What does a Construction Laborer do?

Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

Jobs Roles

  • Clean or prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards.
  • Read plans, instructions, or specifications to determine work activities.
  • Control traffic passing near, in, or around work zones.
  • Signal equipment operators to facilitate alignment, movement, or adjustment of machinery, equipment, or materials.
  • Dig ditches or trenches, backfill excavations, or compact and level earth to grade specifications, using picks, shovels, pneumatic tampers, or rakes.
  • Position, join, align, or seal structural components, such as concrete wall sections or pipes.
  • Measure, mark, or record openings or distances to layout areas where construction work will be performed.
  • Load, unload, or identify building materials, machinery, or tools, distributing them to the appropriate locations, according to project plans or specifications.
  • Erect or dismantle scaffolding, shoring, braces, traffic barricades, ramps, or other temporary structures.
  • Position or dismantle forms for pouring concrete, using saws, hammers, nails, or bolts.
  • Lubricate, clean, or repair machinery, equipment, or tools.
  • Operate jackhammers or drills to break up concrete or pavement.
  • Smooth or finish freshly poured cement or concrete, using floats, trowels, screeds, or powered cement finishing tools.
  • Operate or maintain air monitoring or other sampling devices in confined or hazardous environments.
  • Install sewer, water, or storm drain pipes, using pipe-laying machinery or laser guidance equipment.
  • Transport or set explosives for tunnel, shaft, or road construction.
  • Provide assistance to craft workers, such as carpenters, plasterers, or masons.
  • Tend pumps, compressors, or generators to provide power for tools, machinery, or equipment or to heat or move materials, such as asphalt.
  • Mop, brush, or spread paints, cleaning solutions, or other compounds over surfaces to clean them or to provide protection.
  • Place, consolidate, or protect case-in-place concrete or masonry structures.
  • Identify, pack, or transport hazardous or radioactive materials.
  • Use computers or other input devices to control robotic pipe cutters or cleaners.
  • Mix, pour, or spread concrete, using portable cement mixers.
  • Grind, scrape, sand, or polish surfaces such as concrete, marble, terrazzo, or wood flooring, using abrasive tools or machines.
  • Tend machines that pump concrete, grout, cement, sand, plaster, or stucco through spray guns for application to ceilings or walls.
  • Mix ingredients to create compounds for covering or cleaning surfaces.
  • Raze buildings or salvage useful materials.
  • Spray materials such as water, sand, steam, vinyl, paint, or stucco through hoses to clean, coat, or seal surfaces.
  • Apply caulking compounds by hand or caulking guns to protect against entry of water or air.
  • Apply weather-stripping to reduce energy loss.
  • Perform building weatherization tasks, such as repairing windows, adding insulation, or applying weather-stripping materials.
  • Perform construction laborer duties at green building sites, such as renewable energy plants or wind turbine installations.
  • Perform site activities required of green certified construction practices, such as implementing waste management procedures, identifying materials for reuse, or installing erosion or sedimentation control mechanisms.
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