Construction labourer

Alternative titles for this job include Construction operative, groundworker

Construction labourers carry out manual jobs on building sites.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£29,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends away from home

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

More information


You may be able to get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in construction operations.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, 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 have got on-site experience.

More information


Further information

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

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
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of maths
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • have a good level of fitness

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Once work gets underway, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • groundworking - marking out and digging shallow trenches for foundations and drains
  • formworking - putting up or dismantling the shuttering that holds setting concrete in place
  • steel fixing - bending and fixing the bars used to reinforce concrete structures
  • steel piling - fixing steel sheets together to form temporary retaining walls for excavation work
  • concreting - layering and smoothing concrete for foundations, floors and beams
  • road working - concreting, laying kerbs, paving and resurfacing

Working environment

You could work on a construction site.

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

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience you could specialise in a construction trade, or progress to site supervision, estimating and construction management.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Construction Operative

  • Wage : £184.61 Weekly
  • Location: Bath BA2 7WW

Scaffolding Apprentice

  • Wage : Competitive salary
  • Location: Barrow-in-Furness LA14 1AF

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a Construction labourer?

Search for training courses near you.

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