Occupation Summary

Construction Laborers

O*NET 47-2061.00


Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 20.41%.
Education Level:
High School Diploma (or GED or High School Equivalence Certificate). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Business and Industry

  1. Clean or prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards.
  2. Read plans, instructions, or specifications to determine work activities.
  3. Control traffic passing near, in, or around work zones.
  4. Signal equipment operators to facilitate alignment, movement, or adjustment of machinery, equipment, or materials.
  5. Dig ditches or trenches, backfill excavations, or compact and level earth to grade specifications, using picks, shovels, pneumatic tampers, or rakes.
  6. Position, join, align, or seal structural components, such as concrete wall sections or pipes.
  7. Measure, mark, or record openings or distances to layout areas where construction work will be performed.
  8. Load, unload, or identify building materials, machinery, or tools, distributing them to the appropriate locations, according to project plans or specifications.
  9. Erect or dismantle scaffolding, shoring, braces, traffic barricades, ramps, or other temporary structures.
  10. Position or dismantle forms for pouring concrete, using saws, hammers, nails, or bolts.
  11. Lubricate, clean, or repair machinery, equipment, or tools.
  12. Operate jackhammers or drills to break up concrete or pavement.
  13. Smooth or finish freshly poured cement or concrete, using floats, trowels, screeds, or powered cement finishing tools.
  14. Operate or maintain air monitoring or other sampling devices in confined or hazardous environments.
  15. Install sewer, water, or storm drain pipes, using pipe-laying machinery or laser guidance equipment.
  16. Transport or set explosives for tunnel, shaft, or road construction.
  17. Provide assistance to craft workers, such as carpenters, plasterers, or masons.
  18. Tend pumps, compressors, or generators to provide power for tools, machinery, or equipment or to heat or move materials, such as asphalt.
  19. Mop, brush, or spread paints, cleaning solutions, or other compounds over surfaces to clean them or to provide protection.
  20. Place, consolidate, or protect case-in-place concrete or masonry structures.
  21. Identify, pack, or transport hazardous or radioactive materials.
  22. Use computers or other input devices to control robotic pipe cutters or cleaners.
  23. Mix, pour, or spread concrete, using portable cement mixers.
  24. Grind, scrape, sand, or polish surfaces such as concrete, marble, terrazzo, or wood flooring, using abrasive tools or machines.
  25. Tend machines that pump concrete, grout, cement, sand, plaster, or stucco through spray guns for application to ceilings or walls.
  26. Mix ingredients to create compounds for covering or cleaning surfaces.
  27. Raze buildings or salvage useful materials.
  28. Spray materials such as water, sand, steam, vinyl, paint, or stucco through hoses to clean, coat, or seal surfaces.
  29. Apply caulking compounds by hand or caulking guns to protect against entry of water or air.
  30. Apply weather-stripping to reduce energy loss.
  31. Perform building weatherization tasks, such as repairing windows, adding insulation, or applying weather-stripping materials.
  32. Perform construction laborer duties at green building sites, such as renewable energy plants or wind turbine installations.
  33. Perform site activities required of green certified construction practices, such as implementing waste management procedures, identifying materials for reuse, or installing erosion or sedimentation control mechanisms.

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National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Construction Laborers employed Annual Growth Rate
Other specialty trade contractors 12.5 1.18
Residential building construction 9.6 1.38
Nonresidential building construction 9.1 1.29
Highway, street, and bridge construction 6.5 1.47

Labor Market Information

2018 Statewide average hourly wage $15.69
2018 National average hourly wage $19.40
2016 National employment 1,216,700
2016 Texas employment 130,425
Texas projected employment by 2026 157,048
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2026 17,151

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Operation Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
    -- Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Performing General Physical Activities
    -- Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Handling and Moving Objects
    -- Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
    -- Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
    -- Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Other Activities

