Construction laborers and helpers perform many tasks that require physical labor on construction sites.
What Do Window and Door Installers / Home Improvement Contractors Do?
Construction laborers and helpers typically do the following:
- Clean and prepare construction sites by removing debris and possible hazards
- Load or unload building materials to be used in construction
- Build or take apart bracing, scaffolding, and temporary structures
- Dig trenches, backfill holes, or compact earth to prepare for construction
- Operate or tend equipment and machines used in construction
- Follow construction plans and instructions from supervisors or more experienced workers
- Assist craftworkers with their duties
Construction laborers and helpers work on almost all construction sites, performing a wide range of tasks varying in complexity from very easy to extremely difficult and hazardous.
Construction laborers, also referred to as construction craft laborers, perform a wide variety of construction-related activities during all phases of construction. Many laborers spend their time preparing and cleaning up construction sites, using tools such as shovels and brooms. Other workers, such as those on road crews, may specialize and learn to control traffic patterns and operate pavement breakers, jackhammers, earth tampers, or surveying equipment.
With special training, laborers may help transport and use explosives or run hydraulic boring machines to dig out tunnels. They may learn to use lasers to place pipes and to use computers to control robotic pipe cutters. They may become certified to remove asbestos, lead, or chemicals.
Helpers assist construction craftworkers, such as electricians and carpenters, with a variety of tasks. They may carry tools and materials or help set up equipment. For example, many helpers work with cement masons to move and set the forms that determine the shape of poured concrete. Many other helpers assist with taking apart equipment, cleaning up sites, and disposing of waste, as well as helping with any other needs of craftworkers.
Many construction trades have helpers who assist craftworkers. The following trades have associated helpers:
- Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons, and tile and marble setters
- Painters, paperhangers, plasterers, and stucco masons
- Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Window/Door Installation and Replacement workers are tasked with installing windows and doors for clients and customers in specified areas. The responsibilities in this sub-sector range from a variety of window and door types, such as wood, metal, sectional, and hinged. As well, duties in the commercial sector may include more mechanical installations, such as overhead doors or mechanical gates. A worker in this area may also be called to perform repairs on installed windows and doors.
Typical tasks include:
- Install product and companion products
- Complete paperwork required
- Operate a variety of machinery such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers
- Maintain safe working environment by obeying safety rules
- Participate in overall system level testing efforts
- Diagnose and resolve complex installation issues
- Load and unload materials from truck onto work site
- Install parts in specified relationship to each other
- Completed window/door removals and installations in a timely manner
- Effectively collaborate with partner(s) to achieve desired results
- Keep work areas safe and free of debris
- Remove old frames as needed and installed new ones
- Cut doors to fit doorways in homes and businesses
- Ensure that all frames have proper measurements
- Install locks and metal arms on window frames
Education and Experience
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to enter the occupation. Most employers prefer that a Window/Door Installation and Replacement worker have a certificate or have successfully completed apprenticeship in carpentry or a closely related field from a trade, technical, or vocational school. Several groups, such as unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs.
- Annual pay: Average earnings are $40,000-$60,000
- Employment of Window/Door Installation and Replacement workers is projected to grow 4% percent from 2018 to 2028.
- Entry-level education: Typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent and associated apprenticeship (or other on-the-job experience).
Career Growth Opportunity
Demand for Window/Door Installation and Replacement workers is widespread as consumers are consistently improving their homes and commercial industry continues to grow.
- Window and Door Manufacturers Association - This organization speaks to the standards of excellence in the residential and commercial window, door and skylight industry and advances these standards among industry members while providing resources, education and professional programs designed to advance industry businesses and provide greater value for their customers.
- International Door Association - IDA’s mission is to be the leading trade association representing the door and access systems industry by providing advocacy, education, and collaboration to advance the industry with increased professionalism, and vibrant volunteer leadership and staff.
- United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America - The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) is one of North America’s largest building trades unions, with over a half-million members.
- National Glass Association - NGA is the authority and resource for its members and the industry to grow successful businesses and to champion the benefits of glazing and glass building products.
- Finishing Trades Institute International - This organization’s mission is to advise, assist and coordinate in the training and development of a skilled, educated, and productive workforce for the finishing trades industries.
- American Architecture Manufacturers Association, Certified Window Installer - Best practices and installation techniques based on industry standards for both new construction and replacement projects.
- Home Builders Institute - This organization’s mission is to advance and provide education, career development, training and placement of men and women serving the building industry.
- National Association of Home Builders - NAHB strives to protect the American Dream of housing opportunities for all, while working to achieve professional success for its members who build communities, create jobs and strengthen our economy.
- The Associated General Contractors of America - The AGC of America works to ensure the continued success of the commercial construction industry by advocating for federal, state and local measures that support the industry; providing opportunities for firms to learn about ways to become more accomplished; and connecting them with the resources and individuals they need to be successful businesses and corporate citizens.
- National Association of the Remodeling Industry - NARI connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that consumers have a positive remodeling experience with a professional, qualified remodeler.
- Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. - ABC's mission is the advancement of the merit shop construction philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.
- Sisters in the Brotherhood - Sisters in the Brotherhood is a group dedicated to strengthening the UBC by promoting activism and diversity and by increasing the number of women members.
- Wentworth Institute of Technology - New England Regional Council of Carpenters has launched a program with Wentworth Institute of Technology that will give college credit for completing a four-year apprenticeship, providing union carpenters with a pathway to management positions within the construction industry. The program is also available for journey level workers who did not complete an apprenticeship.