Construction Worker Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Construction Worker, or Day Laborer, is responsible for completing tasks on a construction site according to blueprints to create structurally sound buildings and other structures. Their duties include erecting scaffolding, unloading construction materials and operating heavy machinery to pour concrete and demolish buildings.

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Construction Worker duties and responsibilities

A Construction Worker’s responsibilities primarily focus on completing building projects in a timely and effective manner. The following are some responsibilities and duties of a Construction Worker:

  • Taking apart or constructing scaffolding, bracing and other temporary structures for the construction site
  • Digging trenches and backfill holes to prepare for the construction site
  • Operating equipment and heavy machinery used in construction sites
  • Following instructions from construction project managers and supervisors
  • Loading and unloading building materials
  • Cleaning the construction site by removing hazards materials and debris from the worksite
  • Assisting craft workers such as carpenters or electricians with their duties, if needed
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What does a Construction Worker do?

Construction Workers work for construction companies as part of a larger crew that works together to complete large, complex building projects. They work as a team to prepare a long-term plan Construction Workers dig holes and trenches to prepare a building’s foundation, plant explosives to break apart concrete structures, clear away debris and other hazards and set up barriers around the construction site. Construction Workers may have to climb scaffolding, carry heavy supplies, weld metal pieces together and lay bricks. They collaborate with Carpenters, Electricians and Plumbers to outfit buildings with amenities in a safe and secure way.

Construction Worker skills and qualifications

The following are important skills for a Construction Worker to have:

  • Basic math skills ti calculations while measuring on job sites and to help the surveying crew
  • Mechanical skills to use the heavy machinery and equipment that is used regularly on construction sites
  • Physical strength when performing heavy labor that is required from construction workers such as lifting materials
  • Physical stamina in order to handle the long hours of performing strenuous work during the day in hot or cold weather

Construction Worker salary expectations

A Construction Worker makes an average of $15.68 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Construction Worker education and training requirements

There is no particular formal education for construction workers, although those who help in electricity, plumbing and steam fitting, for instance, should have a high school diploma. Technical diplomas and/or certifications from schools that teach welding, blueprint reading and other vocations are also available. 

Typically, construction workers learn under the guidance of a more experienced worker if hired by a contractor. There are also apprenticeship programs that last anywhere from two to four years that combine classroom and real-world construction experience. Workers who handle hazardous materials have to meet federal and state requirements which can be gained through certifications.

Construction Worker experience requirements

Experience for a Construction Worker is usually acquired directly through working with more experienced professionals in the field as an assistant. There are no particular years of experience needed for his position, although any apprenticeships and previous construction work is a definite plus to have for a potential candidate. 

The more experience gained through certification and work, the more effectively a Construction Worker can specialize in a craft like welding, electricity or concrete. There are also certifications in rigging and scaffolding in which a Construction Worker can prove their skills.

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Frequently asked questions about Construction Workers

 

What qualities should a good Construction Worker have?

A good Construction Worker should be physically fit with great stamina and endurance to perform physical labor for long shifts in uncomfortable conditions. To be successful, Construction Workers should be active listeners who are able to meticulously follow a plan to its completion and excellent communicators who enjoy working as part of a team on large-scale activities that require several people to maneuver and install construction materials. Good Construction Workers have a strong work ethic, attention to detail and awareness of their surroundings that they use to finish projects according to health and safety standards and limit risk.

 

What are the daily duties of a Construction Worker?

On a typical day, a Construction Worker would meet at the job sit and review blueprints or other plans with their supervisor. Throughout the day they might spend time loading and unloading supplies from delivery trucks, staking boundaries to contain the worksite and working as a team to put together structures. Construction Workers can operate different types of large machinery while carrying out a project, like cement mixers, bulldozers, excavators, pavers, jackhammers and cranes. At the end of the day, Construction Workers dispose of unsafe materials and organize and secure the in-progress portions of a project to easily resume work.

 

What is the difference between a Construction Worker and a General Contractor?

Construction Workers and General Contractors both perform physical labor, but Construction Workers usually work for a large company while General Contractors work independently or on a team to complete smaller projects. Construction Workers tend to work on erecting a structure while General Contractors can work in construction and other specialties like carpentry, roofing and building other home finishings. General Contractors can also consult on projects and collaborate with engineers and architects to improve processes.

 

Who does a Construction Worker report to?

Construction Workers report to the site Foreman, who manages the activities of their team and creates a schedule for completing tasks. Foremans check the quality and integrity of a Construction Worker’s work and direct them to make any necessary changes. Construction Workers might also report to a Project Supervisor or Site Manager for large-scale projects that require more delegation.

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