What does a construction laborer do?
Construction laborers work in all construction areas completing many different tasks from building highways and tunnels to demolishing houses and clearing land. They clean and prepare sites for construction and remove trees, debris, and other obstructions. They build forms for pouring concrete and operate generators and compressors. They also identify, load, unload, and distribute a variety of building materials. Construction laborers often operate many different types of equipment such as jackhammers, pavement breakers, concrete mixers, earth tampers, mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and torches. Some construction laborers supervise the installation and maintenance of devices used for traffic control. Others help remove hazardous materials such as chemicals, lead, and asbestos. Most construction laborers specialize in a specific type of construction and others perform many different tasks at all construction stages.
What kind of training does a construction laborer need?
Construction laborers must have at least a high school diploma. Some learn their skills strictly through on the job training and others complete apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship programs provide classroom instruction and on the job training and most programs take 2 to 4 years to complete. Apprentices learn basic construction skills including health and safety procedures, reading blueprints, and the correct use of equipment and tools. Many employers provide on the job training. Many construction laborers earn certifications in concrete finishing, scaffold erecting, and welding. Construction laborers must stay up to date on the current advancements and often complete ongoing training throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a construction laborer?
Employment of construction laborers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increasing variety of construction tasks will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good with some competition. Construction laborers with extensive experience and specialized skills will have the best prospects.
How much do construction laborers make?
As of October 2009, construction laborers with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $18,713 and $40,381. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average annual salaries between $26,796 and $46,537 (2).
A career as a construction laborer is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in a variety of construction projects. Construction laborers must have good physical strength to move a variety of heavy objects and materials. They also need good eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, and a good sense of balance. They must be able to work effectively as part of a team and have excellent communication skills. Construction laborers must also be able to work under stress and pressure and during less desirable and sometimes dangerous conditions.