Paving and Surfacing Labourers perform routine tasks associated in laying bituminous and other paving materials on roads, runways, parking areas and other surfaces to be paved.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in two workers have a Certificate III or IV.

Tasks

  • sweeping paving bases prior to laying asphalt and other surfaces
  • sprinkling and brushing hot and cold-mix asphalt over surfaces to be paved and repaired to bond asphalt toppings to bases
  • operating tank-truck distributors and hoses to spray tar and road oils and emulsions on graded surfaces prior to paving
  • tripping tail-gate levers to discharge hot-mix asphalt into paving machines, and spreading stone chips, gravel and cold-mix asphalt onto road surfaces
  • shovelling asphalt mix into areas inaccessible to paving machines, and compacting mix using rakes and hand tampers
  • cutting and trimming damaged surfaces using jack-hammers and softening edges of areas to be repaired with blowtorches
  • erecting and dismantling barricades
  • loading and unloading equipment, and cleaning work sites
  • may direct traffic

Job Titles

  • Paving and Surfacing Labourer

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,164 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      stable
    • Skill Level

      High School or Certificate I
    • Employment Size

      8300
    • Unemployment

      above average
    • Male Share

      96.7%
    • Female Share

      3.3%
    • Full-Time Share

      100.0%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a small occupation employing 8300 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
    Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

    • Paving and Surfacing Labourers work in most parts of Australia.
    • They mainly work in: Construction; Public Administration and Safety; and Manufacturing.
    • Almost all Paving and Surfacing Labourers work full-time
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,164 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20057000
    20067800
    200710300
    20089600
    20098100
    201010300
    20119300
    201211300
    20139100
    20146700
    20158300
    20208100

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (before tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsPaving and Surfacing LabourersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings11641230

    Hours

    Weekly Hours Worked

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPaving and Surfacing LabourersAll Jobs Average
    Full-time10068.4
    Part-time031.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.340

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Construction55.5
    Public Administration and Safety35.9
    Manufacturing2.9
    Information Media and Telecommunications1.5
    Other Industries4.2

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePaving and Surfacing LabourersAll Jobs Average
    NSW32.731.8
    VIC25.825.5
    QLD2119.8
    SA4.76.8
    WA9.711.2
    TAS4.22
    NT1.11.1
    ACT0.81.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPaving and Surfacing LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-194.1-5.45.4
    20-2412.7-9.99.9
    25-3421.8-23.423.4
    35-4423.6-21.721.7
    45-5420.7-21.121.1
    55-599.1-8.78.7
    60-647.9-5.95.9
    65 and Over0.2-3.83.8

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPaving and Surfacing LabourersCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males96.7Males53.6
    Females3.3Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationPaving and Surfacing LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV50.6-18.918.9
    Year 1214.6-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 1034.8-17.717.7
    Below Year 100-8.18.1

    A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
    Around one in two workers have a Certificate III or IV.

    If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
    The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

    It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

    Employers look for Paving and Surfacing Labourers who are motivated and hardworking.

    Knowledge

    The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Public Safety and Security

      79% Important

      Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

    2. Transportation

      72% Important

      Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

    3. Mechanical

      68% Important

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    4. Building and Construction

      66% Important

      Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    5. English Language

      65% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Occupational Information Network Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators Opens in a new window
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    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Controlling Machines and Processes

      92% Important

      Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

    2. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

      88% Important

      Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

    3. Performing General Physical Activities

      85% Important

      Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

    4. Handling and Moving Objects

      82% Important

      Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

    5. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

      79% Important

      Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

    Occupational Information Network Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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