Starting a career as a labourer can lead to a fulfilling and active life while helping contractors and construction crews accomplish grandiose tasks and projects.
Labourers can easily find work in almost any economy and enjoy an incredibly wide range of settings in which to ply their trade.
Being a labourer can get you started on another career path, and there are generally no minimum education or experience requirements to become a labourer.
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Labourer: The Basics
Becoming a labourer is simple and fast, and in some cases, you may not even need a formal application.
Many companies that look to hire labourers will do so on a per diem basis.
Before you start looking for a job with a builder, however, you should know some basic info about the job.
What is a Labourer?
A labourer is someone who is hired to work for a company or contractor, often to take care of a large portion of the manual labor needed to complete a project.
What is a Labourer Called?
A labourer may be called a materials assistant, construction assistant, or occasionally, grunt.
What Does a Labourer Do?
A labourer will often have a relatively diverse list of responsibilities that are needed for the construction project to complete.
This includes moving materials from one location to another, or doing the same with tools.
Work Opportunities in the Labourer Industry
Labourers are sorely needed positions in the construction and maintenance industries.
Not only will the job demand always be there, but there is also a much better chance to work up the construction or maintenance career ladder.
Labourers will enjoy getting to work outside in beautiful weather, as well as getting significant physical activity.
There are countless other positions to advance into from the position of labourer.
Labourer Job Description
A labourer is responsible for many different tasks across the daily operations at a construction site.
Not only will they load or unload tools and prepare areas for work, but they will even be in charge of assembling various pieces of equipment needed for the job.
They will help with nearly every aspect of the construction process.
They will help clean and prepare the site and will help unload and stage materials and equipment.
They will help build and tear down temporary fixtures like scaffolding.
For sites that need it, they will even dig or fill holes and trenches as needed.
Labourers will even have the chance to operate heavy equipment, which can open up a variety of career options.
The biggest responsibilities are listening to your supervisor and other planners that you work beneath.
The labourer will even act as a personal assistant to skilled tradespeople, offering exposure to that career path as well.
Top Labourer Jobs and Careers
- Skilled Tradesperson
- Heavy equipment operator
- Farm Laborer
- Construction Laborer
- Warehouse Laborer
Where Can a Labourer Work?
Once someone has decided to become a labourer, they will have an enormous range of options available for where to work.
Many love to remain in the construction field, helping to build some of the most famous buildings of our time.
Other labourers may choose to work in a warehouse setting, where they can do more limited tasks in a more tech-heavy environment.
There are labourers needed in nearly every field of modern industry.
This is why a labourer job is relatively easy to find because they are so important and plentiful.
They are a great entry step for nearly any company and can provide limitless growth in an organization.
What It’s Like to be a Labourer
Labourers have a unique opportunity to use their physical skills to make work areas and construction sites safer and more efficient.
They are generally bound to shift-based employment, so there is the opportunity to have significant personal time.
Being a labourer is rewarding to those that desire a position that allows them to work in a highly physical capacity.
If you are someone that enjoys staying active, labourer is arguably one of the best career paths, since it is so highly dependent on the activity and physical drive of the worker.
Is Being a Labourer Hard?
Being a labourer is a hard position for those that may not be able to remain physically active all day.
The work itself isn’t difficult, but physical exertion can take its toll on the body.
Is a Labourer’s Job Stressful?
Most labourers will be operating in a fast-paced situation, and that will come with a baseline stress level.
Depending on how much you want to become a labourer, you may find that your passion for the work well outweighs the drawbacks of the stress.
Common Labourer Work Day
The average labourer will wake up relatively early, pack a lunch, and grab coffee before commuting to the work site.
Once on site, the labourer will punch in and begin their day, they will have a list of duties that they will be assigned to perform for the team, as well as tasks assigned to them otherwise.
The average shift is 8-10 hours, so 4-5 hours in, the labourer and the rest of the team will probably break for lunch.
In most cases, the construction team will always eat together like a family.
Once lunch is over, the team will go back out to take care of their end-of-day work, which may have the labourer assisting with breaking down equipment and putting things away.
Labourer Tasks & Duties
Depending on the job site and the needs of the foreman, the labourer will often have tasks and duties that include:
- Digging or filling holes and trenches
- General custodial work
- General maintenance work
- Materials transport
- Operating equipment or machinery
- Monitoring shop or site conditions for unsafe environments
There may be more or less depending on where the labourer is employed and what type of labour they are hired for.
Labourer Work Hours & Schedule
Labourers are often needed around the clock, which means a labourer will often have your pick of which shift you would like to work.
There are generally 3 shifts each day, with the 1st shift starting between 3 and 6 am.
Depending on what type of schedule you want, you can often pick your shift, and take as much overtime as you want.
Labourer Dress Code
Since labourers will often be working at active construction sites, the foreman or site managers will be able to dictate the dress code a labourer will need to meet.
In most cases, it will be coveralls, or jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and work boots.
Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?
The labour field does offer the potential for a good work/life balance.
Workers are shift-based, and paid well, so their free time can be spent doing what they love.
Labourer Salary & Income
Labourers make significant income, and this is one reason why the field remains so popular.
Do Labourers Make Good Money?
Labourers make relatively good money, and in many cases, they make well more than the mandated minimum wage.
How Much Do Labourers Make?
The median pay for labourers is more than $37,000 in 2021, with some types of labourers making at much as $62,500.
Overview of the Labourer Industry
The labour industry is an ideal place to enter the workforce.
There are countless ways that a worker can advance in their labour field, and the jobs are nearly guaranteed to grow.
Labourer Field: Career Progression
Those entering the field of labour can expect a long road ahead with lots of options for employment, travel, and income.
Labourers can advance to fields like management, heavy equipment specialist, farm labour, and more.
Is a Labourer a Good Career?
Labourer is a good career because it offers so much potential for advancement and growth.
The downside to it, however, is that too long as a labourer will take a toll on the body.
Labourer Job Outlook
The job outlook for labour as a whole is that it’s expected to grow by 7 between 2020 and 2030.
Demand for Labourers
Demand for labourers is expected to be more than 167,000 openings each year.
There will always be labourer jobs.
- The number of American labourers that belong to unions has been halved over the past 35 years.
- More people view labor unions as good for workers than otherwise.
- The majority of American labourers are employed in services.
Jobs Related to Labourer
A roofer is a skilled labourer and tradesperson that inspects maintains and repairs roofing systems.
Roofers are often delineated by residential and commercial roofers.
A plumber is a skilled tradesperson that is a likely career path progression from labourer.
They repair and maintain the plumbing in homes and businesses.
A farm hand is a labourer that will largely work outside directly with, or under the supervision of, the farmer.
They will help bale hay, feed & water animals, and maintain the farm property.
Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Labourers
One of the best things about becoming a labourer is that there are very few requirements of any kind for the position.
Let’s take a look.
Who Should Consider a Labourer Career Path?
Someone that loves lifting, moving, and being physical in general, would be a great match for a labourer position.
Since many labourers work outdoors, a love of the outdoors could make an individual more hireable.
Who Should NOT Consider a Labourer Career Path?
People that should not consider a labourer career are those that have disabilities or movement challenges.
Being a labourer involves a great deal of physical work and challenges.
Is it Hard to Become a Labourer?
It is not hard to become a labourer.
In most cases, you’ll be able to apply for just about any labourer job, and as long as you qualify for the job, the chances are good that you’ll be hired.
What Do I Need to Become a Labourer?
The only thing you’ll need to do to become a labourer is applying for a local opening, and work there for a while.
Requirements for Becoming a Labourer
Just like most other jobs, you’ll need to be able to show up on time, and you’ll need to perform the requirements of the job daily.
What Skills Does a Labourer Need?
The labourer will need to stand for long periods.
They will also need to be able to lift and move items up to a specified weight, often 70 lbs.
They will need to be able to take direction and work as part of a team.
What Education Does a Labourer Need?
A labourer will often only need a high school education to be able to apply for a position.
In some cases, where the high school was not finished, there may be some concessions made by the employer.
Can You Become a Labourer Without a Degree?
You can absolutely become a labourer without a degree.
What Experience Does a Labourer Need?
A labourer will usually not need any prior experience unless applying to work in a non-entry level labourer position.
Labourer Education & Schooling
Becoming a labourer won’t require you to re-enroll and get a degree, and there is no additional training required.
Everything you need to know, you’ll be trained on during OTJ training.
Labourer Education & Schooling
There are no schooling or educational requirements for becoming a labourer in most situations.
Become a Labourer
There are very few steps to becoming a labourer.
The biggest factor to consider immediately is where you want to work and then look for jobs that way.
Someone that doesn’t like animals won’t do well as a farm labourer, but may excel as a warehouse or factory labourer.
Steps to Become a Labourer
Becoming a labourer is often as easy as finding a job opening for a labourer in your area.
While browsing openings you’ll be able to browse the different settings that you can work in, like warehouses, factories, farms, retail locations, and more.
Apply for the opening you like, and interview for the position.
Current Career Job Openings
If you are interested in becoming a labourer, take a look at some of the job openings in your area below.
For someone that loves working outside, or working in a physical capacity moving, loading, or unloading things, becoming a labourer could be the perfect career move.
If you also need to get a job that doesn’t require any formal education or training, and in many cases, will hire someone with a felony conviction, labourer is a perfect position.
The work is likely to be consistent, and the opportunities to advance will be plentiful.