  • Adjust electrical or mechanical equipment
  • Adjust medical or laboratory equipment
  • Align machines, equipment, or structures
  • Anchor wooden structures, frameworks, or forms
  • Apply adhesives, caulking, or sealants
  • Apply cleaning solvents
  • Apply grouting
  • Apply hazardous materials information
  • Apply plaster, stucco, or joint compound mixtures to walls or ceilings
  • Apply protective coatings or colorants
  • Assemble/Disassemble manufactured products by hand
  • Assemble/Dismantle equipment or machinery
  • Assist mechanic, extractive, or construction trades craft worker
  • Attach moisture barrier sheeting over construction surfaces
  • Bend pipe for gas, air, hydraulic, refrigeration or water lines
  • Build cabinets or related interior wood fixtures
  • Build masonry structures including kilns or furnaces
  • Build structures in construction, repair, or manufacturing setting
  • Clean equipment or machinery for optimum performance
  • Clean rooms, floors or work areas
  • Climb ladders, scaffolding, and structures to reach work
  • Complete routine building maintenance
  • Connect sections of drill pipe
  • Construct patterns or templates for welding projects
  • Construct wooden frameworks or structures
  • Control operation of compressors
  • Coordinate set construction, erection, or decoration activities
  • Create decorative effects using hand or power tools
  • Cut construction material
  • Cut pipe or piping material for gas, air, hydraulic, refrigeration, water, or steam lines
  • Determine dimensions or characteristics using measuring devices
  • Dig holes or trenches using hand tools for foundations, posts, poles, tanks, or related items
  • Dispose of hazardous materials and waste
  • Ensure conformance to building regulations
  • Erect scaffold on work site
  • Establish priorities for self or others
  • Estimate construction project costs
  • Estimate materials or labor requirements
  • Evaluate construction quality
  • Fabricate manufactured products by hand
  • Finish concrete surfaces
  • Finish floor, furniture, or related wood surfaces
  • Fit construction materials such as wood
  • Follow safety procedures and regulations
  • Grade earth for roads or other construction
  • Grade products according to specifications
  • Install drywall, plasterboard, or wallboard
  • Install equipment or attachments on machinery or related structures
  • Install glass in windows, skylights, or other structural surfaces
  • Install insulating materials
  • Install interior wood fixtures such as doors, floors, window frames, trim, or stairs
  • Install pipe or plumbing sections, fittings, or fixtures
  • Install plaster, stucco, or related construction material support such as lathing, back up frames, or metal studs
  • Install prefabricated building components
  • Install roofing materials such as shingles, tile, slate, or asphalt
  • Install shock-absorbing or acoustical paneling or tiles on wall or ceiling
  • Install siding or sheeting materials
  • Install storm, sanitation, or water piping systems above and below ground
  • Install water or sewer treatment plant equipment
  • Install/Remove finish hardware such as locks or hinges
  • Interpret information from blueprints, diagrams, schematics, or technical drawings
  • Join wood or other construction materials
  • Lay out equipment and materials for metal-related projects
  • Lay out masonry work
  • Lay out woodworking projects
  • Lay pipe into trench
  • Level machines, equipment, or structures
  • Level sand, dirt, concrete, or gravel bedding or foundation
  • Load/Unload containers, materials, or products
  • Lubricate machinery, equipment, or parts
  • Maintain construction machinery or equipment
  • Manage building maintenance projects
  • Mark items for acceptance or rejection
  • Mark layout for construction projects
  • Measure construction dimensions
  • Measure items, parcels, materials, and products
  • Measure layout for construction projects
  • Measure products or materials
  • Measure tile or masonry materials
  • Measure wall covering material
  • Measure work pieces for reference points or cutting lines
  • Mix chemicals safely according to instructions
  • Mix food ingredients according to instructions
  • Mix masonry materials such as mortar, grout, slurry, or concrete
  • Mix paint according to instructions
  • Move earth for roads or other construction
  • Move heavy objects
  • Move materials or goods between work areas
  • Obtain land survey data using surveying instruments
  • Operate auxiliary power plant equipment
  • Operate cleaning equipment
  • Operate floor sanding machine
  • Operate hand or power tools
  • Operate heavy construction equipment
  • Operate hoist, winch, or hydraulic boom
  • Operate jackhammer in accordance with safety regulations
  • Operate non-highway vehicles or ground equipment
  • Operate pipe fitting equipment
  • Operate pneumatic tamper to patch pavement or tamp earth
  • Operate pneumatic tools
  • Operate portable hand spray equipment
  • Operate power construction equipment
  • Operate power driven pumps
  • Operate vacuum or air hose
  • Oversee testing or construction of prototype
  • Paint surfaces such as walls
  • Paint vehicles, structures and objects using spraying equipment
  • Perform basic carpentry
  • Perform concrete fabrication
  • Perform safety inspection
  • Polish stone or concrete using a surfacing machine
  • Position machines, equipment, or structures
  • Prepare building surfaces for paint, finishes, wallpaper, or adhesives
  • Prepare site or surfaces for concrete or masonry work
  • Process metals using power or hand tools
  • Recommend alterations in construction or specifications
  • Remove finish from furniture, walls, or related structures
  • Repair construction machinery or equipment
  • Repair cracks, defects, or damage in installed building materials
  • Repair gas, steam, oil, sewer, or water piping or fixtures
  • Repair mechanical equipment or machinery
  • Repair prefabricated wooden building components
  • Repair structures in construction, repair, or manufacturing setting
  • Review construction specifications
  • Review work orders
  • Select materials, tools, or accessories needed to complete project work
  • Select welding filler rod type
  • Set-up heavy construction equipment
  • Shape construction materials such as wood
  • Signal directions or warnings to coworkers
  • Stack containers, materials, or products
  • Trace electrical wiring
  • Verify levelness or verticality using level or plumb bob
  • Weld metal structures

