How to Become a Lead Laborer?

Are you thinking of becoming a Lead Laborer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Lead Laborer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Lead Laborer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become a Laborer

A laborer is responsible for performing various tasks, such as unloading and loading tools and assembling equipment, typically at a construction site. If you can perform physical labor and have strong math skills, you might want to work as a laborer. In this article, we cover five steps needed to become a laborer.

Get your high school diploma or GED.

Laborers usually need at least a high school diploma or GED before they are hired. Try to complete coursework in math and communications. Another option is to attend a trade or vocational school where you'll take courses on blueprint reading, welding, and shop. You can also obtain an associate or bachelor's degree, although those degrees aren't typically necessary to gain employment since there are no specific degree requirements.


Gain work experience.

Most employers want to hire individuals who have some on-the-job experience. You need to have a basic understanding of construction, operating machinery, and the safety procedures at a job site. You might be able to gain this experience through vocational or apprenticeship programs. Some employers might also provide a 90-day probationary period where you shadow current laborers and perform duties under direct supervision until you show that you can complete your responsibilities safely.


Secure certification.

Obtaining certifications can show potential employers that you have the skills and qualifications needed to work as a laborer. One noteworthy certification is the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) designation, which is given by the Construction Manager Certification Institute (CMCI). The CCM designation verifies an individual's competencies in cost, time, risk management, safety, and quality. Two other organizations that offer laborer certifications include the following:

  • American Concrete Institute (ACI): The ACI offers almost two dozen different types of certifications in concrete design, material work, and construction. Some of these concentrations focus on aggregate testing, inspection, masonry, and anchor installation.
  • National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP): The NASP has several certifications available for laborers such as Certified Safety Manager, Licensed Safety Professional, and Master Safety Administrator. It also has five specialist certifications and more than a dozen technical-level ones.

Find a specialty.

Since there are numerous facets within the laborer field, you might want to narrow down your options and determine what area you'd like to focus on. You'll find laborer jobs in both the public and private sectors, including demolition and construction, waste management, industrial, and environmental remediation. Some specialties you might select include the following:

  • Sewer construction and rehabilitation.
  • Brick paving.
  • Scaffold erection.
  • Asphalt paving.
  • Mason tending.
  • Concrete forming.

Expand your network.

One of the best ways to meet others in the industry is through networking. Try to attend industry-sponsored events, such as conferences or gatherings, where you can meet others in the business. You might learn about potential job opportunities at these events or meet with industry leaders who can teach you more about new technology and tools to improve working conditions at the job site.

Lead Laborer Career Path

Lead Laborer

5 - 7Years of Experience
$39K - $56K /yrMost Likely Range
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Laborer V

No Years of Experience Reports
$39K - $58K /yrMost Likely Range
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Chief Laborer

No Years of Experience Reports
$113K - $211K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Lead Laborer Career Path

Laborer I
Laborer II
Journeyman Laborer
Lead Laborer
Laborer V
Chief Laborer
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Related Careers in the Skilled Labor & Manufacturing Industry

Interested in other Skilled Labor & Manufacturing careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Lead Laborer skills. Discover some of the most common Lead Laborer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

0% skills overlap
23% transitioned to Packer