Road Construction Worker

Road construction work is usually performed by unskilled labourers. Workers can specialize in certain types of work or operate various pieces of equipment. Diligent and responsible workers are usually promoted to supervisory positions, where training and supervision of other workers is undertaken.

Several types of work can be distinguished:

General workers: perform general excavations with picks and shovels and clean the side of roads with shovels and brooms.

Machine operators: perform excavations in roads using mechanical or air pressure jackhammers to loosen road material. Machine operators operate vibratory tampers to compact material in layers.

Lorry drivers: transport workers and equipment to sites and carry out all other transport functions.

Tar patchers: receive written orders from foremen. They supervise a team to repair holes and trenches in the road and determine the amount of tar and other materials required.

Road makers: receive orders and drawings indicating the road-building programme. Road makers organise the moving of road camps, supervise the work of road construction plant operators and other workers, and control the maintenance of machinery.

The noise level in this type of work is high and conditions are dusty, but employers provide appropriate safety clothing.

Personal Requirements

  • good health as the work is physically demanding
  • willing to work outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • not mind working away from home
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to follow and give instructions

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

No specific requirements.

What to Study

All employers offer in-service training.


  • regional governments
  • municipalities
  • civil engineering companies
  • road construction companie

Further Information

Additional information can be obtained from provincial authorities, municipalities and private organisations. Information can also be obtained from:

The Provincial Secretary
Provincial Administration of Gauteng
Private Bag X197
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 303-2000

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a road construction company
  • arrange to speak to a road construction worker about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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