What does a laborer do?
Laborers typically work for construction companies or contractors to perform physical labor throughout the building process. They work closely with a team of Laborers and divide up tasks to complete them by set deadlines. Their job is to review blueprints, take measurements and use tools like shovels, jackhammers, concrete mixers or nail guns to carry out specific jobs. They may also be responsible for directing traffic during roadway construction and operating heavy machinery.
Laborer skills and qualifications
Laborers must exhibit a specific set of qualifications and skills in the performance of their daily duties. While the job is largely physical, there is also a range of mental skills and knowledge a good laborer must possess. A few of these important qualities and skills can include:
Color vision: Laborers must be able to distinguish color clearly to perform their duties, such as knowing which colors of wire an electrician needs.
Mathematics: Laborers have to perform calculations every day. Math skills that are vital to laborers include algebra and trigonometry, among others.
Mechanical acuity: Laborers also must maintain and operate heavy equipment and machinery, from forklifts to jackhammers and more.
Stamina and endurance: To perform their very physical job, laborers have to conduct strenuous and physically demanding tasks for long hours and in extreme environmental conditions.
Strength: The lifting duties involved in the job of a laborer often require lifting and carrying weights in excess of 50 pounds.
Laborer salary expectations
On average, laborers in the United States make about $12.83 per hour. The bottom range of the salary for brand-new laborers is roughly the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. At the high end of the range, the most experienced laborers who possess full qualifications and a variety of certifications can make as much as $24.20 per hour.
Laborer education and training requirements
For most laborer positions, a formal education is not generally required. However, a high school diploma is often needed to provide the basic math skills required for the job. In addition, those who work as assistants to professional tradespeople and craftspeople must have a high school education, which vocational-technical courses can bolster to teach blueprint reading, carpentry and welding. Those laborers who will be working with hazmat will need to be licensed in handling such materials. Your state can sometimes require other certifications for specific duties such as rigging, scaffold building and other complex tasks.
Laborer experience requirements
For the most part, experience isn’t required to become a laborer. As with any job, possessing experience can show a legacy of reliability and the ability to apply the necessary skills to perform the tasks required. This is especially true if your job history shows long-term employment, which demonstrates loyalty. Many laborers get their skills from on-the-job training, and if you have experience, employers will feel confident that they won’t have to spend as much time training you to perform the necessary duties at hand.
Job description samples for similar positions
Using this sample job description for laborers as a guide should help you with your own requirements. If it doesn’t fit and you can’t successfully modify it, consider one of these alternate and similar positions to use instead: