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Oswego Career Ladders - Construction Worker

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Construction Worker

Industry: Energy
Area: Bioenergy

One of the goals of the US Department of Energy's Biomass Program is to foster a domestic biorefinery industry modeled after petrochemical refineries. Most of these refineries have yet to be built and should this industry expand as is expected in the future, there would be many opportunities for skilled construction workers in areas where these plants would be built. Biomass is expensive to ship long distance so plants would be built near the areas where the raw material would be produced. Agricultural areas and areas where the lumber industry operates would be prime locations for biomass refineries.

Work Settings

Working on a construction site is physically demanding. As with most machinery, accidents generally can be avoided by observing proper operating procedures and safety practices. As much of the work is outdoors, construction sites are cold in the winter and hot in the summer, and workers often get dirty, greasy, muddy, or dusty. Construction workers may have irregular hours because work on some construction projects continues around the clock or must be performed late at night or early in the morning. Work may take place in remote locations.


Construction workers learn on the job while those in the skilled trades learn how to perform their jobs through apprenticeship programs.

Job Outlook

Opportunities are expected to be good due to the numerous openings that rise each year as laborers leave the occupation. Opportunities will be best for those with experience and specialized skills, and for those willing to relocate to areas with new construction projects. Employment can be variable or intermittent due to the limited duration of construction projects and the cyclical nature of the construction industry.


Construction laborers earn approximately 12.00/hour. People in the skill trades can earn $30.00/ hour.

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