This post provides detailed information on the demolition laborer career, including how to become one, the various opportunities available, and the benefits of being a demolition laborer.
How to become a Demolition Laborer
The following are steps you can take to become a demolition laborer:
- Get a high school diploma or its equivalent educational qualification
While a high school diploma or equivalent is required for the demolition laborer position, some employers may prefer candidates who have taken college courses.
Consider taking construction and building classes to expand your knowledge of demolition processes.
You can also learn skills such as carpentry, welding, and machinery operation by enrolling in vocational programs at local community colleges.
2. Consider completing an apprenticeship to gain on-the-job experience
Apprenticeships allow aspiring demolition laborers to learn about their careers while working alongside experienced professionals.
It is typical that apprentice demolition laborers spend three years learning on the job under the supervision of a mentor before applying for full union membership.
Even though apprenticeship is helpful, it is however not necessary to become a demolition laborer.
It can help you gain valuable experience and knowledge that will make you more appealing to employers.
3. Become a member of a union to gain access to job opportunities
Most demolition workers are required to join a union. The Laborers’ International Union of North America, the United Association Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, and Service Mechanics, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are the most common unions for this occupation.
When you join a union, you gain access to job opportunities through your local branch.
You can also improve your skills by attending training sessions provided by these organizations.
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4. Obtain asbestos removal certification
Demolition workers who work in asbestos-contaminated areas may need to be certified in asbestos removal.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all asbestos workers to be trained and certified in asbestos handling procedures.
The Asbestos Training Institute provides an online course that teaches you how to recognize asbestos, protect yourself from it, and safely remove it.
After completing this course and passing the test, you will receive an OSHA-compliant certificate of competency in asbestos awareness and safety.
5. Improve your physical stamina and ability to lift heavy objects
Demolition workers frequently work long hours and in difficult conditions. You must be able to lift and carry heavy objects, such as large pieces of concrete or steel beams, over long distances.
To reach certain areas, you may need to climb ladders and scaffolding.
You should work on your physical stamina so that you can work throughout the day.
6. Work in hazardous and confined environments
Demolition workers frequently work in hazardous and confined environments. They may be required to enter buildings that are unstable or have partial collapses, making the work environment extremely dangerous.
Furthermore, demolition workers must frequently crawl through narrow spaces while carrying heavy equipment.
The ability to work in these conditions is required for this position.
7. Possess strong communication skills
Communication is a necessary skill for demolition laborers because they work in groups and must be able to clearly convey instructions.
Demolition laborers frequently collaborate with other laborers, heavy equipment operators, crane operators, and construction managers, so it’s critical that you communicate your tasks and needs effectively to everyone on the team.
During the demolition process, you may need to interact with homeowners or building owners, which requires good communication skills.
Demolition Laborer Career Opportunities
Here are various career opportunities open to demolition laborers:
- Construction Technician
A construction technician is a person who is trained to work in a laborer’s position. Technicians have the same qualifications as a laborer.
They have the ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds, and to squat, bend, stretch, push and pull up to 500 pounds.
They are also able to climb ladders, scaffolding, towers and poles. Construction technicians typically work on-site in a demolition or construction site under the supervision of supervisors or project managers.
2. Construction Foreman
The position of construction foreman is the second highest level of authority in the demolition industry.
These individuals are responsible for supervising other technicians and laborers.
They have a higher degree of responsibility in the demolition process and they have greater authority to make decision during demolition projects.
The skills required to gain this level of expertise include control, attention to detail, leadership and communication skills.
3. Carpenter Helper
The carpenter helper position is a non-supervisory technician position. It involves assisting with the demolition of the existing building, removing attachments and bolt holes, framing ceilings and walls, and removing flooring.
4. Construction Supervisor
A construction supervisor is an individual who has gained need technical skills in order to perform their job duties effectively.
Supervisors are employees that supervise the work of others as well as being directly responsible for the performance of specific jobs or tasks.
