Construction Laborers

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Also known as:
Air Hammer Operator, Construction Craft Laborer, Construction Laborer, Construction Trench Digger

ABOUT CONSTRUCTION LABORER CAREERS
Video transcript

Construction laborers are skilled workers who provide much of the physically demanding labor at all kinds of construction projects, from excavation to building to demolition.

Depending on the specialty of the company that hires them, laborers might clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, mix and place concrete, or even work with hazardous materials or explosives.

To do all these things, they assist other craft workers and operate a wide range of equipment. But all construction laborers can expect to do repetitive, physically demanding work, with noise, fumes, and dangers that require safety gear, such as hard hats, gloves, face masks, ear protectors, and eyewear.

It's tough work, but it is available to anyone who's strong enough and reliable enough to show up and work steadily and safely.

SNAPSHOT
Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris, and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
MED
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
MED
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Read plans, instructions, or specifications to determine work activities.

Measure, mark, or record openings or distances to layout areas where construction work will be performed.

Clean or prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards.

Lubricate, clean, or repair machinery, equipment, or tools.

Tend pumps, compressors, or generators to provide power for tools, machinery, or equipment or to heat or move materials, such as asphalt.

Load, unload, or identify building materials, machinery, or tools, distributing them to the appropriate locations, according to project plans or specifications.

Signal equipment operators to facilitate alignment, movement, or adjustment of machinery, equipment, or materials.

Dig ditches or trenches, backfill excavations, or compact and level earth to grade specifications, using picks, shovels, pneumatic tampers, or rakes.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
TOP SKILLS
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.