Immigration to the US as a Construction Worker
The percentage of immigrant workers in the construction workforce is rising, according to an analysis of the most recent 2016 American Community Survey. Immigrant workers constitute nearly 25% of the overall construction workforce, accounting for an average of 30% in the construction trades.
Job Description (SOC 47-000)
Construction workers are also known as construction laborers who work on construction sites. They are responsible for a number of on-site tasks, such as removing debris, erecting scaffolding, loading and unloading building materials, and assisting with operating heavy equipment.
Some of construction worker responsibilities include:
- Preparing construction sites, materials, and tools.
- Loading and unloading of materials, tools, and equipment.
- Removing debris, garbage, and dangerous materials from sites.
- Assembling and breaking down barricades, temporary structures, and scaffolding.
- Assisting contractors, e.g. electricians and painters, as required.
- Assisting with transport and operation of heavy machinery and equipment.
Similar Occupation SOC Codes:
47-1000 : Supervisors of Construction and Extraction Workers
47-1010 : First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers
11-9020 : Construction Managers
Salary Average: $32k USD per year
US Construction Worker Requirements
Most employers require construction workers to have a high school diploma. They can improve their skills by taking classes in welding, woodshop, and mathematics while still in high school. Frequently employers train construction workers once they begin the job. Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field. Some of these certifications may include the following:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction Certificate
- Silica in Construction Certificate
- National Association of Safety Professionals Certifications
Occupation Visa Options for Immigrating to the US
There are two options when it comes to construction workers seeking to immigrate to the United States. Let’s explore these options!
H-2B Visa: Non-Agricultural Workers
The H-2B Visa is a temporary work permit available to applicants who are coming to the United States as skilled and unskilled workers, unlike the H-1B visa which is for highly skilled workers in “specialty occupations.” There are many occupations that are eligible for an H-2B non-agricultural visa. 5 of those occupations include:
- Landscaping and groundskeeping workers
- Forest and conservation workers
- Amusement and recreation attendants
- Maids and housekeeping cleaners
- Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers
EB-3 Visa: Employment-Based Visa for Permanent Workers
Applying for an employment-based visa may be a great choice for you if you’re looking for a more permanent role in the US. This option is better for those who are already living in the United States on a temporary work permit like the H-1B, L-1, or in this case H-2B! The employment-based petition is a fast track to getting your US Employment-Based Green Card.
Are You Interested in Migrating to the United States as a Construction Worker?
Immigrating to the US is not a completely straightforward process. The laws are somewhat complex, and for this reason, it helps to work with an immigration professional to help you.