Do you like working outdoors? Would you enjoy working with hand and power tools? Do you make safety a priority? These are a few of the questions you can ask yourself to see if a career as a general labourer is right for you.
In this career, you can expect to work on construction sites with other construction professionals. Some of these sites include building, highway, and heavy construction sites. One of the great things about this career is that the work you do will vary depending on the project. This means that you can always expect to do something different, ensuring you never get bored!
To be certified as a general labourer, you will usually need to complete an apprenticeship program. Once you have successfully completed on-the-job training, technical training, and exams, you will be eligible to receive a journeyperson certificate. Once all of this is completed, you may find employment with a variety of contractors and road builders in the construction industry.
We’ll introduce you to seven hard physical labor jobs to help you better determine if this career would be something you would enjoy:
Job #1: Clean and Prepare Job Sites
As part of your duties in a hard physical labor job, you can expect to clean and prepare job sites in preparation for a project. This can include unloading and preparing materials so that they’re ready to be used once the project starts, as well as inspecting merchandise upon delivery to identify if there are any damages. You may also be required to remove rubble and other debris using rakes, shovels, and other equipment.
Safety is also vital as a general labourer. While preparing a job site, you’ll need to make sure the work area is safe for everyone to work in.
As a physical labourer, you will also need to possess excellent organizational skills to ensure that you can shift between priorities, stay on top of your duties, and make sure everything on your to-do list gets accomplished.
Job #2: Work as Part of a Team
Being a physical labourer means that you’ll need to work as part of a team. Everyone on a job site has a specific job to do but all with the same goal in mind. This means that everyone must work together effectively to make goals easier to accomplish.
Not only does working as part of a team make accomplishing goals easier, it also increases your productivity and ensures that you and your team are successful.
Job #3: Posses Technical Know-How
Since you will be working with a variety of machinery as a physical labourer, it will serve you well to have technical knowledge. Some of the tools and machinery you can expect to use include forklifts, power drills, pressure washers, hammers, tampers, and blowtorches. Being able to quickly adapt and switch between different tools will also be an asset as a physical labourer.
Job #4: Control Traffic
At road construction sites, physical laborers are often tasked with controlling traffic. You can expect to be responsible for setting up road markers, barricades, and flagging vehicles to control the flow to traffic at the construction site.
This is an important task since without it, vehicles would not know there is a potential hazard and that they need to proceed with caution. It also ensures that everyone at the construction site is kept safe and vehicles are not speeding past.
Job #5: Handle a Variety of Different Materials
As a physical labourer, you will need to handle a variety of different materials. This includes mixing, pouring, and spreading materials such as concrete and asphalt. You may also be required to clean up chemical spills or other contaminants, as wells as remove asbestos or other materials.
Since your duties will really depend on the project you are working on, your duties may shift frequently. This means that you may be dealing with different materials at different construction sites.
Job #6: Problem-Solve
You just never know when something may break down and not go your way. That’s where the ability to problem-solve comes in. Having this capability will ensure that you can quickly diagnose an issue and find a solution to the problem.
With problem-solving skills, you will be a part of the solution, making you an even more valuable team member.
Job #7: Perform General Landscaping
Do you like spending a lot of time outside? As a physical labourer, you can expect to be outside for most, if not all, of the day.
One of the duties you may be performing outside are general landscaping tasks. General landscaping duties include moving lawns, trimming vegetation, and blowing and raking leaves. You may also find yourself planting flowers and other plants, cutting down tree branches, and laying new grass.
Do these duties sound like something you would be interested in? If so, a career as a physical labourer may be for you.