Construction Worker Job Description
Construction workers work on sites where houses, buildings, bridges, or other structures are being built.
Work Environment and Schedule
Construction workers do very physically demanding work that can be dangerous at times. Taking appropriate safety precautions can help minimize the risk of injury, but it’s rare to meet a construction worker who hasn’t had at least a few accidents. Getting hurt from time to time is part of the job.
Many construction workers do all of their work outside, which means that their comfort on the job is largely dependent on the weather of the day.
In some types of construction (such as roofing), work can be very seasonal. In places that have cold and wet winters, it’s common to work longer hours in the spring and summer and shorter hours in the winter.
In other types of construction (and in warmer climates), construction workers are busy all year long. And because this is a deadline driven occupation, they may be required to work frequent overtime.
In some cases, working at night is required. For example, highway maintenance workers often work late at night when the roads are less busy than they are during the day.
How to Become a Construction Worker
Most construction workers learn their trade through on the job training. The duration of the training varies from occupation to occupation. For instance, it takes years of training to become an electrician, but only a few months to become a carpet installer.
Many construction workers learn how to do their jobs through apprenticeships. Apprenticeships normally last between two and four years, and include both on the job training and technical instruction. Most apprenticeships are very specialized, and can lead to long term employment in your field of choice.
If you’re interested in an apprenticeship, you will have to be at least 18 years old to enter. In some cases, a high school diploma is also required. To find opportunities near you, check with a union or local contractor associations.
If you’re willing to pay for training, vocational schools and technical colleges are also good places to learn the basics of a trade.
There are currently 998,800 construction workers in the United States, with 29,240 new construction worker job openings created each year.
Construction Worker jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Construction Worker Salaries
Construction Worker salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most construction workers make between $22,900 – $40,800 per year, or $11.03 – $19.61 per hour.