Aspiring construction workers obtain training by joining apprenticeship programs or landing construction jobs through temporary help employment agencies or construction firms that offer brief on-the-job training. Trade schools, vocational schools and community colleges offer courses or programs that include apprenticeships. Unions and contractor associations also sponsor apprenticeships in construction jobs.Continue Reading
Many construction jobs do not have specific educational requirements, but taking high school courses in math, English, welding and blueprint reading provides good preparation. Postsecondary programs typically take two to four years to complete and include classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Students learn general construction skills, tool and equipment use, and workplace health and safety procedures, as well as specialized skills related to the three major categories of construction work: highway and heavy construction, building construction and environmental remediation. The Laborers International Union of North America mandates construction workers to complete 160 hours of training to be allowed to work on-site.
Some construction workers need to be federally licensed, such as laborers who remove hazardous materials. Laborers may also need to obtain specific certifications, depending on the task, such as asbestos removal, rough terrain forklift operation, welding, pipeline operation and lead abatement.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts jobs for construction laborers and helpers to grow at a rapid clip of 25 percent through 2022, as overall construction activity increases. As of 2012, construction laborers earned an average yearly salary of $29,160.Learn more about Career Aspirations