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What kind of training do you need to become a construction worker?

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Quick Answer

There are no specific educational requirements for construction workers, and most learn the trade through on-the-job training after they're hired. A two- to four-year apprenticeship is another training option. Combining technical instruction with on-the-job experiences, apprenticeships are often available through unions and contractor associations, usually with a minimum age requirement of 18. Also of note, the Laborers International Union of North America requires that its workers complete 160 training hours before being allowed on a construction site.

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Apprenticeships usually require 144 hours of classroom instruction per year and up to 2,000 hours of on-site experience over the course of the apprenticeship. Some trade or vocational schools offer courses regarding reading and interpreting blueprints, how to select and install various building materials and how to use power and hand tools correctly.

Another option when pursuing a career in construction is to earn a two-year associate's degree in science or technology. Employment data suggests that most construction workers, even if they begin as general construction laborers, eventually decide to specialize and seek specific training, apprenticeships or college degrees to reach new goals. Management jobs in the construction industry generally require a bachelor's degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 the average hourly wage of a construction worker was $17.40.

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