Summary Report for:
47-2061.00 - Construction Laborers
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Bituminous Asphalt Technician, Construction Laborer, Construction Worker, Drop Crew Laborer, Equipment Operator (EO), Form Setter, Post Framer, Scaffolding Operator, Site Work Laborer, Toolman
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Tend pumps, compressors, or generators to provide power for tools, machinery, or equipment or to heat or move materials, such as asphalt.
- Lubricate, clean, or repair machinery, equipment, or tools.
- Signal equipment operators to facilitate alignment, movement, or adjustment of machinery, equipment, or materials.
- Read plans, instructions, or specifications to determine work activities.
- Measure, mark, or record openings or distances to layout areas where construction work will be performed.
- Clean or prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards.
- Dig ditches or trenches, backfill excavations, or compact and level earth to grade specifications, using picks, shovels, pneumatic tampers, or rakes.
- Load, unload, or identify building materials, machinery, or tools, distributing them to the appropriate locations, according to project plans or specifications.
- Position, join, align, or seal structural components, such as concrete wall sections or pipes.
- 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.
- Control traffic passing near, in, or around work zones.
- Install sewer, water, or storm drain pipes, using pipe-laying machinery or laser guidance equipment.
- Operate or maintain air monitoring or other sampling devices in confined or hazardous environments.
- Smooth or finish freshly poured cement or concrete, using floats, trowels, screeds, or powered cement finishing tools.
- Erect or dismantle scaffolding, shoring, braces, traffic barricades, ramps, or other temporary structures.
- Provide assistance to craft workers, such as carpenters, plasterers, or masons.
- Perform building weatherization tasks, such as repairing windows, adding insulation, or applying weather-stripping materials.
- Apply weather-stripping to reduce energy loss.
- Spray materials, such as water, sand, steam, vinyl, paint, or stucco, through hoses to clean, coat, or seal surfaces.
- Raze buildings or salvage useful materials.
- Mop, brush, or spread paints, cleaning solutions, or other compounds over surfaces to clean them or to provide protection.
- Position or dismantle forms for pouring concrete, using saws, hammers, nails, or bolts.
- Grind, scrape, sand, or polish surfaces, such as concrete, marble, terrazzo, or wood flooring, using abrasive tools or machines.
- Place, consolidate, or protect case-in-place concrete or masonry structures.
- Mix ingredients to create compounds for covering or cleaning surfaces.
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk Revit
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Project management software — Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Adjustable forks — Brick carrier forks; Forks
- Adjustable widemouth pliers
- Adjustable wrenches
- Air compressors
- Air samplers or collectors — Air monitoring equipment
- Asphalt finishers — Asphalt mops
- Bandsaw wheel — Bandsaws
- Belt conveyors
- Bituminous material distributors — Oil distributors
- Blades or tooth or other cutting edges — Stump cutters
- Blow torch — Liquid propane torches; Oxygen/acetylene torches; Torches
- Boring or sinking machinery — Electric boring machines; Hydraulic boring machines
- Burners — Kerosene burners; Smudge pots
- Caulking guns
- Cement pumping units — Concrete pumpers
- Chip Spreaders
- Cold chisels
- Combination pliers — Fencing pliers
- Compactors — Walk-behind compacting equipment
- Concrete mixers or plants — Concrete mixers
- Concrete spreaders — Laser screeds; Screeds
- Coring equipment — Coring machines
- Demolition equipment kits — Demolition saws
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Remote pipe cameras
- Drain or pipe cleaning equipment — Robotic pipe cleaners; Sewer rodding machines
- Drilling machines — Drill presses
- Dump trucks
- Explosive initiators — Dynamite blasters
- Forklifts — Masonry forklifts; Rough terrain forklifts
- Gas detectors — Gas leak detection devices
- Gas generators — Generators
- Gin pole and accessories — Gin poles
- Graders — Motor graders
- Grinders — Hand grinders
- Hammer drills — Rotary hammers
- Hand sprayers — Stucco spray guns
- Hand trucks or accessories — Hand trucks
- Hazardous material protective apparel — Protective suits
- Hoes — Mortar hoes
- Hole saws — Hole cutters
- Hydraulic rock drills — Wagon drills
- Hydraulic truck cranes — Hydraulic booms
- Impact hammers
- Impact wrenches
- Instrument tripods — Tripods
- Kettle exchangers — Asphalt kettles
- Laser measuring systems — Laser guidance equipment for pipe placement; Laser measuring devices
- Leak testing equipment — Smoke testers
- Level sensors or transmitters — Transit levels
- Levels — Carpenters' levels; Laser levels; Spirit levels; Water levels
- Lifting hooks — Bale hooks
- Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Pickup trucks
- Manlift or personnel lift — Bosun chairs; Manlifts; Swing chairs; Swing stages
- Measuring rods — Surveying rods
- Measuring wheels for distance — Measuring wheels
- Mowers — Mowing equipment
- Mud pumps — Mud jacks
- Paint sprayers
- Paving breakers — Pavement breakers
- Picks — Mattocks
- Pipe or tube cutter — Robotic pipe cutters
- Plasma arc welding machine — Plasma cutters
- Plaster or mortar mixers — Mortar mixers; Plaster mixers