  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


Adjustable forks: Forks; Brick carrier forks;

Adjustable widemouth pliers: Adjustable widemouth pliers;

Adjustable wrenches: Adjustable wrenches;

Air compressors: Air compressors;

Air samplers or collectors: Air monitoring equipment;

Asphalt finishers: Asphalt mops;

Axes: Axes;

Bandsaw wheel: Bandsaws;

Belt conveyors: Belt conveyors;

Bituminous material distributors: Oil distributors;

Blades or tooth or other cutting edges: Stump cutters;

Blow torch: Oxygen/acetylene torches; Liquid propane torches; Torches;

Boring or sinking machinery: Hydraulic boring machines; Electric boring machines;

Burners: Smudge pots; Kerosene burners;

Calipers: Calipers;

Caulking guns: Caulking guns;

Cement pumping units: Concrete pumpers;

Chip Spreaders: Chip spreaders;

Cold chisels: Cold chisels;

Combination pliers: Fencing pliers;

Compactors: Walk-behind compacting equipment;

Concrete mixers or plants: Concrete mixers;

Concrete spreaders: Laser screeds; Screeds;

Coring equipment: Coring machines;

Demolition equipment kits: Demolition saws;

Digital camcorders or video cameras: Remote pipe cameras;

Drain or pipe cleaning equipment: Sewer rodding machines; Robotic pipe cleaners;

Drilling machines: Drill presses;

Dump trucks: Dump trucks;

Explosive initiators: Dynamite blasters;

Floats: Floats;

Forklifts: Forklifts; Masonry forklifts; Rough terrain forklifts;

Gas detectors: Gas leak detection devices;

Gas generators: Generators;

Gin pole and accessories: Gin poles;

Graders: Motor graders;

Grinders: Hand grinders;

Hammer drills: Rotary hammers;

Hammers: Hammers;

Hand sprayers: Stucco spray guns;

Hand trucks or accessories: Hand trucks;

Hazardous material protective apparel: Protective suits;

Hoes: Mortar hoes;

Hoists: Hoists;

Hole saws: Hole cutters;

Hydraulic rock drills: Hydraulic rock drills; Wagon drills;

Hydraulic truck cranes: Hydraulic booms;

Impact hammers: Impact hammers;

Impact wrenches: Impact wrenches;

Instrument tripods: Tripods;

Kettle exchangers: Asphalt kettles;

Ladders: Ladders;

Laser measuring systems: Laser measuring devices; Laser guidance equipment for pipe placement;

Leak testing equipment: Smoke testers;

Level sensors or transmitters: Transit levels;

Levels: Water levels; Carpenters' levels; Spirit levels; Levels; Laser levels;

Lifting hooks: Bale hooks;

Light trucks or sport utility vehicles: Pickup trucks;

Manlift or personnel lift: Manlifts; Bosun chairs; Swing chairs; Swing stages;

Measuring rods: Surveying rods;

Measuring wheels for distance: Measuring wheels;

Micrometers: Micrometers;

Mowers: Mowing equipment;

Mud pumps: Mud jacks;

Paint sprayers: Paint sprayers;

