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Career profile Construction Laborer

Also known as Bituminous Asphalt Technician, Construction Laborer, Construction Worker, Drop Crew Laborer, Equipment Operator (EO), Form Setter, Post Framer, Scaffolding Operator, Site Work Laborer, Toolman

Construction Laborer

Also known as Bituminous Asphalt Technician, Construction Laborer, Construction Worker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$26,090 - $69,880 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
  • Coordination
Knowledge Areas
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Tend pumps, compressors, or generators to provide power for tools, machinery, or equipment or to heat or move materials, such as asphalt.
  • Lubricate, clean, or repair machinery, equipment, or tools.
  • Signal equipment operators to facilitate alignment, movement, or adjustment of machinery, equipment, or materials.
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What does a Construction Laborer do?

Construction Laborers perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites.

In addition, Construction Laborers

  • 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.

What kind of tasks does a Construction Laborer perform regularly?

Construction Laborers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Tend pumps, compressors, or generators to provide power for tools, machinery, or equipment or to heat or move materials, such as asphalt.
  • Lubricate, clean, or repair machinery, equipment, or tools.
  • Signal equipment operators to facilitate alignment, movement, or adjustment of machinery, equipment, or materials.
  • Read plans, instructions, or specifications to determine work activities.
  • Clean or prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards.
  • Measure, mark, or record openings or distances to layout areas where construction work will be performed.
  • Dig ditches or trenches, backfill excavations, or compact and level earth to grade specifications, using picks, shovels, pneumatic tampers, or rakes.
  • Load, unload, or identify building materials, machinery, or tools, distributing them to the appropriate locations, according to project plans or specifications.

The above responsibilities are specific to Construction Laborers. More generally, Construction Laborers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
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.
Monitoring 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.

What is a Construction Laborer salary?

The median salary for a Construction Laborer is $37,890, and the average salary is $43,000. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Construction Laborer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Construction Laborers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Construction Laborers earn less than $26,090 per year, 25% earn less than $30,690, 75% earn less than $50,330, and 90% earn less than $69,880.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Construction Laborers is expected to change by 8.0%, and there should be roughly 140,100 open positions for Construction Laborers every year.

Median annual salary
$37,890
Typical salary range
$26,090 - $69,880
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
8.0%

What personality traits are common among Construction Laborers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Construction Laborer are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Construction Laborers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Construction Laborer tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Construction Laborers moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Construction Laborers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Construction Laborers moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Construction Laborers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Construction Laborers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Construction Laborers need?

Working as a Construction Laborer usually requires a high school diploma.

Construction Laborers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Construction Laborers

  • 32.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 40.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.3% completed some college coursework
  • 4.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Construction Laborers

Construction Laborers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as building and construction, public safety and security, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Construction Laborers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.

Important Abilities needed by Construction Laborers

Construction Laborers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Construction Laborers need abilities such as manual dexterity, static strength, and multilimb coordination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Construction Laborers, ranked by their relative importance.

Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Construction Laborers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Construction Laborers frequently use skills like speaking, active listening, and coordination to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Construction Laborers, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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