General Laborer Job Description [Updated for 2024]

general laborer job description

In the modern world, the role of general laborers is more crucial than ever.

As industries progress, the demand for skilled individuals who can execute, adapt, and safeguard our physical infrastructure continues to grow.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a general laborer?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the ideal candidate,
  • Or simply interested in the daily tasks of general labor,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a customizable general laborer job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

General Laborer Duties and Responsibilities

General Laborers carry out a range of manual labor tasks related to construction, manufacturing, landscaping, or similar industries.

This work may involve the use of various hand tools, machinery, and equipment.

Their key duties and responsibilities include:

  • Perform physical labor tasks including digging, lifting, carrying, and moving materials
  • Operate tools or machinery as required for specific tasks, such as jackhammers, power drills, or forklifts
  • Assist in setting up and taking down the materials and equipment at job sites
  • Follow all safety procedures on the job site and report violations to the appropriate authority
  • Carry out general maintenance and cleaning tasks to ensure a safe and tidy work site
  • Assist skilled tradespeople in their duties
  • Load and unload materials from trucks and deliver them to the appropriate locations
  • Perform demolition work and salvage useful materials
  • Measure, cut, or shape wood, plastic, and other materials


General Laborer Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a skilled, reliable general laborer to join our company.

In this position, you will be responsible for assisting contractors, operating heavy machinery, and following all site health and safety regulations.

A strong work ethic and attention to detail are essential.



  • Operate and care for construction equipment and machines.
  • Help equipment operator, carpenters, and other skilled labor when necessary.
  • Prep construction sites by cleaning obstacles and hazards.
  • Load or unload construction materials.
  • Put together and take apart temporary structures, such as scaffolding.
  • Remove, fill, or compact earth.
  • Follow instructions from supervisors.
  • Assist craft workers.
  • Ready to learn from on-the-job training when necessary.
  • Perform site clean-up.



  • Must have valid driver’s license.
  • Ability to do physical labor and other strenuous physical tasks.
  • Ability to work in all weather.
  • Workers must be punctual and reliable.
  • Must have experience as a general laborer in the construction industry.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off


Additional Information

  • Job Title: General Laborer
  • Work Environment: Field work with exposure to various weather conditions. This job includes physical labor and heavy lifting.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Construction Site Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $30,000 minimum to $40,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a General Laborer Do?

General Laborers typically work in the construction, manufacturing, or warehousing industries, but their skills can be applied in a variety of environments.

Their role often requires them to perform physical labor, and they may be employed on a temporary, project, or permanent basis.

General Laborers carry out various tasks that might include loading and unloading materials, digging ditches, setting up and tearing down equipment, or assisting skilled tradespeople with their duties.

They may also be tasked with cleaning and preparing construction sites, removing hazardous materials, and operating basic hand or power tools.

In some cases, they may be required to drive forklifts or other machinery, or perform routine maintenance tasks.

Another crucial part of a General Laborer’s job is to adhere to all safety procedures to create a secure working environment.

This could involve wearing safety equipment, following standard procedures, and reporting any unsafe conditions.

In some cases, a General Laborer might be required to work outdoors in various weather conditions, and the work can often be physically demanding.

Regardless of the specific tasks, a General Laborer plays a vital role in ensuring that projects are completed efficiently and safely.


General Laborer Qualifications and Skills

General Laborers require a combination of physical abilities, soft skills and industry knowledge to execute tasks efficiently and safely, including:

  • Physical strength and stamina to handle heavy equipment and materials, and work for extended periods.
  • Hand-eye coordination to perform tasks that require precise movements and handling of tools and equipment.
  • Basic math skills for tasks like measuring materials, estimating quantities, and interpreting blueprints or other instructions.
  • Attention to detail to ensure tasks are completed accurately and to maintain safety standards.
  • Good communication skills to understand instructions, ask necessary questions, and work effectively with team members.
  • Ability to work in varying weather conditions as many labor jobs are outdoors.
  • Problem-solving skills to identify issues and propose solutions during the course of work.
  • Knowledge of safety procedures and regulations to prevent accidents and maintain a safe work environment.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to perform a variety of tasks as required by the project.


