Great Jobs KC

General Laborer

What is it?

A general laborer in construction is a versatile entry-level position that involves performing various manual tasks to support other construction workers and ensure the smooth operation of the job site. They often work under the supervision of experienced workers like carpenters, electricians, or plumbers, and their duties can vary depending on the specific project and the needs of the crew.

Here's a breakdown of some common responsibilities of a general laborer in construction:

  • Cleaning and clearing the work area: This might involve removing debris like trash, scrap materials, and leftover construction supplies.
  • Demolition tasks: In some cases, general laborers may assist with basic demolition work, such as removing old fixtures or tearing down walls.
  • Preparing the ground: This could involve leveling the ground, digging trenches for foundations or utilities, or backfilling completed trenches.
  • Loading, unloading, and transporting materials: This might involve using hand tools, carts, or forklifts to move materials around the job site, such as lumber, bricks, concrete, or piping.
  • Setting up and breaking down tools and equipment: They may help set up scaffolding, ladders, mixers, generators, or other equipment needed for various construction tasks.
  • Maintaining tools and equipment: Keeping tools and equipment clean, organized, and in good working condition can be part of their responsibility.
  • Mixing and pouring concrete: They may assist concrete finishers by mixing concrete and helping pour it into forms.
  • Holding materials: They may help hold materials like pipes or electrical wires while other workers connect or install them.
  • Cleaning up spills and maintaining a safe work environment: They contribute to a safe work environment by cleaning up spills, sweeping debris, and keeping the job site organized.
  • Running errands for the crew, such as picking up supplies or delivering messages.
  • Operating basic machinery under proper guidance.
  • Participating in safety meetings and adhering to safety protocols on the job site.

* Salary Range

$29,000 - $43,900

(entry level – experienced)

* Regional Jobs Available


(3 year forecast)

Length of Training

4 weeks

Type of Training

In Person

Is it Right For You?

Here are some key traits that can be beneficial for a general laborer in construction:

  • Physical strength and stamina: The job requires lifting, carrying, and moving heavy materials, so physical fitness is important.
  • Ability to follow instructions: They need to be able to understand and follow directions from supervisors and other workers.
  • Willingness to learn: General laborers often learn new skills and tasks on the job, so a willingness to learn is essential.
  • Teamwork and communication skills: Working effectively with other crew members is crucial for ensuring project success.
  • Reliability and work ethic: Showing up on time, working hard, and being a reliable team member is highly valued.

Overall, general laborers in construction play a crucial supporting role, contributing to the efficiency and safety of the construction process by performing various manual tasks and assisting other tradespeople on the job site. If you’re looking for a hands-on, physically demanding entry-level position in the construction industry, and you’re interested in learning the ropes and gaining experience, then being a general laborer can be a good starting point. It can provide a pathway to further training and potential specialization in various construction trades in the future.

* Pay Range Data: Occupational Employment Wages Statistics (OEWS). 2023-Q3.
* Demand: Forecast data is based off national projections provided by the BoLS and adapted for regional growth patterns by Chmura.