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Construction labourer

Alternative titles for this job include Construction operative, groundworker

Construction labourers prepare building and civil engineering sites and carry out manual jobs once work starts.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends away from home

How to become

How to become a construction labourer

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
  • T level for Groundworkers or Piling Attendants or Formworkers

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information


You can do a groundworker or piling attendant intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs. There are no set requirements, though it will be helpful if you've got on-site experience or have worked in a builder's merchants or yard.

More Information


Further information

You can find out more about working in construction from Go Construct and House Building Careers.

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of maths
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a good level of fitness

You'll need to be 18 or over and have a driving licence to work with plant machinery like excavators or dumper trucks.

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

  • mark out and dig trenches for foundations and drains - groundworking
  • put up panels to hold concrete in place as it sets - formworking
  • bend and fix bars to reinforce concrete structures - steel fixing
  • join steel sheets to form retaining walls for excavations - steel piling
  • lay concrete for foundations, floors and beams - concreting
  • lay kerbs and paving, and resurface highways - road working
  • keep tradespeople on site supplied with materials, like bricks, mortar and timber

Working environment

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 and progression

Career path and 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.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Construction (Groundworker) Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £156.00 Weekly
  • Location:

Level 2 Apprentice Groundworker

  • Wage: £136.50 Weekly
  • Location: Stockport

Courses In England

Cert Construction Skills (Construction Operations) L1

  • Provider: MID-KENT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Gillingham

Anglian Water - Construction Operations - Level 2

  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: Milton Keynes

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