General Laborer Experience Requirements

General Laborers often start their careers with no formal experience, as most of the skills required for this role can be learned on the job.

However, some employers may prefer candidates with at least 1 year of experience in a similar role or in a related industry.

Individuals looking to break into the field can gain experience through part-time work, internships or volunteer opportunities in construction, manufacturing or other relevant sectors.

Gaining experience operating heavy machinery, performing manual tasks, or using tools and equipment can also be beneficial for these roles.

As they gain more experience, General Laborers can advance to roles that involve more complex tasks or supervisory duties.

For instance, those with more than 3 years of experience may be eligible for roles such as Skilled Laborer, Foreman, or Site Supervisor.

Experience in safety practices and procedures, as well as any certifications related to construction or manufacturing safety, can also be advantageous for those seeking to advance in their General Laborer career.


General Laborer Education and Training Requirements

General Laborers typically require a high school diploma or equivalent education.

These individuals should have a strong physical capability as the job often involves manual labor, including lifting, digging, operating hand and power tools, and other physical tasks.

In most cases, General Laborers learn the necessary skills through on-the-job training.

This involves learning from experienced workers on how to perform various tasks such as operating machinery, adhering to safety protocols, and understanding construction or manufacturing processes.

While not mandatory, some General Laborers may opt to attend vocational or trade schools to learn specific skills related to a specific type of laborer job, such as welding, plumbing, or carpentry.

Certain roles may require General Laborers to hold specific certifications or licenses, particularly when operating heavy machinery or handling hazardous materials.

These certifications and licenses usually involve a course and an exam to ensure the laborer understands the safety requirements and operation of the machinery or materials.

Continuous on-the-job training is essential for General Laborers as they may need to adapt to new machinery, safety protocols, or job requirements.

This demonstrates a worker’s commitment to their role, their adaptability, and their dedication to safety and efficiency.


General Laborer Salary Expectations

A General Laborer typically earns an average wage of $15.25 (USD) per hour.

However, the actual earnings can significantly fluctuate based on factors such as experience, location, and the specifics of the job role and industry.


General Laborer Job Description FAQs

What skills does a General Laborer need?

General Laborers should have physical stamina and strength for heavy lifting and manual tasks.

They should also have good hand-eye coordination, and the ability to operate hand and power tools.

Basic math skills for taking measurements and understanding blueprints can be beneficial.

Good communication skills are also needed to follow instructions and work as part of a team.


Do General Laborers need any specific qualifications?

Most General Laborer roles do not require specific qualifications, as on-the-job training is usually provided.

However, some jobs may require a high school diploma or equivalent.

For certain tasks, a General Laborer might need to have specific certifications, such as a forklift or crane operating license.


What should you look for in a General Laborer resume?

A General Laborer resume should showcase the candidate’s experience in similar roles.

Look for mentions of physical labor tasks, like lifting, construction, or manufacturing work.

You should also pay attention to any certifications or licenses related to equipment operation or safety.


What qualities make a good General Laborer?

A good General Laborer is physically fit and able to perform strenuous tasks for extended periods.

They should be reliable, diligent, and able to follow instructions accurately.

Attention to safety is extremely important in this role, so a good General Laborer should show they take safety guidelines seriously.


What are the daily duties of a General Laborer?

Daily duties for a General Laborer can vary widely depending on the specific job.

They may involve loading and unloading materials, setting up and cleaning job sites, operating machinery, or assisting skilled tradespeople with various tasks.

General Laborers may also perform basic maintenance and repair tasks.



And there we have it.

Today, we’ve dusted off our gloves and shed light on what it truly means to be a general laborer.

And you know what?

It’s not just about manual work.

It’s about creating tangible results, one task at a time.

With our trusty general laborer job description template and real-world examples, you’re fully equipped to take the next step.

But why stop here?

Dig deeper with our job description generator. It’s your perfect tool for sculpting precise job listings or fine-tuning your resume to perfection.

Always remember:

Every task you perform contributes to the bigger picture.

Let’s build a better world. Together.

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