Elementary construction occupations


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Job holders in this unit group perform a variety of general labouring and construction duties to assist building, civil engineering and related trades workers in the performance of their tasks.


No academic qualifications are required. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/SVQs in a variety of construction and craft occupations are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Typical tasks

  • conveys blocks, bricks, stone, mortar, roofing, felt, slates, wood and other building materials to the work area;
  • assists with the erection of ladders, scaffolding and work platforms, the rigging of cradles of hoisting equipment and the attaching of slings, hooks and guide ropes;
  • mixes mortar, grouting material, cement screed, and plaster, prepares adhesive, primer and paints and similar construction material, and undertakes basic decorating, painting, plumbing and other maintenance and repair tasks;
  • cleans equipment and tools, clears work area and otherwise assists building and woodworking trades workers as directed;
  • performs general labouring tasks such as digging trenches and foundations, removing wall coverings, and preparing surfaces by cleaning, sanding, filling, etc.;
  • covers ceilings, floors, walls and exposed surfaces of boilers, pipes and plant with insulating material;
  • heats and breaks up blocks of asphalt, bitumen or tar, stirs melting mixture, adds aggregate if required, pours mixture into buckets;
  • measures and fixes timber and other structures to support excavations, cables or other rail, signal and telecommunications equipment;
  • excavates, constructs and maintains land drainage systems and prepares graves for burial;
  • operates, cleans and lubricates valves and sluices, removes weeds, dead animals and other debris from waterways and carries out minor repairs to banks and footbridges;
  • helps diver into and out of diving suit, maintains communication with submerged diver and checks equipment and time spent under water.

Common job titles

Insulator, refrigerator
Assistant, builders'
Repairer, bank
Mate, plumber and jointer's
Carrier, hod
Assistant, surveying
Erector, light, street
Mate, layer's, service
Mate, craftsman's
Ganger (canals)
Potman, asphalt
Mate, scaffolder's
Man, mixer, asphalt (building construction)
Helper, bricklayer's
Man, job, odd
Labourer, contractor's
Coverer, pipe
Fixer, insulation
Mate, timberman's
Mate, layer's, main
Mate, plasterer's
Packer, asbestos
Mate, layer's, terrazzo
Labourer, joiner's
Assistant, diver's, sea
Labourer, platelayer's
Mate, carpenter's
Labourer, slater's
Erector, marquee
Handyman, builder's
Mate, layer's, plate
Insulator, loft
Mate, tiler's
Mate, coverer's, boiler
Breaker, rock (construction)
Bailiff (level, sewer commissioners)
Contractor (coal mine)
Labourer, fixer's, felt
Clothier, boiler
Foreman (river, water authority)
Man, timber (coal mine: above ground)
Operator, gun, cement
Assistant, mason's
Fitter, insulating
Tester, pipe (main laying)
Man, maintenance (water works)
Labourer, maker's, cabinet
Man, marsh
Mate, flagger's
Labourer, fitter's, shop
Attendant, diver's
Digger, grave
Foreman, length (river, water authority)
Boy, chain
Potman (building construction)
Signalman, diver's
Labourer, plasterer's
Jobber, builder's
Keeper, reservoir
Helper, electrician's (building construction)
Lagger, boiler
Operative, defence, flood
Linesman, diver's
Inspector, canal
Fitter, builder's
Mate, pavior's
Mate, machinist's, wood
Worker, building
Tupper (building construction)
Assistant, carpenter's
Mate, carpenter's and joiner's
Labourer, roofing
Contractor, drainage
Labourer, steeplejack's
Man, timber (electricity supplier)
Man, timber (railways)
Banksman (canal contractors)
Lather, metal
Lagger, asbestos
Taker, care
Inspector, river
Mixer, tar (building construction)
Labourer, plumber's
Assistant, glazier's
Labourer, site
Mate, sheeter's
Assistant, bricklayer's
Foreman (waterways)
Man, timber (local government)
Mate, asphalter's
Mate, electrician's (building construction)
Handyman, carpenter's
Assistant, survey (government)
Fixer, lath, metal
Labourer, mason's, fixer
Mate, wheelwright's
Linesman (water works)
Labourer, roofer's
Mate, fixer's
Mate, roofer's
Worker, construction
Boiler, tar (building construction)
Tender, diver's
Attendant, river
Spreader (building construction)
Linesman, surveyor's
Attendant, reservoir
Mate, mason's
Hand, maintenance (canals)
Labourer, track, electric
Coverer, boiler
Labourer, mason's, stone
Mate, slater's
Tacker, board
Mate, jointer's, pipe
Assistant, regulator's, gas
Labourer, cooper's
Lagger, pipe
Mate, layer's, brick
Backer-up (sawmilling)
Tester, drain
Labourer, engineer's, civil
Mate, painter's
Help, electrician's (building construction)
Handyman, fitter's
Man, timber (building construction)
Inspector, section (waterways)
Dismantler, furnace
Keeper, wharf, canal
Cleaner, river
Puller-off (sawmilling)
Foreman, surface (coal mine)
Mixer, asphalt (building construction)
Jobber, property
Labourer, carpenter's
Inspector, navigation (river, water authority)
Inspector, waterways
Worker, ground (building construction)
Mate, joiner's
Labourer, construction
Labourer (building construction)
Assistant, plasterer's
Assistant, general (building construction)
Contractor, penning
Assistant, joiner's
Mate, glazier's
Navvy, pond, slurry
Labourer, builder's
Jobber, agent's, estate
Examiner, trench
Labourer, fixer's, sheet
Applicator, mastic
Labourer, bricksetter's
Digger, trench
Proofer, water (building construction)
Foreman, yard (coal mine)
Lengthman (canals)
Bailiff, reservoir
Helper, carpenter's
Assistant, surveyor's
Propman (coal mine: above ground)
Erector, tent
Labourer, layer's, granolithic
Tenter, diver's
Assistant, electrician's (building construction)
Helper, mason's
Labourer, builder's, boat
Assistant, plumber's
Propper (coal mine: above ground)
Superintendent, reservoir
Worker, drainage
Handyman, electrician's (building construction)
Labourer, electrician's (building construction)
Assistant, general
Liner, pipe (building construction)
Labourer, layer's, terrazzo
Labourer, building
Mate, steeplejack's
Mate, layer's, granolithic
Operative, rivers
Assistant, sawyer's
Liner, pipe
Man, timber (water company)
Operator, tank, asphalt
Insulator, pipe
Mate, builder's
Worker, canal
Hand, maintenance, estate
Labourer, bricklayer's
Mate, plumber's
Maker, composition
Proofer, damp
Worker, river
Mate, sawyer's
Mate, lagger's
Hand, insulation
Jobber (building construction)
Labourer, engineering, civil

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.