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Job Descriptions

Construction Worker

Construction workers usually work repairing and building a variety of structures, buildings, highways, roads, and bridges. If you are a construction worker, you will have some clearly defined and repetitive tasks (e.g., pouring and forming concrete, drilling holes).

This job usually does not have an educational requirement. However, some employers may require a high school diploma and/or a GED certificate.

Previous Experience

Previous experience doing similar work or working in a similar setting or is preferred.
Although many employers prefer that you have previous experience in the same or similar area of employment, it is strongly encouraged that you apply anyways if you have the required skills.

Job Duties

(These duties are for a general construction laborer).

  • Clean and prepare construction sites by removing debris, garbage, and trees.
  • Load and unload building materials.
  • Operate large powered machinery and equipment (e.g., saws, drills, grinders, blowtorches, pressure cleaners, jackhammers).
  • Operate construction-related equipment (e.g., driving trucks or forklifts/manlifts).
  • Mixing cement, sand, and water with a concrete mixer.
  • Setting, pouring, leveling, and forming concrete.
  • Control traffic passing near work areas by directing with signs, barricades, and traffic cones.
  • Dig ditches or trenches using shovels, picks, and jackhammers.
  • Your employer may also ask you to carry out additional duties than those listed here.

What’s Your Scene?

This job requires that you are able to work ‘Behind the Scene’. If you are working as a construction worker, you will not be working with the public on a regular basis.  However, you may be required to speak with and interact with co-workers. You will also need to communicate with your supervisor to find out what duties need to be taken care of.

Skills / Abilities

Manual Dexterity - This job requires the repeated and coordinated use of your arms, hands, wrists, and fingers to use handheld tools (e.g., hammers).

Physical Strength – This job requires that you are physically able to hold, push, pull, lift and carry heavy items (e.g., pushing a pressure cleaner or concrete blocks).

Oral Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to follow verbal instructions and ideas.

Environmental Demands

Location – If you work as a construction worker, you will be working outdoors, therefore, you will need to like working in the sun.

Noise Level - The noise level will usually be loud. If you are working near powered equipment or machinery (e.g., concrete mixer, jackhammer) you will be exposed to loud noises. Typically, you will be required to wear headphones on your ears to protect your hearing.

Lighting Level - You will usually be exposed to natural lighting (e.g., sunlight).

Work Hours- This job will typically be 8-hour shifts, however this type of work can be seasonal work. Construction workers can work during the day or at night. You will have to discuss with your employer the types of shifts you can work.

Amount of Movement –This job typically requires that you stand for long periods of time and may involve heavy manual labor. You will need to be able to stand, sit, walk, bend, stoop, reach, lift, push, pull, and carry items for this job. For example, you may need to lift heavy concrete blocks into a wheelbarrow and pull the wheelbarrow to a designated area.

Cleanliness and Odors - This job setting can get dirty as you will be working with raw building materials (e.g., concrete, sand, tar, gravel). Construction sites often include smells such as tar and exhaust fumes.

Work Attire - Work attire will typically be casual clothing as you will most likely get dirt on your clothes. Some employers may give you a t-shirt/hat with a company logo on it or overalls to wear at work. They may also require that you wear personal protective equipment such as hard hats, gloves, safety vests, goggles, and steel-toed boots. If working with loud powered tools, you may be required to wear headphones on your ears to protect your hearing.

Structure and Predictability - This job will typically have a moderate degree of structure and predictability.  This means that you might complete the same tasks each day, or you may have different tasks each day.  These tasks might not be done in the same order each day.  You might not always know ahead of time how long each task will take to complete.  You might work in the same areas each day, and you might interact with the same people each day.

What's the Pace?

    • Steady:  In most cases, the work pace will be steady, which means that you will always have some work to do.  When the work pace is steady, you are working at a level “5” on a scale of “1” (nothing to do) to “10” (extremely busy, rushed pace).

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