Paving breakers: Pavement breakers;

Picks: Picks; Mattocks;

Pipe or tube cutter: Robotic pipe cutters;

Plasma arc welding machine: Plasma cutters;

Plaster or mortar mixers: Mortar mixers; Plaster mixers;

Plumb bobs: Plumb bobs;

Pneumatic drill: Air drills; Pneumatic drills;

Pneumatic hammer: Jackhammers;

Pneumatic sanding machines: Sandblasters;

Post hole digger: Post hole augers;

Power buggies: Power buggies;

Power chippers: Chipping guns;

Power drills: Hammer drills; Electric drills; Power drills;

Power grinders: Pedestal grinders; Disc grinders; Bench grinders;

Power nail guns: Nail guns;

Power sanders: Floor sanders; Power sanders;

Power saws: Reciprocating saws; Saber saws; Floor saws; Hydraulic track-guided wall saws; Jig saws; Hydraulic chainsaws; Asphalt saws; Concrete saws; Cutoff saws; Cutout saws; Chain saws; Circular saws; Walk-behind saws;

Power screwguns: Power screwdrivers;

Pressure or steam cleaners: Steam cleaning equipment; Steam jennies; Pressure washers;

Pry bars: Crowbars;

Pullers: Wire stretchers;

Punches or nail sets or drifts: Punches;

Rakes: Rakes;

Remote reading thermometers: Temperature probes;

Respirators: Respirators;

Rollers: Road rollers;

Rotary tiller mixers: Paddle mixers;

Safety harnesses or belts: Fall arrest systems;

Saws: Saws;

Scaffolding: Scaffolding;

Scarifiers: Scarifiers;

Scissor lift or lift table: Scissor lifts;

Screwdrivers: Screwdrivers;

Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine: Shielded arc welding tools;

Shoring equipment: Hydraulic speed shoring equipment;

Shotcrete spraying equipment: Guniting machines;

Shovels: Shovels;

Skid steer loaders: Skid steer loaders;

Slings: Slings;

Sludge or sewage handling trucks: Sewer cleaner vactors;

Snowplow attachments: Snowplows;

Space heaters: Salamanders;

Spades: Spades;

Sprayers: Weed sprayers;

Squares: Carpenters' squares;

Staple guns: Pneumatic staplers;

Stonemason hammer: Brick hammers;

Tampers: Earth tampers; Tampers;

Tape measures: Tape measures;

Theodolites: Theodolites;

Threading taps: Tappers;

Tongs: Brick tongs;

Track loaders: Crawler shovels;

Trenching machines: Trenchers;

Trowels: Trowels; Tuck pointers;

Two way radios: Two way radios;

Vacuum cleaners: Ride-on vacuum cleaners; Sidewalk sweepers; Suction sweepers;

Vibratory plates: Vibratory plate compactors;

Water samplers: Water samplers;

Water trucks: Jet trucks for cleaning sewer lines; Water spraying equipment; Water tank trucks;

Welding masks: Welding hoods;

Wheel loaders: Loaders;

Winches: Winches;

Wire and cable pulling device: Cable pullers;


Operating system software: Microsoft Windows;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Construction Laborers include:
  • 47-2051.00 Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers
  • 53-7061.00 Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment
  • 47-3011.00 Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters
  • 47-3012.00 Helpers--Carpenters
  • 47-3014.00 Helpers--Painters, Paperhangers, Plasterers, and Stucco Masons
  • 47-2071.00 Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
  • 47-2151.00 Pipelayers
  • 47-5051.00 Rock Splitters, Quarry
  • 47-5071.00 Roustabouts, Oil and Gas
  • 47-2053.00 Terrazzo Workers and Finishers

Sources of Additional Information
  • For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities for construction laborers and helpers, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local construction contractors or firms that employ laborers, or local union-management apprenticeship committees. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor's ApprenticeshipUSA program online or by phone at 877-872-5627.
  • For more information about education programs for laborers, visit: Laborers’ International Union of North America
  • Construction Laborers
  • Helpers, Construction Trades, All Other
  • Helpers-Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters
  • Helpers-Carpenters
  • Helpers-Electricians
  • Helpers-Painters, Paperhangers, Plasterers, and Stucco Masons
  • Helpers-Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
  • Helpers-Roofers

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.