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Labourers are usually employed in the construction industry to perform physical, manual work that includes digging trenches, laying foundations, building walls, fitting windows, plastering and carpentry duties. Much of the work takes place outside and, as such, is dictated by weather and lighting conditions, which often means an early start and an early finish.

Owing to the nature of the work, it is essential that Labourers have a good level of physical fitness. It is also important that they have basic numeracy and literacy skills, as measurements for weight, mass, temperature and pressure often need to be taken. An understanding of technical plans and drawings is also necessary.

Most Labourers learn their trade on the job, although there are several relevant courses that can provide preparation for the industry, including Edexcel first diploma in construction, City & Guilds basic skills in construction, and the intermediate and advanced construction award. Most labourers start on £6 an hour and, rather than receiving a set salary, are paid only for the work that is available on the day, so take-home pay is very much dependent on the weather and the current demand for work.

Typical salary range

Average salary: £19,689.


In order to start working as a general labourer on a construction site, the first thing you will need to do is get your CSCS (Green) Labourer card. This card is vital for you to get on-site and demonstrates that you have the required knowledge of health and safety on a construction site.

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