How do you get a job on a building site?

What qualifications do you need to work on a building site?

It is possible to get on a building site without qualifications. You can get on a construction site as a labourer. This is an entry level job, that doesn’t require any qualifications. However you will need to be physically fit to carry out the role.

What does a Labourer do on a building site?

You may be asked to carry out tasks such as tidying the site, helping trades, cleaning welfare facilities and anything else that the site manager may require. The aim of the labourer is to help ensure the smooth and safe running of the site.

A typical day as a general site labourer would be

Making sure barriers for walkways are standing and straight

Picking up of any rubbish, like straps from brick packs and plastic bottles etc

Ensuring anything that is meant to be covered is, eg stairs that have been delivered early before roofs have been put on.

Sweeping of plots before gas membrane goes on

Putting temporary caps on pipes

Putting fire mastic in block work

Helping the various trades and forklift driver

Make sure signs are up in the correct places, e.g. walkway signs, site office or hazard signs. Some sites insist you have a paslode nail gun in use sign at the bottom of the ladder to make people aware of the potential danger. So be aware different sites may vary in there requirements.

Working as a labourer for 6 to 12 months would give you a good understanding of how a site works and the different trades involved. You would be able to see which trades you would or wouldn’t like to pursue.

Hod carriers

This can be hard work but also very rewarding. You can get into bricklaying through this route, it may take some time but if you’re reliable and eager to learn, you may get the chance to start laying bricks. You would normally be hod carrying for a while, then maybe do a bit of basic block work and pointing. Make sure you tell the employer your intentions and that you may be interested in becoming a brick layer.

This day and age, bigger sites tend to have silos so you don’t have to mix the mortar yourself. You can just fill up a bin and call the forklift driver to take the bin to the plot you’re working on. Smaller sites, you may have to mix it yourself, this isn’t always the case but generally.

Construction courses

You can also take basic courses in your desired career and get a job with a company that specialises in working on sites. For example, you may want to be a plasterer, so you could take a plastering course and try to get a job as a plasterers labourer.

Having some experience or knowledge is always helpful. If someone calls a company asking if there are any labouring jobs, the company could say, have you any experience?” Someone who already knows how to mix the plasterer is going to get the job over someone that doesn’t. However, apply anyway you could be the only one that’s phoned them up, right time, right place and all that.

There are plenty of courses you can do that are relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the amount construction workers typically earn. If you’re not sure what you want to do, just browse through the courses and see which ones appeal. offer a whole range of construction industry courses such as NVQ’s, electrical, carpentry, plastering, bricklaying, to name but a few. Based in Dartford DA1 5BS, they are conveniently placed. plastering, bricklaying and tiling courses available. Based in Lee on the Solent Hampshire. They do a 5 day plastering course that goes over the basics, how to mix plaster, timing when to put PVA on, how many coats of plaster, small repairs etc. They also do City and Guilds courses over a few weeks, if I remember correctly they also do the CSCS card training.

What card do you need to work on a construction site?

The basic card needed to get onto a construction site is the green labourer cscs card. You will need to take two tests, these are relatively easy and can be booked online. The first test can be done online, you can book the course, get the study notes and take the test. The second is the Operatives-Health, safety and environments test. You will have a CITB number and a registration ID and have to go to a Pearson professional centre. You’ll have an email sent to you with the address and time, although you choose which town you will be taking it in.

How much is CSCS Card 2021?

You will pay for the test and card which comes to about £60. First you need a safe2site qualification, don’t worry its easy. Here is a link to a site I personally used Its online and you can do it in your own time. You will need a webcam when taking the actual test, just so they can see you as if you were in a test centre. This test was just over £100, so altogether to get your labourers card it will be £160-£180.

Is CSCS test easy?

The test is relatively easy, it’s a multiple choice touch screen test. You can go on a short course to learn what is needed or you can buy a study book. 

How do I get a job on a construction site?

Get your CSCS card. Look on popular job sites such as Indeed, total jobs and, you will find jobs posted everyday. Labourers urgently needed, ground workers with dumper ticket required, telehandler CPCS or NPORS required, are commonly advertised.

Is the CSCS certification worth it?

Being a CSCS card holder can open up a lot of opportunities. This can lead to being a ground worker, hod carrier, bricky, plant driver or site manager to name but a few. Construction workers earn relatively good money and there are always plenty of jobs advertised.

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