How to become a Construction Worker

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

Personal requirements of a Construction Worker

  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Enjoy practical and outdoor work
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to work at a constant pace
  • Able to read and understand safety instructions
  • Able to follow precise directions

Education & Training for a Construction Worker

You can work as a construction worker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a construction worker through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Construction or Civil Construction. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Construction Worker

Construction workers may perform the following tasks:

  • 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
  • mix, pour and spread concrete under supervision
  • use wheelbarrows to remove rubble and rubbish from building sites
  • dismantle small structures and strip materials in preparation for new construction
  • operate construction machinery (such as excavators), subject to any licensing and accreditation requirements
  • clean surfaces for painters.

Working conditions for a Construction Worker

Construction workers mostly work outdoors.

Employment Opportunities for a Construction Worker

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.



Additional Information
When working at heights, industry standards require construction workers to complete a Work Safely at Heights short course provided by a Registered Training Organisation. All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
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