Construction laborers are found on all construction sites executing a variety of tasks ranging from the easy to hazardous. They work at heavy construction sites, highway, buildings, commercials and residential sites, shaft excavations, tunnel, and demolition sites. Construction laborer's job requires training, physical strength, and enough experience.
Construction laborers have to deal with many tasks on the field. Generally, they specialize in a kind of construction such as tunnel or highway construction. Construction laborers who perform work in underground construction like demolition or tunnels are possibly specialize in only these areas.
The work of construction laborers is to prepare and clean construction sites. They remove debris and trees, compressors, tend pumps, build specific area for pouring concrete, and remove generators. They erect and disassemble scaffolding and temporary structures. They unload, load, distribute, and identify building materials to the proper location as per the project specifications and plans.
Construction laborers may mix concrete using machine that pumps concrete or portable mixer, cement, grout, plaster, sand, or stucco with the help of spray gun for application to walls and ceilings. They work with other craft workers comprising of plasterers, carpenters, masons, and operating engineers.
Construction laborers are accountable for oversight of the maintenance and installation of traffic control patterns and devices. These laborers perform a variety of tasks at highway construction sites including preparing and clearing rights of way and highway work zone, installing cones, traffic barricades, and markers, controlling traffic passing around and near work zone.
Construction laborers also install sewer, trenches, storm drain pipes, water, and place asphalt and concrete on roads. The other tasks consist of operating air, pneumatic, and electric drills, operating laser guidance equipment to set pipes, setting and transporting explosives for tunnel, road, and shaft construction.
The construction laborers assist the removal of hazardous materials used in construction such as lead, asbestos, and chemicals. Construction laborers operate a number of equipments including jackhammers, pavement breakers, earth tampers, and mortar, concrete, hydraulic and electrical boring machines, plaster mixers, small machine tools, torches, measuring equipments, laser beam equipments, and surveying equipments.
These construction laborers use computers to execute their work. The use of computer helps them to lessen their workload and perform the tasks in time. They also employ other high-tech input devices to direct cleaners and robotic pipe cutters. A construction laborer has to be accustomed to construction materials, duties of other craft workers, machinery, and tools used their field.
Construction laborers have to work in a team. They work with expert craft workers carrying out given construction tasks. Sometimes, construction laborers have to work alone reading plans, interpreting instructions, and specification with supervision.
Generally, every tasks related to construction requires enough amount of physical strength. Construction laborers may carry and lift heavy stoop, objects, crouch, kneel, stoop, or crawl in awkward positions. Most of the times, laborers have to work at great heights and in all weather conditions. They often work outdoors. Some work expose laborers to harmful chemical or materials, odors, fumes, dangerous machinery, and loud noise.
Some workers may be exposed to many hazardous substances, lead-based paint, asbestos, etc. during their work, especially, while working in restricted spaces. Workers wear safety clothing to avoid injury. These safety clothing may include hardhats, gloves, devices to protect eyes, protective chemical suits, devices to protect hearings and respiratory systems.
Construction laborers have to be alert to safety, especially, while working in underground construction. They need to follow safety procedures while working with underground construction like tunnels. Construction laborers, normally, work eight-hour shifts. However, longer shifts are common. At times, these laborers require working overtime. In few parts of the country, laborers many work during certain seasons only.
Construction laborer jobs require a spectrum of fundamental skills. Some construction laborers works require no specific educational qualifications. Apprenticeship for laborers needs a high school diploma or equivalent. High school classes in mathematics, English, blueprint reading, physics, mechanical drawing, general shop, and welding may be helpful.
Some construction laborers start their career with a contractor who offers on-the-job training. Construction laborers get employment through private agencies. These agencies offer short-term work to laborers. Generally, entry level workers' role is to help senior workers. They execute routine tasks such as preparing and cleaning site and unloading materials.
The entry level workers acquire knowledge from expert construction trades workers. They learn operating equipments and tools. Construction laborers need to attend vocational school, trade or community college to receive additional training in trade. Some large non-residential construction contractors offer formal apprenticeships to laborers. This apprenticeship incorporates various practical exercises to hone laborers' skills required to perform the tasks.
Employment in this realm is expected to grow in near future. Laborers who have specialized in a particular area and able to relocate near new construction project have the best opportunities. Sometimes, workers in this trade may face unemployment when there is fluctuation of the economy.