Construction workers have been around for a long time, and the construction industry is showing signs of continued growth.
Construction workers perform many general labor tasks at construction sites, such as building infrastructure, remodeling old buildings, and operating machinery.
This job can be highly rewarding, and you’ll often need little to no experience to get hired. If you enjoy working with your hands, this job could be for you.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can expect to do as a construction worker, how to become one, and how much money you’ll make. We’ll also give you some resume tips to help you land a job.
The title “construction worker” is not a one-size-fits-all title. Construction projects vary and will require different responsibilities.
For example, in commercial construction, there are three varying sizes of jobs that each come with their own tasks, regulations, and responsibilities.
However, there are some commonalities between most construction jobs.
Common duties of a construction worker are:
Tidying up and preparing construction sites by removing possibly hazardous materials and debris
Loading and unloading building materials from trucks to be used on the job
Operating heavy machinery and power tools used for construction
Building or disassembling temporary structures and other sections of buildings
Preparing sites for construction by digging trenches, compacting earth, and backfilling holes
Following complex construction plans and designs from supervisors
However, these job duties can vary greatly.
A construction worker that works on road crews will have very different responsibilities than one building houses.
For example, a road crew member may learn to use different types of construction equipment, like a jackhammer, pavement breaker, earth tamper, and surveying equipment.
In general, expect to perform physically demanding tasks that require you to be able to lift heavy objects. You should also keep in mind that construction workers work in varied weather conditions.
With more specialization, you could have greater responsibilities involving explosives and computer-controlled pipe cutters.
Working in construction gives you the opportunity to use a different skill set than working in an office environment. For example, physical strength is an important part of the job, and you need to have excellent depth-perception skills.
A lot of the necessary skills come with experience. Since most construction jobs only require a high school diploma, it’s easy to get your foot in the door to build on your skills and advance to more senior positions.
Having your driver’s license is invaluable for construction, especially if you’re seeking out a supervisor position on a job site.
While you can find full-time work in construction with only a high school diploma, there are opportunities to earn more money with specializations.
Many construction laborers earn certifications in welding or scaffolding or even move onto becoming electricians after finding they enjoy this line of work.
On average, a construction laborer in the U.S. earns $37,080 per year, or $17.83 hourly.
Pay varies based on the specific type of construction work you do. For example, a laborer working in heavy and civil engineering construction can earn around $38,820, while a temporary helper will make around $31,040 annually.
Regardless of the specific type of role you’re applying for, you probably won’t have any problem finding jobs in construction.
Laborer, helper, and even construction manager positions are growing at a faster rate than average, with an expected 5% job growth between 2019-2029.
There will likely always be a need for these workers to repair and replace infrastructure. However, laborers may sometimes find themselves commuting to areas with a higher demand for construction in order to find employment.
An expertly crafted resume will help you land a job as a construction worker. Here are five tips to help get you started.
Rather than starting with what you want to gain, begin with a summary statement highlighting the skills you have to bring to the table.
Your summary statement should read like an elevator pitch highlighting your accomplishments and expertise.
Recruiters skim a resume for only an average of 7.4 seconds. You want to keep your resume organized with the most important information at the top so that they see it in that short amount of time.
Your experience should be after your summary statement, followed by your education.
Keep your resume skimmable by listing your experience and education sections in chronological order. This makes logical sense and will be easier for the recruiter to understand.
A recruiter seeing an unorganized resume will likely be unimpressed.
If you’re applying for construction jobs, do your best to list relevant experience. Make sure you include any previous construction experience you may have.
If you don’t have any, try to focus on relevant aspects of the experiences you do have and include that on your resume. Highlight any physical labor responsibilities you may have had at a job.
For example, if you were a barista, mention that you did a lot of lifting and cleaning.
It’s one thing to say that you did something, but if you can back it up with results, that’s even better. Use specific numbers to back up your claims on your resume.
There are many types of construction jobs hiring year-round. Let’s take a look at some positions to help you begin your job search.
A construction worker performs various tasks depending on the job site. You can find them preparing sites for construction, operating heavy equipment, and assembling structures.
Construction superintendents oversee the construction process. They are in charge of scheduling, sticking to a budget, and making sure construction plans are followed.
Inspectors review the plans (and completed projects) of buildings to ensure safety compliance. They also review old structures for safety purposes.
A construction engineer (or civil engineer) oversees the construction of large projects. They design and develop plans for the repair and construction of buildings.
A career in construction can be extremely rewarding for the right person.
If you enjoy working a physically demanding job rather than being behind a desk, you’ll enjoy this type of work. It’s a stable career choice with a good job outlook, and you aren’t required to complete extensive schooling.
You can find tips for job seekers to help you land a career in construction by visiting our Getting Hired Resource Center.