Construction Job Overview and Description

Employment of construction laborers is tied to the fluctuations of the economy; when the demand for construction falls, laborers and helpers may experience periods of unemployment. However, during peak periods of building activity more jobs are available than what can be filled by the labor pool.

Overall, the BLS projects that job growth in this field is expected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Due to the relatively high turnover rate, jobs are widely available.


What is a Construction job?

Construction laborers provide a wide variety of construction-related activities during all phases of construction. The types of tasks that laborers may perform include preparing and cleaning up construction sites, operating heavy equipment, transporting materials and disposing waste. Laborers with more specialized training may use explosives or run hydraulic machines to dig out tunnel and may be certified to remove hazardous materials such as, asbestos, lead, or chemicals.


Construction job overview?

Most construction work is physically demanding, and laborers may be required to work outside, at great heights or in tunnels. Laborers often use protective gear, like gloves, safety googles and earplugs around loud equipment. Most laborers work full-time, although sometimes work may be stopped due to bad weather and some jobs may be only seasonal.

Constructions laborers have some of the highest injuries amongst all occupations; they often experience muscle fatigue and injuries related to lifting and carrying heavy materials. Some jobs may expose workers to dangerous materials, fumes and machinery and workers may suffer injuries due to falling off ladders and scaffolding.


What are the different types of Construction jobs?

  • Construction laborers. Prepare and clean up construction site. Operate heavy equipment.
  • Helpers. Assist construction craftworkers, such as electricians and carpenters with a variety of tasks. Also assist with cleaning up sites, taking apart equipment, and disposing of waste.
  • Construction Craftworkers. Laborers that specialize in a specific skill, usually electricians, carpenters, and masons.
  • Foreman. Plan, organize, and coordinate building projects from start to finish.

What type of education do you need for Construction jobs?

A formal education is not typically required for most positions. Helpers of electricians, pipefitters, plumbers, etc., may require a high school diploma.

Most training earned by laborers will be through on-the-job training. The length of training depends on the employer and specialization.

For some specializations, workers may enter apprenticeship programs, which includes 2 to 4 years of technical instructions and on-the-job training. The type of skills an apprentice will learn will be in areas of signaling, blueprint reading, proper usage of tools and equipment, and health and safety procedures. Apprenticeships programs also consists in specialized training in many areas of construction, including building construction, demolition and destruction, environmental remediation, road and utility construction, tunneling, masonry, landscaping, pipeline construction.


What is a typical salary for Construction jobs?

The median annual salary for construction laborers and helpers is around $33,450. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,930 and the highest 10% earned more than $60,860.

Starting pay for most apprentices is usually 60% of what a fully trained laborer makes and will receive more pay increases as they gain more skills.


What are job requirements for Construction jobs?

Laborers and helpers who remove hazardous materials must meet minimum and state requirements. Certification may be needed for jobs like rigging and scaffold building. These types of certifications may be attained through LIUNA.

Other desired qualities include mechanical and math skills, physical stamina, and physical strength.


Where can you find a Media job listing?

You can search for a construction job listing through websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, SimplyHired, and JobsInEachState.com. You can also check your local papers or do a general web search for your area for construction jobs.


What Construction companies are hiring?

  1. Bechtel Corp.
    Bechtel claimed the top spot on ENR's Top 400 Contractors list for the 20th year in a row.
  2. Fluor Corp.
    Fluor was the main electrical contractor involved in the Puerto Rico Power Restoration Project, helping to rebuild the island's electric grid in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
  3. Turner Construction
    ENR has named Turner the top green building contractor for 10 consecutive years.
  4. AECOM
    AECOM is the only engineering company in the world to have planned, designed and constructed a hyperloop project.
  5. Kiewit
    Kiewit uses a unique system of decentralized offices located in various markets around the U.S.
  6. Skanska
    Skanska has more than 10,000 active projects annually.
  7. PCL Construction Enterprises
    PCL Construction is 100% employee-owned.
  8. Whiting-Turner
    The company was founded in 1909 by two classmates at MIT.
  9. CB&I
    CB&I merged with McDermott International in May to create a vertically integrated onshore and offshore engineering and construction company.
  10. Tutor Perini
    Tutor Perini was active during the Great Depression and President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Interstate Highway program.

The construction companies listed above are always looking to add to their list of employees and contracters. With larger scale projects starting across the country now is good time to get into the growing Construction business.


Do construction jobs pay well?

The average construction salary is on par with the national average for salaries. However a job in construction opens the doors for lots of potential job and salary growth with career paths that can lead to Construction Project Managers, Construction Managers, Construction Superintendents, and more.

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