Career Development

What Does a Construction Worker Do?

Find out what a construction worker does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a construction worker.

Construction workers are the people who build our homes, schools, and other buildings. They’re also responsible for repairing roads, bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure.

Construction work is physically demanding and often dangerous. Construction workers must be able to lift heavy objects, climb ladders, and work with various tools and equipment. They may spend long days on the job site in all kinds of weather conditions.

Construction Worker Job Duties

Construction workers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Installing and repairing electrical wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and other construction materials
  • Reading blueprints and other plans in order to determine the best way to complete a project
  • Managing projects by hiring contractors, subcontractors, and workers needed to complete the project
  • Installing electrical wiring and light fixtures or repairing wiring and light fixtures that have been damaged or broken
  • Operating heavy machinery such as forklifts, cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, and excavators
  • Installing structural supports such as joists and beams, using construction materials such as wood or steel
  • Installing plumbing pipes and fixtures such as faucets and toilets
  • Installing sheetrock, tile, or other materials used in construction projects
  • Maintaining inventory records of all construction materials used onsite and checking materials in and out of storage facilities

Construction Worker Salary & Outlook

The salary of a construction worker can vary depending on a number of factors, including their level of experience, the type of project they are working on, and the region in which they are working.

  • Median Annual Salary: $41,500 ($19.95/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $76,500 ($36.78/hour)

The employment of construction workers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

The need to repair and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and airports, should lead to increased demand for construction workers. In addition, continued growth in residential and commercial real estate development will require more workers to build these projects.

Construction Worker Job Requirements

A construction worker may have the following prerequisites:

Education: Construction workers typically need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some construction workers may also choose to pursue a two-year associate degree in construction technology. This degree provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to work in the construction industry.

Training & Experience: Many construction companies will provide on-the-job training for new hires. This training will typically include safety procedures, how to use equipment and how to complete daily tasks. Some construction companies may require that new hires have experience in a related field, such as carpentry or masonry.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Construction Worker Skills

Construction workers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Construction workers need to communicate with their coworkers and supervisors to understand plans and instructions. They also need to communicate with clients to understand their needs and expectations. Effective communication can help you work with others to solve problems and complete projects on time.

Organization: Construction workers need organizational skills to keep track of their tools, paperwork and other materials. Organization skills can also help you manage your time and prioritize tasks. You can use organization skills to plan your workday, keep track of your materials and ensure you complete your work on time.

Problem-solving: Construction workers use problem-solving skills to find solutions to challenges they face on the job. For example, if a piece of equipment isn’t working, they may need to find a way to fix it or find an alternative. This can help them complete their work and keep the project on schedule.

Physical fitness: Construction workers need to be physically fit to perform their duties. Physical fitness can help you complete tasks more efficiently and safely. It can also help you prevent injuries and stay active throughout your career.

Safety: Construction workers need to be aware of the safety regulations in their area and follow them to prevent accidents. They should also be able to identify potential hazards and take steps to avoid them. This can include following proper safety procedures and using the right tools for the job.

Construction Worker Work Environment

Construction workers typically work full time, and some workers may have to work overtime hours to complete a project on time. They work outdoors, often in inclement weather, and are exposed to a variety of health and safety risks, such as falls, cuts, and bruises. Construction workers must wear protective clothing, such as hard hats, gloves, and steel-toed boots, to minimize these risks. They also use a variety of tools and equipment, such as power saws, drills, and forklifts, which can be dangerous if not used properly. Construction workers typically work on construction sites, where they may be required to climb ladders or scaffolding, work in trenches, or stand for long periods of time.

Construction Worker Trends

Here are three trends influencing how construction workers work. Construction workers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Robotics in Construction

The use of robotics in construction is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity as it offers many benefits to both contractors and their clients.

By using robots, contractors can save time and money by automating tasks that would otherwise require human labor. This allows them to focus on more important projects and gives them the flexibility to hire workers based on the needs of the project.

Clients also benefit from the use of robotics in construction because they can be sure that their projects will be completed on time and within budget. Additionally, robots can often perform tasks more accurately than humans can, which can lead to better-quality work.

More Collaboration Between Contractors and Subcontractors

As the construction industry continues to grow, so too does the need for collaboration between contractors and subcontractors.

This trend is being driven by the increasing complexity of construction projects, which requires a wide range of skills and expertise. By collaborating with each other, contractors and subcontractors can share this knowledge and work together to create a finished product that is greater than the sum of its parts.

A Greater Focus on Sustainability

Sustainability has become an increasingly important issue in the construction industry, as builders are realizing the impact that their decisions have on the environment.

As sustainability becomes more important, construction workers will need to learn how to build in a way that is environmentally friendly. This includes using materials that are sustainable, such as recycled wood or metal, and designing buildings that are energy efficient.

How to Become a Construction Worker

Construction workers have a lot of options when it comes to their career path. They can move up the ladder and become superintendents, project managers, or construction managers. They can also specialize in a particular area of construction, such as carpentry, masonry, or electrical work.

No matter what direction they choose, construction workers should always be looking for ways to improve their skills and learn new techniques. They can do this by attending workshops and training sessions offered by their employer or by taking courses at local colleges and trade schools.

Related: How to Write a Construction Worker Resume

Advancement Prospects

Construction workers who have completed an apprenticeship program or have received on-the-job training can advance to become journey workers. Journey workers are construction workers who have completed an apprenticeship or have received extensive on-the-job training and have the skills to perform all tasks in their trade. Some journey workers may become supervisors or lead workers.

Construction workers may also advance to become general contractors, construction managers, or project engineers. These positions usually require several years of experience as a journey worker or in a related occupation, such as estimator, carpenter, or electrician. Some states require general contractors to be licensed.

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