How to become a Construction Worker

Construction Worker

Construction workers assist on building and construction sites by doing a range of manual labouring jobs. Construction workers may specialise by working with particular tradespeople as a trade assistant, such as a plasterer's or bricklayer's labourer, or a carpenter's assistant. Experienced construction workers may obtain high-risk work licences or 'tickets' to undertake a number of specialised roles, such as concrete workers, doggers, riggers, scaffolders or steel fixers.

Personal requirements for 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. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


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).

Duties & Tasks of a Construction Worker

Construction workers:

  • 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.

Tasks

  • Spreading and levelling soil, gravel and sand on roads and driveways, trench bottoms and similar locations.
  • Cleaning and carrying out minor repairs on stormwater drains and canals, and checking for cracks and leaks in sewerage systems.
  • Digging holes and shovelling excavated material onto conveyors, wheelbarrows and trucks for removal.
  • Assisting with assembling and installing piping, valves and fittings.
  • Mixing, pouring and spreading materials such as concrete, plaster and mortar.
  • Erecting and dismantling temporary structures such as barricades and scaffolding.
  • Loading and unloading building and construction materials, tools and equipment and transporting them around building sites.
  • Assisting with installing fixtures such as toilets, wash basins and sprinkler systems.

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.


Specializations

par - Construction workers may specialise by working with particular tradespeople as a trade assistant, such as a plasterer's or bricklayer's labourer, or a carpenter's assistant. Experienced construction workers may obtain high-risk work licences or 'tickets' to undertake a number of specialised roles, such as concrete workers, doggers, riggers, scaffolders or steel fixers. See the separate entries for these occupations for further information.


Construction Worker

Construction workers assist on building and construction sites by doing a range of manual labouring jobs. Construction workers may specialise by working with particular tradespeople as a trade assistant, such as a plasterer's or bricklayer's labourer, or a carpenter's assistant. Experienced construction workers may obtain high-risk work licences or 'tickets' to undertake a number of specialised roles, such as concrete workers, doggers, riggers, scaffolders or steel fixers.

  • Average age
    Average age
    34 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    3% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    45 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,458
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Entry level
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Higher Unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    76% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    65,600 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.5%
    NSW: 35.2%
    NT: 1.3%
    QLD: 21.6%
    SA: 6.0%
    TAS: 1.8%
    VIC: 23.2%
    WA: 9.4%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 7.1%
    20-24: 15.9%
    25-34: 27.6%
    35-44: 19.6%
    45-54: 17.9%
    55-59: 6.5%
    60-64: 3.7%
    65 and Over: 1.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 4.3%
    Bachelor degree: 4.3%
    Below Year 10: 9.2%
    Certificate III/IV: 30.8%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.7%
    Year 10 and below: 26.7%
    Year 11: 8.3%
    Year 12: 24.9%
    Years 11 & 10: 23.6%
Is the information on this page correct? Request update

Become a member

Already a member? Login Forgot password?

Join the conversation