If you want a physical job that lets you work with your hands, becoming a construction worker is a great career opportunity for you. General labor jobs in construction also let you gain valuable experience if you’re interested in getting a higher-paying role in the skilled trades. Below, we share what you need to know about becoming a construction worker, including wages, general duties and career outlook.
How much does a construction worker make?
The median annual wage for construction laborers and helpers was $17.83 per hour in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Skilled construction workers like electricians and welders have a higher hourly wage. However, they have more experience and training than a general laborer.
What does a construction worker do?
Construction workers assist in the building or construction of various projects. They may also help with a variety of related duties on the job site. For example, these include moving, securing, installing, building, and loading or unloading materials. Depending on the job site, they may also be tasked with using heavy and light equipment.
Where do construction workers work?
Jobs in construction are available in most if not all cities throughout North America. Most construction workers typically work on a full-time basis at a variety of sites, including:
- Building, highway and heavy construction sites.
- Residential and commercial sites.
- Tunnel and shaft excavations.
- Demolition sites.
Construction workers can also expect to work outdoors in all weather conditions and often at great heights.
What skills and traits does this role require?
Jobs in construction require physical strength and stamina along with dexterity and coordination. Strong reading and math skills are necessary too. Also, hand-eye coordination is especially important to avoid potential injuries on site. Meanwhile, construction workers need familiarity with the duties that skilled trades professionals like electricians and welders have on site and with the materials, tools and machinery they use.
What qualifications do you need as a construction worker?
Although most construction workers specialize in a type of construction, some are generalists who perform many different tasks during all stages of construction. Experience on commercial construction sites is preferred but not required for most roles. Some assignments have additional screening requirements, such as background checks and/or drug screenings.
What’s the job outlook for this role?
Overall employment of construction workers is projected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . That’s about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 167,800 openings for construction laborers and helpers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
PeopleReady connects you with jobs in construction
PeopleReady gives you access to many different jobs in construction within your community. Our app, JobStack, lets you apply to jobs 24/7 and choose ones that fit your skill set and schedule. You can also explore jobs in a variety of other industries.
Meanwhile, if you’re a skilled laborer or tradesperson, our specialized subdivision, PeopleReady Skilled Trades, can connect you with jobs in construction. For example:
- Cleanup crew members.
- Construction managers.
- Sheet metal workers.
- And more!
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