A construction worker job description can vary depending on what the worker is building such as residential homes, skyscrapers, warehouses or highways. Such a worker can also do finish work inside a new structure or tear down an old structure on a property.
A construction worker performs a wide range of tasks at various building sites ranging from simply duties like sawing wood and hammering nails to much more complicated work involving dangerous equipment, computers and robotics.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Construction Worker
- Unloads and loads equipment for distribution to proper locations at a construction site.
- Operates drills and jackhammers to break up old concrete prior to beginning new construction.
- Uses all types of power tools and large equipment including cement mixers, mechanical hoists and surveying equipment.
- Digs trenches and cleans rubble and debris from a site prior to starting construction.
- Erects scaffolding to work on high areas of a building.
- Removes waste materials like lead or asbestos.
- Uses trowels to smooth and finish freshly poured cement.
- Sprays materials like sand, paint, vinyl or stucco through hoses to coat surfaces.
- Operates machinery that pumps concrete, grout or plaster through sprayers for application to walls and ceilings.
- Works compressors and generators that heat and apply asphalt.
- Cleans, repairs, lubricates and maintains equipment, tools and machinery used for construction jobs.
- Reads and operates air monitoring equipment in hazardous environments.
- Applies caulking compounds with a hand gun.
- Builds molds for pouring concrete.
- Uses saws, hammers, nails and bolts for framing.
- Scrapes, sands and polishes surfaces like marble, terrazzo or wood floors using special abrasive tools and machines.
- Installs drainage pipes using laser guidance equipment and pipe laying equipment.
- Assists craftsmen like carpenters, plasterers and masons.
- Sets explosives for tunnel or road construction.
- Uses computers to control robotic equipment.
- Demolishes buildings and salvages materials for recycling or reuse.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Possesses good balance, depth perception and hand-eye coordination for safely operating tools and equipment and standing on tall beams and roofs.
- Stays in excellent physical condition and maintains high levels of stamina and endurance.
- Speaks both English and Spanish.
Education and Experience
- High School Diploma.
- Vocational or trade school degree for a specialized area of construction.
- Certifications required for hazardous material removal, pipeline work, welding, forklift operator or scaffolding builder.
- Endures harsh weather conditions like wind, rain, extreme heat and cold because much of the work is done out of door.
- Sustains injuries such as cuts, scrapes and bruises due to minor accidents with equipment.
- Works with potentially dangerous equipment and tools.
- Spends long hours working when weather is good because may not be able to work in inclement weather.
- Wears protective equipment for ears and eyes due to working in an environment with extremely loud noises and flying debris.
- Construction workers salaries range from $22,000 to $42,000 a year depending on experience and skill level.