What Does a Construction Trainee Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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A construction trainee learns basic techniques, including the safe operation of tools, under supervision. Some construction firms and organizations offer these positions in the form of internships with a set hour requirement to prepare people for work in other settings. Others accept potential new hires as trainees to give them a chance to learn and determine if the job is a good fit for them. People who exhibit a capacity for learning and working well may be offered more permanent positions on construction crews and have an opportunity for career advancement.

Supervision is required to work as a construction trainee. Upon arrival at the job site, trainees are usually assigned specific tasks and may be paired with another construction worker or supervisor. They perform basic tasks under direction, operate tools, and gradually acquire more independence as they develop competency and demonstrate reliability. The construction trainee can also be asked to run errands, assist when another pair of hands is needed, and help complete specific projects.

Monitoring of safety on the job site is also part of the work for a construction trainee. Everyone on the job is responsible for identifying and responding to safety concerns, and this includes trainees. They may be encouraged to speak out if they see conditions that look hazardous or believe that people are skipping required safety measures like wearing harnesses while up high or protecting their eyes while they use cutting equipment.


A job site may offer opportunities for a construction trainee to learn to operate heavy equipment. This training requires focused attention as people operate forklifts, trailers, and similar equipment. They have an opportunity to do so under supervision while they develop their skills, and can eventually be asked to handle basic tasks on the job site. The types of training opportunities available can depend on the company and the job site.

People showing up for work generally need to have appropriate gear, including protective clothing and heavy boots. A workplace may be required to provide safety helmets and other specific safety equipment like harnesses, if they are required for safety. Additionally, some construction trainees also need to bring their own tools, equipment belts, and similar accessories. Meals may be provided on some job sites, and in other cases people need to pack their own food or purchase it at a meal stand in a nearby location. At big job sites, mobile food stands may appear around lunchtime to take advantage of potential business from construction workers.


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