Paving Laborer

Smooth hot asphalt into tomorrow's roadways with a little elbow grease.
picture of Paving Laborer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$22,000 – $47,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Paving Laborers do?

Many good jobs require on-the-job training. By accepting an entry-level position, you’re making an investment in your career in that field, learning the lingo and making connections. A Paving Laborer job is one of these positions. By working as a Paving Laborer, you’ll learn all about paving, which can lead to Equipment Operator and Foreman jobs down the line.

As a Paving Laborer, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. When you get to work each morning, likely long before your coworkers arrive, you inspect the equipment and make sure it’s in good working order. You check that each truck has the proper equipment, and that everything is ready to go for that day.

On the site, you often work as a helper to the crew. You fetch equipment from the trucks, hand it to workers, and repair broken tools. You also gather delivery slips for shipments that arrive on the worksite.

In addition to these assistant roles, you work on the hot asphalt, making sure it is applied smoothly. If you see thin patches, you add more. You may step in and operate machinery very briefly while other workers are occupied. This is incredibly valuable experience since it allows you to become familiar with all the paving tools used on the job.

The days will be scorching, and you’ll be standing on hot asphalt. You’ll be moving heavy equipment, and standing most of the day. If you can tolerate these conditions without melting, weeping, or yelling, you’ll go far in this career.

Should I be a Paving Laborer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • Also known as: Paver Layer

    How to become a Paving Laborer

    Most Paving Laborers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9gaaaa&chl=no+college+%2865%25%29|certificate+%2834%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,65,65
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