Construction workers or laborers perform the physical labor involved in the construction of buildings and roadways, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites. They may be required to operate both large and small power tools including nail guns, power drills, jackhammers, cement mixers, mechanical hoists, and excavation equipment. They also may prepare and clean job sites by digging trenches, building scaffolding, and removing debris and hazardous materials. They perform physically demanding labor in a variety of locations under all sorts of weather conditions. Generally, construction laborers gain knowledge of their work through on-the-job experience and training, so formal educational experience is not normally a prerequisite for the position. (Read our whitepaper to learn how testing can help close the skills gap by identifying potential.)
Physical strength and dexterity are major requirements for the job, but there are other important traits to look for in construction workers when hiring. The position has one of the highest rates of injury for all occupations, so it is imperative that workers follow rules and safety procedures on the job. The Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP) is a behavioral risk assessment that examines how reliable, productive, honest, and dependable applicants are, in addition to their attitudes toward rule adherence and counterproductive workplace behavior. These behaviors include rule-breaking, fraud, absenteeism, time-wasting, and workplace theft. This test can help mitigate risk by reducing the likelihood of harmful work behaviors that can be liabilities to safety and productivity.
If construction laborers are going to be working with heavy machinery, equipment, or tools, it may also be appropriate administer the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA). This is a test that assesses a candidate’s aptitude for learning and working with machinery, tools and equipment. Both tests are also available in English and Spanish.
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Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2016-2026:
Number employed (2016): 1,449,400
Education level of Construction Workers: