Laborers work in a variety of job settings – from residential to commercial – and perform a broad scope of duties such as preparing the jobsite, loading and unloading material, building scaffolds, operating equipment and assisting other craftworkers.

Some laborers work with road crews to assist on infrastructure construction. These laborers learn traffic patterns so that they can direct traffic to help other tradesmen and tradeswomen work safely.

Many construction laborers are considered helpers, working ahead of cement masons or other trades to move materials and tools to where they are needed.

Work Conditions and Skills Needed

As suggested by the title, the work of a laborer is very labor intensive. Laborers need to be in good physical shape, as they may spend the entire day performing physical tasks.

A laborer should be able to stand, crouch, climb, lift and walk all day, as there is constantly work for a laborer to do on the jobsite.

Laborers should also be prepared to work in any condition. Their work may be outdoors or indoors at any time of the year.

It is helpful for laborers to have some knowledge of multiple trades as they may be helping an electrician one day and a cement mason the next.


Men and women who wish to start a career as a laborer should complete anĀ  Registered Apprenticeship Program with the LiUNA Training and Education Fund, which is the training entity for the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA).

A laborer apprentice earns a livable wage and great benefits, while learning on-the-job from experienced journeymen. Additionally, they receive mandatory classroom instruction from trained and experienced instructors.

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Laborers international Union of North America (LiUNA) logo

The Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) is an international organization, who represents laborers throughout the United States and Canada. LiUNA is united around the belief in collective bargaining, giving its members family-supporting pay, benefits and opportunity for advancement.

In addition to representing construction industry laborers, LiUNA also represents public employees in industries such as health care and sanitation, road maintenance and emergency response.

PACA Trades

The Pennsylvania Apprentice Coordinators Association (PACA) was created to promote and improve registered apprenticeship programs throughout the state of Pennsylvania for the construction industry. Click through the below listing of the construction trades and learn more about the Registered Apprenticeship Programs they offer throughout the state of Pennsylvania.