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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.
Average Length of Employment
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Hispanic or Latino10.1%
Black or African American0.6%
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George Mason University46.9%
University of Phoenix4.9%
Lansing Community College4.3%
George Washington University3.6%
University of Cincinnati3.6%
Michigan State University3.0%
University of Washington2.6%
Iowa State University2.6%
Northern Virginia Community College2.6%
Grand Canyon University2.6%
North Iowa Area Community College2.3%
Pennsylvania State University2.3%
Monroe Community College2.3%
Ohio State University2.0%
Colorado Technical University2.0%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Mason||MPZ Masonry, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Feb 16, 2016||$141,227|
|Mason||All Pro Contracting LLC||East Orange, NJ||Jun 01, 2015||$74,385 -
|Mason||Mascon Restoration Inc.||NY||Jul 12, 2011||$71,573|
|Mason||Mascon Restoration Inc.||NY||Sep 08, 2008||$66,784 -
|Plaster and Stucco Mason||Janeczek Construction of Nj, Inc.||Paramus, NJ||May 19, 2010||$66,346|
|Mason||Bairrada Liberty Construction Co., Inc.||Linden, NJ||Apr 15, 2010||$65,344|
|Plaster and Stucco Mason||Janeczek Construction LLC||Paramus, NJ||Sep 11, 2009||$61,629|
|Stucco Masons||Romano Construction LLC||Parma, OH||Feb 01, 2016||$60,627|
|Stucco Mason||Pro Line Roofing & Chimney Corp.||NY||Nov 29, 2010||$60,314|
|Mason||MFA Masonry Corp.||White Plains, NY||Jan 26, 2010||$60,001|
|Plasterers and Stocco Masons||Everest Realty Holding, Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 09, 2009||$56,871|
|Mason||Mascon Restoration Inc.||NY||Oct 14, 2010||$56,349 -
|Plaster AN Stucco Mason||E. Pelc Masonry, Inc.||Brick, NJ||Jul 02, 2008||$56,099|
|Mason||Almo Construction, Inc.||Sterling, VA||May 27, 2015||$55,515|
|Mason||Rivers Construction Group, Ltd.||Silver Spring, MD||Dec 09, 2016||$46,550|
|Mason||Trump Briarcliff Manor Development, LLC||NJ||Feb 03, 2009||$46,018|
|Mason||K& C Land Design and Construction||Watchung, NJ||Mar 24, 2011||$45,956|
|Mason||Peter Gray Mason Contractor, LLC.||Bernardsville, NJ||Jun 06, 2008||$45,956|
|Mason||Grosvenor Masonry, Inc.||Englewood, CO||Oct 19, 2007||$45,434|
|Mason||Grosvenor Masonry, Inc.||Englewood, CO||Dec 06, 2007||$45,434|
|Mason||Sebastiano Nini Inc.||Hamilton, NJ||Sep 16, 2008||$45,351|
|Mason||Bergquist Masonry LLC||Temple, NH||May 19, 2010||$44,704|
|Mason||Frank Matera & Daughter Landscaping Contractors, LLC||Norwalk, CT||Feb 03, 2011||$39,924|
|Mason||D & F Construction Co., Inc.||Forestville, MD||Sep 10, 2012||$39,811|
|Stucco Mason||Triad Associates, Inc.||MA||Apr 01, 2011||$39,131|
|Mason||Cs Design Build LLC T/A BR Design/Build||MD||Oct 20, 2009||$38,797|
|Mason||Fernandez Landscape Masonry, LLC||Morristown, NJ||Jun 08, 2010||$38,797|
|Stucco Mason||KIS Construction||Jacksonville, FL||Apr 07, 2008||$37,877|
|Mason||Salvatore Basile Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 18, 2011||$37,775|
|Stucco Mason||M. J. Cosma, Inc.||Buford, GA||Mar 14, 2009||$37,566|
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