We’ve all been driving down the highway at one time or another and were slowed down by road construction. You might have been far back in a line of cars before you saw the construction safety signs alerting you to the work and any hazardous road conditions. During your drive by the sight, you probably saw men and women working with large tools or moving dirt and cement out of the work area, which might make you think this is all their job entails. In reality, though, a construction worker’s job is complex and can be dangerous. There’s much more to it than what you see when you drive by.

Responsibilities

Construction workers do a variety of manual labor tasks around worksites, including but not limited to preparing an area, clearing it of debris, operating machinery, and building structures. These professionals might even have a hand in all of these tasks throughout the course of the project. Typically, the first step in any construction zone is to clear out and prepare the area. This could mean removing cement slabs, buildings, or trees that are in the workspace. After that, workers will need to unload and set up all of their tools. Then, they’ll get to work leveling the space or digging necessary trenches so they can build on that area. After this step, the work typically moves to things like pouring cement, installing supportive infrastructure, and erecting scaffolding to work on different levels of the project.

Pay and Education

Although some people in the industry hold some type of degree, construction workers don’t need a degree to enter the field. However, it is helpful to have some experience working in a related job before you jump into this career to ensure you know what you’re doing and that it’s the right job for you. The average annual salary for this job is $32,000 year. This isn’t for foreman’s or manager’s, though. Although the salary might be small, the industry has seen an increase in growth in the last few years and there aren’t many barriers to entry. This can make it a great career for a young person looking for work to earn some extra money.

Construction is more complex than some people realize and involves harder labor than most would want to do. So next time you breeze by a construction site, think about how much effort those workers are putting into their career.