Laborers are diversely skilled workers who build and repair roads, highways, bridges, sewers, and tunnels; construct buildings; clean up hazardous waste sites; and much more. From small, one-day jobs to massive, multi-year construction projects, laborers are involved in nearly every construction project. They are typically employed on-site from the day a project begins until the day it is completed. The responsibilities of a laborer are drilling and blasting, erecting scaffolds, pipe laying, grade checking, cutting steel, operating power equipment, traffic control, and a variety of other jobs. Laborers may work jointly with other crafts or independently on projects.
Due to the variety of the jobs they perform, laborers work in all types of conditions both indoors and outdoors. Certain jobs may require laborers to work underground, in confined spaces, at considerable heights, or even on Ohio’s highways. Laboring is a physical trade at times that may require climbing, lifting, kneeling, and balancing. Because laborers work in many varied conditions, they must be knowledgeable of the hazards and safety requirements of the job.
Aptitude and Interest
Laborers should enjoy working outside performing work which is physical in nature, but also requires specialized skills. Laborers should master basic reading and math skills to read and interpret construction plans and to operate today’s increasingly high-tech input devices like GPS, robotic pipe cutters, etc.
To become a skilled productive laborer, training is important. It can be acquired informally through “learning-by-working,” company on-the-job training programs, trade or vocational/technician schools, unilaterally (management or labor) sponsored trainee programs, registered labor-management apprenticeship programs, or a combination of the above. It is generally accepted that the more formalized training programs give more comprehensive skill training. Recommended high school courses include English and basic math.