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5. Construction Team Leader
The construction team leader position is a non-supervisory technician position. They are responsible for the overall direction of the demolition process within the demolition laboratory.
Attention to detail, leadership, and communication skills are some of the technical skills required to gain the level of expertise of a team leader.
Team leaders perform their duties at the direction of their supervisors or superiors.
6. Demolition Project Manager
The demolition project manager is responsible for the overall direction of the demolition process within the demolition laboratory.
The technical skills required to gain this level of expertise of a demolition project manager include attention to detail, leadership and communication skills.
Demolition project managers work under the direction of a manager and are responsible for overseeing demolition projects with the assistance of their team leaders.
7. Construction Manager
Construction managers are senior construction professionals that oversee large scale projects, including a new office building, airport terminal, skyscraper, and mall construction project.
They are responsible for coordinating the various parties that are involved in a construction project and for communicating between these parties.
Construction managers also ensure that the project is completed within budget and schedule requirements.
Additional Demolition Laborer Career Opportunities
8. Facilities Manager
A facilities manager’s primary responsibility is to maintain the property owned by their company, from its buildings to its grounds.
They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of their property, which includes everything from repairs to leasing existing properties and new properties.
A facility manager is also responsible for the operation of the demolition laboratory and overseeing the staff who are assigned to their job.
Facilities managers typically supervise other employees while they are carrying out their duties.
9. Construction Director
The construction director’s primary responsibility is to oversee all of the operations within a demolition lab.
They are responsible for assignments and hiring, as well as disciplining and training employees who are assigned to their job.
Challenges faced by Demolition Laborer on the Job
Some of the common challenges that demolition laborers face in their job include:
Demolition laborers are exposed to loud noises, a lot of dust and vibration as they are demolishing buildings.
The risk of developing a concussion is increased with the debris that’s in the air at the demolition site.
2. Sprain or strain on the back and limbs
Demolition laborers’ have to do a lot of bending and reaching while demolishing buildings.
They may also have to drag heavy objects repeatedly throughout their job. Like other areas of work, this can lead to injuries in the back, neck, or knees.
3. At times they have to endure the noise, heat and dust of demolition work
The noise, dust, and heat associated with demolition can make working conditions very uncomfortable.
This can be an added challenge for the laborer who has to work in uncomfortable conditions.
Major Benefits of Demolition Laborer Career
There are different benefits of being a demolition laborer. Here are the major ones:
- Good Income
The income of a demolition laborer depends on where you are in your career. If you are new, you have to work until you get enough experience so that the advancement is pretty easy for you and for the employer.
2. High demand
The demand for demolition laborers is high, so you have a high chance of getting a job. Moreover, the skills that you gain from this occupation will help you in the future.
3. In most cases it is a full-time job, so you can leave in between and still receive the same income
As a demolition laborer, you may have to work long hours but it is nothing serious as compared to other jobs. As a result, your time spent working doesn’t become your main problem.
4. A good learning experience for the people who want to become a demolition laborer
Working as a demolition laborer will be a great learning experience. You will learn how all the things are connected, and how they function in order to create something new.
You can use the skills you gained from this job in your future career.
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5. A good start for the people who have just graduated
A job such as a demolition laborer is a good start for the people who have just graduated.
This will definitely build your experience and confidence to be in a job that requires less experience.
6. It is a lucrative career, if you love to build or destroy structures
A demolition laborer may not be rich, but they are surely in need to earn extra cash. However, when it comes to building or destroying things, this career is more successful than you think.
7. Employee benefits
Some of the employee benefits that a demolition laborer can receive are as follows:
- Health insurance
- Retirement plans
- Paid vacation and sick leave
- Profit sharing plans.
Someone in the demolition laborer career can work in different kinds of jobs, like trash disposal, demolition, building, and construction.
The job of a demolition laborer requires physical labor along with the ability to work under pressure in teams. A demolition laborer must have strong communication skills in order to work efficiently with others on their team.