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Construction Worker


How to Become a Construction Worker
Construction Worker Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Construction Worker
Construction Worker Salaries
Influential Professionals in this field
Leading Organizations for Construction Workers
Top Cities for Construction Worker Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Construction Worker

Although not strictly necessary for a construction worker, most employers prefer at least a high school diploma. Most knowledge and skill is developed on the job, although some construction disciplines offer internships and apprenticeships. Vocational training programs are another way to learn construction work.

Applicants must be able to keep up with the physical demands of the job and, of course, pass drug tests. Many employers only consider people at least 18 years old. Some collectors may work with especially dangerous and toxic materials, which does require special training. If the worker will be driving a commercial vehicle, a commercial driver's license may also be required for the job.

Instruction in basic safety procedures is necessary to become a construction worker, and knowledge of written and spoken English helps, along with some math skills.

Some construction subfields require licensing. This can vary by trade and by state or municipality. Voluntary certification is also available, usually offered by trade organizations and unions. Although these certifications are mandatory, they can help a worker advance and increase their pay.

What does a Construction Worker do?

Wherever there is construction, there is usually a large team of workers who work together to get the job done - housing tracts, commercial buildings, public works infrastructure, highways, etc. Construction workers are involved with every step of the process, whether the task is simple or complex, relatively safe or potentially very hazardous. Construction workers are responsible for preparing the site, operating machinery used in construction, applying skilled trade (e.g. carpentry, electrical installment), loading and transporting building materials, managing traffic around sites, removing debris and hazardous materials, and all the while minding health and safety regulations.

Construction workers may either work in the general construction trade, or may specialize in a field such as bricklaying, carpentry, or installing drywall. An apprenticeship, on the job training, or a vocational program is generally required for specialized construction work.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Construction Worker?

Workers must be able to keep up with the physical demands of the job, which can be very rigorous. As they often work in teams, teamwork and skills are also important. Self-motivation can be important for construction workers who are self-employed or who must market their services. A desire and ability to work hard is also imperative for construction workers.

How much do Construction Workers make?

In 2007, construction workers made between $17,000 - $51,000. This wide range varies according to experience, subfields, and many other factors.

Production and nonsupervising construction workers tend to make about $20 an hour, while supervisors make $25 or more and managers tend to make $35 an hour. Because construction workers are only able to work during good weather, the amount they make per month tends to vary widely.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Terence O'Sullivan is the president of the Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA) as well as a trustee of the Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund, the partnership between the Laborer's International Union of North America and the Associated General Contractors of America. Edward Hynds, Jr. is the Co-Chairman of the Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund is a partnership with the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) working alongside the Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA). The National Center for Construction Education and Research is another important organization. Another good source of information would be to research local unions in your area.

What are the top cities for Construction Worker jobs?

Because this job is needed in every city, there is no one city that has the "best" opportunities in this field. There do appear to be a large number of opportunities in cities throughout the US, however. There are trends, however, in growth and construction project concentration as each region and city in the US sometimes undergo booms. Construction workers are able to find work more easily during the dry months, but have more of a difficulty finding jobs during the rainy season, as there is usually much less work in the field during this time.

Other Careers of Interest

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