CA Jan 01, 2016 $25,044
Beekeeper Helper Heaven's Honey, Inc. Fillmore, CA Sep 26, 2015 $25,044
Beekeeper Helper Mountain Avenue Bees, Inc. Fontana, CA Dec 31, 2015 $25,044
Helper Barkley Specialty Services LLC Houston, TX Jun 20, 2015 $25,044
Live-In Domestic Helper Shing-Yi Huang Walnut Creek, CA Oct 22, 2015 $24,523
Helper Grandview Manor Ltd. Montauk, NY Mar 15, 2015 $24,481

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Helper

Average Yearly Salary
$24,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$13,000
Min 10%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$43,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Campbell Soup
Highest Paying City
Hilo, HI
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does a Helper make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Helper in the United States is $24,330 per year or $12 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $13,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $43,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Helper?

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Top Skills for A Helper

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Job Site
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Well-versed on safety procedures for construction sites and responsible for delivery of departmental safety reviews.
  • Barricaded the work zone to keep others from going under the job site where there were many potential hazard risks.
  • Provided customer service to customers inquiring about products and their locations.
  • Help with the process of installation with a variety hand tools such as keyhole saw and various other tools.
  • Assisted Pipe Fitters and Welders in carrying equipment, cutting, grinding, sanding, and cleaning pipes.

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Top 10 Best States for Helpers

  1. Alaska
  2. Montana
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Louisiana
  5. Minnesota
  6. Washington
  7. Hawaii
  8. South Dakota
  9. Missouri
  10. Nebraska
  • (17 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (101 jobs)
  • (144 jobs)
  • (191 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)

Top Helper Employers

Jobs From Top Helper Employers

Helper Videos

Welder (1st class helper), Career Video from drkit.org

A Day In The Life of a Mail Carrier

Welders Helper (third hand)

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