How to Get a Job as a Construction Worker
The absence of formal training might make someone think that entering general construction is a cake walk. It’s not. Unions frequently recruit construction workers from high schools and technical schools. Those who have served in the military have great prospects in this line of work, because unions are always seeking applicants who are in excellent physical shape, have strong math skills, and who can work well with people.
General laborers are often exposed to many types of construction work, and often find a niche they prefer. Their experience within a particular trade will help them advance to more complex activities, gain admittance into a specific apprenticeship, and attain the certification necessary to perform certain craft occupations (such as bricklaying, electrical wiring, and carpentry).
What is the Job Like?
Whatever the general laborer’s task, it’s probably going to be physically demanding and involve working under extreme circumstances. One month, a laborer might work deep underground in a tunnel, while the next month he or she could spend a day high in the sky on scaffolding. Construction laborers might also perform tasks in various weather conditions, during the early morning hours, and throughout the still hours of the night (particularly as a construction project’s deadline looms). Whenever his or her shift takes place, a construction worker can expect to stand for the lion’s share.
Falling from scaffolding, chemical burns, and respiratory problems from hazardous fumes—injuries and illnesses abound in this field. A laborer would receive safety training and guidance from seasoned workers to help prevent injuries from occurring. And one important reason that workers begin with the more menial tasks is so they can learn the ropes and safety procedures before being exposed to potential injury. Still, even on good days, a construction worker can expect to go home with minor aches and muscle fatigue. Experienced laborers have usually built their stamina to withstand these strenuous work conditions.