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Salary and Career Info for a Construction Worker

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a construction worker. Get a quick overview of the requirements - including training, certification and job duties - to find out if this is the career for you.

A construction worker typically has to work long and tiring hours, so they must have stamina and strength. They construct various structures such as office buildings, factories, schools, and houses. A stern abidance to safety is imperative as there are numerous ways of getting injured on the job.

Essential Information

Construction workers build the schools, roads, buildings and homes that people occupy. Jobs in this field are very demanding and require workers to be extremely cautious and aware. To obtain a job as a construction worker, a high school diploma and entry-level training are generally required.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Other Requirements Apprenticeship and/or on-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 13% for construction laborers and helpers
Average Salary (2015)* $36,550 for construction laborers and helpers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Info for a Construction Worker

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average hourly wage of a construction worker was $17.57 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Typically, construction workers who are employed by nonresidential building companies earn a higher salary than workers on residential building and utility systems projects. Almost all construction jobs are affected by the weather and the economy, which can cause layoffs and pay cuts.

Job Outlook

The BLS predicted a 13% job growth for construction careers from 2014-2024. With population increases and the need for improvement of roads, buildings and bridges, construction workers who are willing to relocate and have specialized training may have the best job opportunities.

Career Info

Construction workers are responsible for completing a variety of different building tasks. Workers build different structures for both residential and commercial clients. Those working at construction sites can be found removing debris, loading and unloading materials, preparing machines for use, assisting other workers and operating machinery.

Much of the work done by construction workers is demanding. Many employees work in harsh weather conditions, at extreme heights and around dangerous chemicals. According to the BLS, construction work has one of the highest injury rates out of all other professions, making it vital for construction workers to follow safety precautions and be alert on the job.

Education Requirements

There is usually not a postsecondary degree requirement for construction workers. Many professionals earn a high school diploma and find employment with a company that provides on-the-job training. Other professionals complete apprenticeships, which can last up to four years and give students training both inside and outside of the classroom. Apprenticeships also provide specialty training in three of the biggest segments in the construction industry, which are heavy and highway construction, environmental remediation and building construction.

Professionals can also earn voluntary certifications, which may help construction workers land a job. Certifications can be earned in areas such as concrete finishing, scaffolding and welding. Construction workers who complete a degree program in construction management and gain the necessary experience may be able to move into supervisor and management positions.

Construction workers make an average annual salary of $36,500, which varies based on the company they work for, the weather conditions, and the rate of layoff. The more training, experience, and credentials they have, the better off they will be at landing and keeping a job.

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