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Construction Craft Labourer

Duties

Construction craft labourers perform a wide variety of tasks including moving materials and equipment, performing demolition, excavation and compaction activities.

They work at a wide variety of industrial plant sites, buildings, structures and premises including municipal sewer and water mains, roads, dams and bridges, tunnels, railways and pipelines.

Duties and responsibilities vary from one job to another but, in general, construction craft labourers:

  • handle and distribute construction materials (e.g. load and unload vehicles with supplies, equipment and construction materials; move tools, equipment and construction materials to and from work areas; remove rubble and other debris)
  • excavate, backfill and compact subgrade (e.g. move and level earth using shovels and rakes; operate tampers)
  • place, consolidate and protect cast-in-place concrete or masonry structures (e.g. shovel concrete and other materials into concrete mixers; mix, pour and spread concrete; use concrete vibrators)
  • install municipal sewer and water mains (e.g. dig trenches using shovels and other hand tools; align pipes and perform related activities)
  • assemble and dismantle scaffolding, ramps, catwalks, shoring and barricades at construction sites
  • drill and blast rock at construction sites
  • demolish buildings
  • sort, clean and pile salvaged materials from demolished buildings
  • operate jackhammers and drills to break up concrete or pavement
  • provide support for other trades as required

For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Occupation Regulation.

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Working Conditions

Construction craft labourers work primarily outdoors, in all weather conditions. Overtime is routinely required during peak construction periods.

In order to mitigate the risks associated with construction site injuries, construction craft labourers must wear personal protective equipment (e.g. hardhats, gloves and steel-toed boots) and follow safety programs and legislation.

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Skills and Abilities

The work appeals to people who enjoy being physically active, working outdoors, and using hand and power tools and working in an occupation that provides a visible sense of accomplishment.

To be successful in the occupation, construction craft labourers need:

  • physical strength and stamina,
  • manual dexterity,
  • the ability to use proper lifting techniques to lift items weighing in excess of 25 kilograms,
  • a safety conscious attitude, and
  • the ability to work with others in a team.

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Employment and Advancement

Construction craft labourers are employed by a variety of contractors in all sectors of the construction industry.

Employment prospects in the construction industry change with seasonal and economic climates. For the foreseeable future in Alberta, long-term prospects for employment as a construction craft labourer are excellent.

Experienced construction craft labourers earn from $19 to $35 an hour plus benefits.

 Experienced construction craft labourers may advance to supervisory/foreman positions.

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Working in Alberta

A certificate is not required to work as a construction craft labourer in Alberta. This is a designated occupation and participation is voluntary.

Job skills and competencies, standards of performance and training programs for construction craft labourers have been defined and approved under the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act.

Trainees who register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training to participate in occupational training and achieve the established standards of performance are awarded an Alberta Occupational Certificate.

Construction craft labourers who have no formal training but can prove that their skills and work experience meet the standards set for the occupation in Alberta may apply for occupational certification.

Individuals possessing a valid Alberta Journeyman Certificate, an Alberta Occupational Certificate, a document indicating that the individual holds a certificate that is recognized as equivalent to an Alberta trade or occupational certificate, or a certificate that is recognized as equivalent to an Alberta trade or occupational certificate are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.

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Occupational Certification - Based on Training

The term of training for a construction craft labourer is a minimum of 12 months and a minimum of 2,000 hours work experience.

  • An applicant who previously completed training or work experience related to the construction craft labourer occupation or who holds a related certificate may qualify for credit that could reduce the term of training.

To learn the skills required of a construction craft labourer and be issued an Alberta Occupational Certificate, a person must:

When trainees attend formal training, they must pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies.

Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.

Occupational Certification - Based on Work Experience

To qualify for an Alberta Occupational Certificate based on proof of skills and work experience that meet Alberta standards for the occupation, a person must:

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Interprovincial Standards (Red Seal) Program

To qualify for a Red Seal, a person must:

 

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Equivalency Program

A person who holds a valid recognized credential does not require an Alberta Equivalency document to work in the trade in Alberta.

However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized. 

Click for more information regarding the Equivalency Program.

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