Construction Labourer

Job Description:

Construction labourers work on practical tasks on construction sites from the start to the end of building projects.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

Your exact duties will depend on your area of work, for example you might:

  • do groundwork like marking out and digging trenches for foundations and drains
  • put up formwork panels to hold concrete in place as it sets
  • bend and fix bars to reinforce concrete structures
  • join steel sheets to form retaining walls for excavations – steel piling
  • lay concrete for foundations, floors and beams
  • set up roadworks, resurface highways and lay kerbs and paving
  • keep tradespeople on site supplied with materials, like bricks, mortar and timber


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • physical skills like lifting, bending and carrying

As well as

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • physical fitness and endurance
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a construction labourer typically does not require specific subjects. Construction labourers perform a variety of physical tasks on construction sites, and their qualifications are often based on practical skills, physical fitness, and willingness to work hard.

However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial if you’re considering a career as a construction labourer. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are valuable for measuring, calculating dimensions, and understanding construction plans or blueprints.
  2. Science: A basic understanding of scientific principles can be beneficial for understanding the properties of construction materials and safety practices.
  3. Physical Education (PE): Construction laborers engage in physically demanding work, so being physically fit and having stamina is essential.
  4. English Language: Good communication skills, including reading and understanding instructions and safety guidelines, are important in construction.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You could start by taking a college course like:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills
  • Level 2 Certificate in Construction Operations

Intermediate apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • groundworker
  • road surfacing operative
  • piling attendant

Direct Application
You can apply directly for jobs. There are no set requirements but it may help if you have:

  • construction site experience
  • knowledge of building materials
  • worked at a builder’s merchants or yard

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 42 to 44 hours a week, occasionally including evenings or weekends.

You could work on a construction site.

Your working environment may be at height and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

You could train on the job to be a qualified tradesperson or plant operator. You could also work in demolition.

With experience, you could become a site supervisor.