Building and Construction Labourer Kaimahi Whaihanga

Building and construction labourers do a wide range of physical work on building sites, roads and other large civil construction projects. 

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Building and construction labourers may do some or all of the following:

  • help put up scaffolding and construct or demolish buildings
  • level ground, dig trenches and lay pipes or cables
  • make and maintain roads, pathways or railways
  • pour and finish concrete
  • operate machines such as mowers or concrete breakers
  • move equipment and materials
  • clean up worksites. 

Physical Requirements

Building and construction labourers need to to be fit, healthy and strong as the work can be physically demanding. They may also need to be comfortable working at heights.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for building and construction labourers includes:

  • building work
  • farm or engineering work
  • work involving physical labour, such as gardening or road construction.

Personal Qualities

Building and construction labourers need to be:

  • safety-conscious
  • hard-working and efficient
  • observant, with an eye for detail
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to work with a wide range of tradespeople. 


Building and construction labourers need to have:

  • practical skills
  • knowledge of basic building and construction methods and terms
  • knowledge of worksite safety rules
  • knowledge of correct lifting techniques.

They may also need to be able to operate heavy machinery or drive heavy vehicles.


Building and construction labourers:

  • usually work eight-hour days, and may work weekends
  • work on construction and demolition sites, gardens, farms, roadsides and bushland
  • work outdoors in all types of weather, and in conditions that may be noisy, dirty and hazardous.

Building and Construction Labourers can earn around $23-$30 per hour.

Pay for building and construction labourers varies depending on skills, experience, the type of work they do and the region they're working in.

  • Building and construction labourers usually earn between minimum wage and $30 an hour.
  • Experienced building and construction labourers can earn between $25 and $40 an hour.

Source: Hays, 2022; Madison, '2022 NZ Employment Market Report – Industrial', 2022; and research, 2022.

With further training, building and construction labourers may progress to become scaffolders, carpenters and building contractors or move into other trades.

Building and construction labourers may specialise in:

  • concrete work
  • brick and blocklaying
  • road construction
  • fencing 
  • drainlaying.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a building and construction labourer as you gain skills on the job.

Building and Construction Labourer