- Plumb bobs
- Pneumatic drill — Air drills; Pneumatic drills
- Pneumatic hammer — Jackhammers
- Pneumatic sanding machines — Sandblasters
- Post hole digger — Post hole augers
- Power buggies
- Power chippers — Chipping guns
- Power drills — Electric drills; Hammer drills
- Power grinders — Bench grinders; Disc grinders; Pedestal grinders
- Power nail guns — Nail guns
- Power sanders — Floor sanders
- Power saws — Circular saws; Hydraulic track-guided wall saws; Reciprocating saws; Walk-behind saws (see all 13 examples)
- Power screwguns — Power screwdrivers
- Pressure or steam cleaners — Pressure washers; Steam cleaning equipment; Steam jennies
- Pry bars — Crowbars
- Pullers — Wire stretchers
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Punches
- Remote reading thermometers — Temperature probes
- Rollers — Road rollers
- Rotary tiller mixers — Paddle mixers
- Safety harnesses or belts — Fall arrest systems
- Scissor lift or lift table — Scissor lifts
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Shielded arc welding tools
- Shoring equipment — Hydraulic speed shoring equipment
- Shotcrete spraying equipment — Guniting machines
- Skid steer loaders
- Sludge or sewage handling trucks — Sewer cleaner vactors
- Snowplow attachments — Snowplows
- Space heaters — Salamanders
- Sprayers — Weed sprayers
- Squares — Carpenters' squares
- Staple guns — Pneumatic staplers
- Stonemason hammer — Brick hammers
- Tampers — Earth tampers
- Tape measures
- Threading taps — Tappers
- Tongs — Brick tongs
- Track loaders — Crawler shovels
- Trenching machines — Trenchers
- Trowels — Tuck pointers
- Two way radios
- Vacuum cleaners — Ride-on vacuum cleaners; Sidewalk sweepers; Suction sweepers
- Vibratory plates — Vibratory plate compactors
- Water samplers
- Water trucks — Jet trucks for cleaning sewer lines; Water spraying equipment; Water tank trucks
- Welding masks — Welding hoods
- Wheel loaders — Loaders
- Wire and cable pulling device — Cable pullers
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Operate pumps or compressors.
- Clean equipment or facilities.
- Maintain construction tools or equipment.
- Signal equipment operators to indicate proper equipment positioning.
- Install plumbing or piping.
- Position structural components.
- Install green structural components, equipment or systems.
- Direct vehicle traffic.
- Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
- Finish concrete surfaces.
- Test air quality at work sites.
- Clean work sites.
- Compact materials to create level bases.
- Dig holes or trenches.
- Mark reference points on construction materials.
- Measure work site dimensions.
- Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
- Dismantle equipment or temporary structures.
- Load or unload materials used in construction or extraction.
- Move construction or extraction materials to locations where they are needed.
- Install insulation in equipment or structures.
- Assist skilled construction or extraction personnel.
- Apply paint to surfaces.
- Apply sealants or other protective coatings.
- Clean surfaces in preparation for work activities.
- Remove worn, damaged or outdated materials from work areas.
- Position construction forms or molds.
- Smooth surfaces with abrasive materials or tools.
- Install masonry materials.
- Protect structures or surfaces near work areas to avoid damage.
- Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
- Break up rock, asphalt, or concrete.
- Pour materials into or on designated areas.
- Spread concrete or other aggregate mixtures.
- Prepare hazardous waste for processing or disposal.
- Operate heavy-duty construction or installation equipment.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 68% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 58% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 19% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Telephone — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 16% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 16% responded “About half the time.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 46% responded “Very important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 83% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 27% responded “High responsibility.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 42% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work Schedules — 53% responded “Irregular (changes with weather conditions, production demands, or contract duration).”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 60% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 26% responded “Very important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 16% responded “Not important at all.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 26% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 66% responded “40 hours.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 26% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$18.22 hourly, $37,890 annual|
|Employment (2019)||1,398,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Faster than average (5% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||141,100|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Subcontractors Association
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- Laborers' International Union of North America
- LIUNA Training and Education Fund
- National Center for Construction Education and Research
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Construction laborers and helpers
- The Associated General Contractors of America