Skilled Trades Careers

How to Become a Construction Laborer in America

DateMay 1, 2024
how to become a construction laborer in united states

Are you interested in starting a career in construction but unsure of where to begin? Becoming a construction laborer is a great entry point into the industry, with plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement.

Construction laborers are essential workers in America, responsible for assisting with various tasks on construction sites to ensure projects are completed efficiently and safely. In this article we explore the steps you need to take to become a construction laborer, including education and training requirements, job outlook, and potential salary expectations.

If you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, sign up for a free SkillHero account to create your skilled trade profile. Then follow this guide to create a career you can enjoy for years to come.

What is a construction laborer?

A construction laborer is a skilled worker who performs various physical tasks on a construction site to assist in the building process. They work under the guidance of skilled tradespeople and contribute to the overall progress of the project.

Laborers work alongside other professionals, such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers, to support their tasks. They are responsible for maintaining a clean and organized work environment, following safety protocols, and adapting to the needs of the team.

What does a construction laborer do at work?

These workers are responsible for a wide range of job activities, including preparing construction sites, cleaning and maintaining tools, and transporting materials and equipment. They may also assist in assembling scaffolding, operating machinery, and or digging trenches.

One advantage of this career path is that it requires less job training than most trades, with apprenticeship programs typically lasting only 24 months. Students who are more interested in hands-on skills than formal education may prefer it as a way of entering the industry.


What is the average salary for construction laborers?

The average salary for construction laborers varies depending on their level of experience. Apprentices earn around $29,490 per year, but on the high end an advanced laborer can earn as much as $66,850 annually.

Due to the two year apprenticeship period, this trade can be a good option for workers who want to focus on gaining promotions and higher pay quickly. For example, electricians are generally paid more but an experienced laborer can out-earn an apprentice electrician, and the electrician apprentice program lasts twice as long.

Construction laborers can also move into management positions or adopt a new trade or skill set in order to continue advancing their career. Factors other than experience that can influence salary expectations include geographic location, potential for overtime, and specialized certifications.

If you're interested in pursuing a career in construction or are already working in the trade, SkillHero can help connect you with opportunities and resources across America. Sign up for your free account here.

How hard is it to become a construction laborer?

This trade is more accessible than many careers because there is no formal education required beyond a high school diploma. Most workers start by learning on-the-job via an apprenticeship program or similar arrangement. This may include some classroom learning, but the role mostly focuses on assisting and learning from other trade workers on active job sites.

The most difficult aspect of being a construction laborer is the physically demanding nature of the job. Workers are required to lift heavy materials, operate machinery, and endure long hours in potentially unpleasant weather conditions.

Building and maintaining structures requires solid teamwork and the ability to use equipment and a variety of tools as needed. Construction workers should be ready to embrace challenges and overcome obstacles throughout the day.

How to become a construction laborer in the United States

Getting started in the construction field is an achievable goal for anyone who has the physical abilities required and is willing to follow the right steps and work hard. Let's dive into the basic steps you can get started on today that may carry you to a successful career.

Get a high school diploma or equivalent

To qualify for an apprenticeship, obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent credential is crucial. This educational milestone serves as a stepping stone towards a successful career in skilled trades.

A high school diploma or its equivalent demonstrates a basic level of knowledge and competence. Apprenticeships require that everyone have a minimum level of comprehension when it comes to language, basic math, and the ability to follow instructions. Obtaining a standard secondary school diploma or an alternative like a GED demonstrates that a student has these basic competencies.

Having received a standard educational credential also equips workers in entry-level positions to potentially attend programs at technical colleges or community colleges in the future to become a more valuable asset to the company.

Create a skilled trade resume

A strong resume is vital for skilled trade professionals seeking construction jobs. SkillHero's resume builder makes it easy to create a resume that highlights your knowledge and expertise. You can easily share your resume with opportunities on our platform or export it as a PDF.

When creating your skilled trade resume, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind: Emphasize your most relevant skills and certifications, provide detailed information about your most relevant experience, and include any additional training or courses you have completed to enhance your skills.

how to create a skilled trades resume

With SkillHero's resume builder you can ensure that your resume stands out and effectively represents your abilities to potential employers. Sign up for a free SkillHero account to take advantage of this multi-tool as you embark on your skilled trade career journey.

Find an apprenticeship program

Apprenticeships are crucial in the skilled trade industry, providing invaluable hands-on training and experience to aspiring professionals. These programs offer a unique opportunity for new hires to learn from seasoned workers in the field, gaining practical skills while earning a living wage.

By connecting students and workers with apprenticeship programs through ApprenticeConnect, SkillHero helps bridge the gap between education and employment. Apprenticeships not only provide necessary training but also invaluable mentorship, allowing anyone to develop mastery in their chosen trade.

Network within the construction industry

Networking in the construction industry is the ideal way to build professional relationships and connections. By interacting with fellow workers and employers, you create opportunities for potential jobs and stay updated on industry trends.

When you build a professional network, you get to learn from others' experiences, gain valuable insights, and expand your understanding of the industry. It opens doors to collaboration and partnerships, helping you establish a solid reputation in the construction industry.

Whether you're attending industry events, joining trade associations, or connecting through online platforms like SkillHero, networking enables you to grow your professional network and access a wealth of resources and training.

Obtain and update relevant certifications

Certifications can greatly enhance career prospects for workers in the construction industry. Getting certifications like OSHA safety training, forklift operation, or specialized trade skills can make you a more valuable and competitive candidate for construction laborer positions.

When you acquire multiple certifications in a specific industry, you demonstrate a strong commitment to safety, professionalism, and continuous learning. Employers value workers who invest in their skills and education, making certification a valuable asset for advancing your career in construction.

Who should become a construction laborer?

Anyone who possesses physical strength, a willingness to learn, and a knack for teamwork may be a good candidate for a career as a construction laborer. This thriving profession offers abundant career opportunities, and that's unlikely to change any time soon.

Sign up for a free SkillHero account to explore the possibilities and resources available to aspiring construction professionals and start building your professional network today.