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Construction Worker

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Builder's Labourer and Labourer.

Construction workers assist on building and construction sites by doing a range of manual labouring jobs.

Construction workers may specialise by working with particular tradespeople as a trade assistant, such as a plasterer's or bricklayer's labourer, or a carpenter's assistant.

Experienced construction workers may obtain high-risk work licences or 'tickets' to undertake a number of specialised roles, such as concrete workers, doggers, riggers, scaffolders or steel fixers. See the separate entries for these occupations for further information.

Construction workers mostly work outdoors.


    Construction workers may perform the following tasks:

  • unload, carry and stack building materials and place tools and equipment in position
  • dig trenches using hand tools or jackhammers to break up rock and concrete, so that footings and services can be laid
  • place and compact filling and quarry materials
  • help to erect and dismantle scaffolding (subject to certification in some states and territories), ramps, catwalks, barricades and warning lights
  • mix, pour and spread concrete under supervision
  • use wheelbarrows to remove rubble and rubbish from building sites
  • dismantle small structures and strip materials in preparation for new construction
  • operate construction machinery (such as excavators), subject to any licensing and accreditation requirements
  • clean surfaces for painters


  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • enjoy practical and outdoor work
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to work at a constant pace
  • able to read and understand safety instructions
  • able to follow precise directions

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a construction worker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

You can also become a construction worker through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Construction or Civil Construction.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    When working at heights, industry standards require construction workers to complete a Work Safely at Heights short course provided by a Registered Training Organisation.

    All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). In NSW, training is conducted by Registered Training Organisations authorised by SafeWork NSW. In the ACT, training is provided by Registered Training Organisations approved by WorkSafe ACT. Contact SafeWork NSW or WorkSafe ACT for more details.

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Construction, Plumbing and Services or Resources and Infrastructure Training Packages that will expand your career opportunities within these industries.


Construction workers work for large construction firms and smaller building subcontractors. Many gain employment through labour hire companies. They work on the construction of a range of buildings, including residential houses, apartment complexes, shopping centres, offices, hotels, factories, tourist resorts, public buildings, hospitals and schools. Construction workers also work on heavy industrial or civil construction sites; road, tunnel and shaft excavations; demolition sites; and local government works.

On completion of a job, construction workers may have to apply to new sites for their next job. If they work for a civil, building or trade subcontractor (bricklayer, for example), new worksites may be organised for them. employment opportunities can vary greatly in line with trends in the civil or building and construction industries.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Construction Worker Australian Institute of Building Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union - Construction and General Division (NSW) Master Builders Association of New South Wales SafeWork NSW WorkSafe ACT

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