All You Need to Know About Being a Labourer in Construction


Plant Planet Careers are seeing a lot of labourer vacancies filter through the industry and as construction works look to pick up and resume projects halted in the pandemic, general labourer roles are predicted to be on the rise. But what exactly is a labourer and what tasks are you expected to do?


A labourer works mostly outdoors and typically performs manual work which requires physical strength and fitness. Some duties include ground working, concreting and bricklaying with some other tasks such as hanging signs, or filing reports.

Labourers usually work under a supervisor who will direct you in the specific tasks that you are supposed to be doing. General labourer tasks are often physically demanding.

The different types of labourers dependant on the industry they have joined. The most common are:

  • Construction labourers who carry out work on sites and buildings. 
  • Maintenance or custodian general labourers who focus on clean-up and grounds-keeping. 
  • Rail crew or dock general labourers who help out at a specific locations such as railway stations. 
  • Office labourers who assist with things like carrying messages, taking notes, and removing supplies from storage.
  • Event general labourers who help with setup for fairs, sporting events, concerts, and other special events.


Many labouring roles require you to have a Green CSCS card. There are many different types of CSCS cards you can get, however for a labouring position, a green one is the one you will need. This card shows that you possess the knowledge of health and safety, vital on a construction site.

To obtain the card, you need to complete the GQA CSCS Course, Test and Card. The package is a one-day course and can be completed very quickly allowing you to get your Green card in one day!

Alternative methods of obtaining your CSCS card are:


General labourers’ wages vary quite a lot. They are almost always paid on an hourly basis. Many general labourer jobs can vary from part time to full time work. A new starter just finishing an apprenticeship can expect anywhere from £14,000 upwards. As in the case in most industries, more experience means a higher salary. More experienced labourers can earn around £30,000 a year. Having extra skills and qualifications will help you gain higher-paying jobs and build your reputation within the industry.

Health Benefits:

Working as a labourer in construction comes with numerous physical and mental benefits:

Getting exercise

No need for the gym if you’re a labourer – Long periods of inactivity can lead to all sorts of health issues. Labourers are engaged in continuous exercise everyday, which brings great benefits to your physical and mental health. You’re keeping fit and healthy while getting paid. Win, win!

Better sleep

Many people struggle to sleep because they aren’t physically tired, but this isn’t the case for those who work physically demanding jobs.

Manual workers, such as farmers and labourers, get the best night’s rest as they are physically active for most of the day. In fact, the NHS recommends carrying out 30 minutes of exercise as one of the best remedies for those who are struggling to sleep.

Increased Skillset

As a labourer you will witness your own skillset improve over time which will work wonders for your own character, both inside and outside of work. learning new skills which can be applied anywhere in your life to great job prospects with clear progression opportunities, a job as a labourer can help you in many ways.

In Demand

Labourers are always sought after by employers. In fact, they are amongst the priority occupation areas in construction, and it is predicted tens of thousands additional labourers will be needed over the coming years to meet demand.

Labouring positions can allow you to learn valuable skills and gain all sorts of experience, both on and off site. Labouring work can also open up many windows of opportunity, be it through the network of people you meet in your line of work or due to the many transferable skills learnt throughout their positions labourers have a very positive job outlook.

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