CONSTRUCTION LABORERS perform a wide range of physically demanding tasks involving building and highway construction, tunnel and shaft excavation, hazardous waste removal, and demolition. In addition to assisting workers from other trades, construction laborers clean and prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards, dig trenches, mix and place concrete, set braces to support the sides of excavations, and clean up rubble and debris. They load, unload, identify, and distribute building materials at the appropriate location according to project plans and specifications on building construction projects.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $31,000 average per year ($15.00 per hour)
- A very large occupation (1,176,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.9% per year)
CONSTRUCTION LABORERS generally learn skills informally on the job from more experienced workers or supervisors. Apprenticeship programs provide more thorough preparation for jobs as construction laborers. Workers who use dangerous equipment or handle toxic chemicals, for example, usually receive specialized training in safety awareness and procedures. Most construction laborers possess several certifications, including asbestos abatement, lead abatement, hazardous waste removal, confined space entry, scaffold building and use.