www.tradesecrets.orgConstruction Craft Labourer

Construction craft labourers prepare and clean up construction sites, move materials and equipment, and perform demolition, excavation and compaction activities.

Also Known As:Drywaller
NOC Number(s):7611
Minimum Education:Designated Occupation
Employment Outlook:Job openings generated due to employment turnover. Occupational outlook currently unavailable.
Interests:M O i

Duties | Working Conditions | Personal Characteristics | Education | Employment | Salary | Other Information | Related Occupations | Related School Subjects | Related Field of Study


Construction craft labourers work on a wide variety of buildings, structures and premises including municipal sewer and water mains, roads, dams, bridges, tunnels, railways and canals. Their duties and responsibilities vary from one job to another but, in general, they:

  • handle and distribute construction materials (for example, 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 (for example, move and level earth using shovels and rakes, operate pneumatic tampers)
  • place, consolidate and protect cast-in-place concrete or masonry structures (for example, shovel concrete and other materials into concrete mixers; mix, pour and spread concrete; use concrete vibrators)
  • install municipal sewer and water mains (for example, 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.

Working Conditions

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

There is some risk of injury involved in working on contruction sites. Construction craft labourers must wear personal protective equipment - P.P.E. - (hardhats, gloves and steel-toed boots) and follow safety programs and legislation.

Construction craft labourers may be required to lift and move items weighing over 25 kilograms.

Personal Characteristics

Construction craft labourers need the following characteristics:

  • physical strength and stamina
  • manual dexterity
  • a safety conscious attitude
  • the ability to work with others in a team.

They should enjoy being physically active, working outdoors, using hand and power tools, and working in an occupation that provides a visible sense of accomplishment.

Educational Requirements

Construction craft labourer is a designated occupation in Alberta. This means that training and certification are not required but trainees can apply to Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training for an Alberta Occupational Certificate. 

To register, prospective trainees must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have a high school diploma or related experience.

The term of training for the construction craft labourer program is a minimum of 12 months that include at least 2,000 hours of work experience. 

Applicants who have related training or experience may qualify for credit or certification.

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 depending on the season and economy. For the foreseeable future in Alberta long-term prospects for employment as a construction craft labourer are excellent.

Experienced construction craft labourers may advance to supervisory or foreman positions. Certified Alberta construction craft labourers who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Construction craft labourers are part of the larger National Occupational Classification 7611: Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers. In Alberta, 75 per cent of  people employed in this classification work in the Construction industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Section revised November 2013


Experienced construction craft labourers earn from $19 to $30 an hour plus benefits (2009 estimate).

According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers occupational group earned on average from $18.37 to $25.84 an hour. The mean wage for this group was $21.55 an hour.

For more detailed information, see WAGEinfo.

Section revised February 2012

Other Sources of Information

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website:

Alberta Construction Industry "Trade Up!" website:

Calgary Construction Association website:

Construction Sector Council website:

Related Occupational Profiles
Concrete Finisher
Floorcovering Installer
Lather-Interior Systems Mechanic
Painter and Decorator
Scaffold Erector

Related High School Subjects
Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation (Construction)

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
Trades, Industrial and Related Training

Produced April 2009
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For more information on career planning, occupations and educational programs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website at, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

The information contained in this profile was current as of the dates shown. Salaries, employment outlook and educational programs may change. Please check the information before making any career decisions.

Government of Alberta, Human Services