Construction Worker

   Houses and Buildings

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs



Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Construction workers assist tradespeople on building and construction sites by doing a range of manual labouring jobs. Future Growth Strong


Alternative names: Builder's Labourer, Labourer

Specialisations: Construction workers may specialise by working with particular tradespeople as a trade's assistant, such as a plasterer's or bricklayer's labourer, or a carpenter's assistant.

Experienced construction workers may obtain high-risk work licences or 'tickets' to undertake a number of specialised roles such as concrete workers, doggers, riggers, scaffolders or steel fixers. They may also advanced to these positions with on-site or short-course training.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • physically fit
  • enjoy practical and outdoor work
  • able to work as part of a team
  • a good awareness and understanding of on-site safety issues
  • able to work at a constant pace
  • able to follow precise directions.

Duties and Tasks

Construction workers may perform the following tasks:
Construction workers with jackhammer

  • unload, carry and stack building materials and place tools and equipment in position
  • dig trenches using hand tools or jackhammers to break up rock and concrete, so that footings and services can be laid
  • place and compact filling and quarry materials
  • help to erect and dismantle scaffolding (subject to certification in some states and territories), ramps, catwalks, barricades and warning lights
  • control traffic passing near, in, or around work zones
  • clean away debris, rubble and other waste materials
  • prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards
  • read plans, instructions, or specifications to determine work activities
  • load or unload building materials, machinery, or tools, and distribute them to the appropriate locations
  • lay out areas where construction work will be performed, through measurements or markings
  • operate hand and power tools of all types
  • dig trenches and erect or dismantle scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris and other waste materials.
  • mix, pour and spread concrete
  • use wheelbarrows to remove rubble and rubbish from building sites
  • dismantle small structures and strip materials in preparation for new constructions
  • clean surfaces for painters.

Working Conditions

Construction workers mostly work outdoors. In a full-time job you would work a standard number of hours per week, which may include weekend shiftwork. Most construction work is physically demanding. Some construction work needs to be done at heights or outdoors in all weather conditions. Construction workers have a high rate of injuries and illnesses.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a construction worker without formal qualifications. You would get some training on the job.

You can also become a construction worker through a traineeship or apprenticeship in Construction or Civil Construction. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Additional Information

Construction workers who work at heights must complete a Work Safely at Heights short course. All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). Authorised training is conducted by Registered Training Organisations.

Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Construction, Plumbing and Services or Resources and Infrastructure Training Packages that will expand your career opportunities within these industries.

Employment Opportunities

Construction workers work for large construction firms and smaller building subcontractors. Many gain employment through labour hire companies. They work on the construction of a range of buildings, including residential houses, apartment complexes, shopping centres, offices, hotels, factories, tourist resorts, public buildings, hospitals and schools. Construction workers also work on heavy industrial or civil construction sites; road, tunnel and shaft excavations; demolition sites; and local government works.

On completion of a job, construction workers may have to apply to new sites for their next job. If they work for a civil, building or trade subcontractor (bricklayer, for example), new worksites may be organised for them. employment opportunities can vary greatly in line with trends in the civil or building and construction industries.

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