Construction laborers and helpers do many basic tasks that require physical labor on construction sites. Show Details
Construction laborers and helpers typically do the following:
Clean and prepare construction sites by removing debris and possible hazards
Load or unload building materials to be used in construction
Build or take apart bracing, barricades, forms (molds that determine the shape of concrete), scaffolding, and temporary structures
Dig trenches, backfill holes, or compact earth to prepare for construction
Operate or tend equipment and machines used in construction, such as concrete mixers
Help other craftworkers with their duties
Follow construction plans and instructions from the people they are working for
Construction laborers and helpers work on almost all construction sites, doing a wide range of tasks from the very easy to the extremely difficult and hazardous. Although many of the tasks they do require some training and experience, most jobs usually require little skill and can be learned quickly.
The following are occupational specialties:
Construction laborers do a variety of construction-related activities during all phases of construction. Although most laborers are generalists—such as those who install barricades, cones, and markers to control traffic patterns—many others specialize. For example, those who operate the machines and equipment that lay concrete or asphalt on roads are more likely to specialize in those areas.
Most construction laborers work in the following areas:
Building homes and businesses
Tearing down buildings
Removing hazardous materials
Building highways and roads
Digging tunnels and mine shafts
Construction laborers use a variety of tools and equipment. Some tools are simple, such as brooms and shovels; other equipment is more sophisticated, such as pavement breakers, jackhammers, earth tampers, and surveying equipment.
With special training, laborers may help transport and use explosives or run hydraulic boring machines to dig out tunnels. They may learn to use laser beam equipment to place pipes and use computers to control robotic pipe cutters. They may become certified to remove asbestos, lead, or chemicals.
Helpers assist construction craftworkers, such as electricians and carpenters, with a variety of basic tasks. They may carry tools and materials or help set up equipment. For example, many helpers work with cement masons to move and set forms. Many other helpers assist with taking apart equipment, cleaning up sites, and disposing of waste, as well as helping with any other needs of craftworkers.
Many construction trades have helpers who assist craftworkers. The following are examples of trades that have associated helpers:
Brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters
Painters, paperhangers, plasterers, and stucco masons
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Janitors and building cleaners keep many types of buildings clean, orderly, and in good condition. Show Details
Janitors and building cleaners typically do the following:
Gather and empty trash and trash bins
Clean building floors by sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming them
Clean bathrooms and stock them with soap, toilet paper, and other supplies
Keep buildings secure by locking doors
Clean spills and other hazards using sponges and squeegees
Wash windows, walls, and glass
Order cleaning supplies
Make minor repairs to the building, such as changing light bulbs
Notify managers when the building needs major repairs
Janitors and building cleaning workers keep office buildings, schools, hospitals, retail stores, hotels, and other places clean, sanitary, and in good condition. Some do only cleaning, while others have a wide range of duties.
In addition to keeping the inside of buildings clean and orderly, some janitors and building cleaners work outdoors, mowing lawns, sweeping walkways, or shoveling snow. Some janitors also monitor the heating and cooling system, ensuring that it functions properly.
Janitors and building cleaners use many tools and equipment. Simple cleaning tools may include mops, brooms, rakes, and shovels. Other tools may include snowblowers and floor buffers.
Some janitors may be responsible for repairing small problems with electricity or plumbing, such as leaky faucets.