Laborers are an essential part of the construction process, especially when it comes to large projects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the occupation will grow by 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, which equates to about 34,000 new jobs. Qualifications for construction laborers range from age requirements to physical fitness and even the necessary experience required to obtain certification and licensure. Check out this guide to learn more about what construction laborers do, how they’re different from other construction workers, and much more!
Hand/Eye & Body Coordination
Building anything requires intense coordination between two or more people. Everything, from constructing homes to building bridges, requires workers to be on top of their game with respect to coordination. That’s why it is so important for construction laborers to possess a certain level of hand/eye and body coordination. This allows them to get projects done on time and under budget.
In-Depth Knowledge of Industry
Construction laborers need in-depth knowledge of their industry as it involves different types of work. If a laborer does not have enough knowledge about the construction industry, they will never perform well at their job. Therefore, for a laborer to get an entry-level job, they should have detailed knowledge about the entire construction industry and operations.
Problem Solving Skills
When your job is to work with concrete, steel, and other building materials, it’s crucial that you think on your feet. In construction, things don’t always go as planned. For example, what do you do if part of a slab collapses during a demolition? Or if some steel beams aren’t shipped until right before they need to be put in place? The ability to think through these kinds of questions and make good decisions quickly is a primary qualification for any laborer. Skilled laborers must rely on their problem-solving abilities to determine what tools are needed and how to use them and identify possible hazards to keep themselves and those around them safe during a project.
Attention to Detail
If you’re a construction laborer, attention to detail is one of your most important qualifications. A lot of what a construction laborer does involves correcting any mistakes made by others, so you have to make sure that everything looks as precise and perfect as possible. For example, if you’re painting walls in a house, making sure every wall is painted with an even coat without any streaks or patches is part of your job.
Sound Knowledge of Hand & Power Tools
Construction laborers should know how to use a wide variety of hand and power tools. Some specific knowledge will be required depending on the type of project they are working on. For example, construction laborers working in a factory or warehouse setting would need more experience with hand tools than those working on highways or bridges. Similarly, construction laborers that work with concrete need to have a strong knowledge of cement, reinforced steel bars, and fiberglass mesh.
Working in any environment comes with its challenges. Construction laborers have to have a certain level of strength to do their job on a day-to-day basis. They often lift and carry heavy items, so they need to be in shape and physically capable of handling these tasks every day.
Unafraid of Hard Work Construction work is dirty, difficult work. It involves being outside in all kinds of weather, working long hours, and performing physical labor for most of that time period.