There’s a lot of chaos in construction, and a common theme revolves around what level or type of worker someone needs.
This includes tools, equipment, PPE, skills, experience, and more. Let’s start with the basics.
First, in order to work on any construction site, you need:
Sturdy work clothing, something that will stand up to the harsh environment, and offer some protection from the elements, debris, and work.
Work pants, cotton T-Shirts (blank), and quality, moisture wicking socks are all great.
You also need closed toe shoes or boots, preferably with non-marking soles and some sort of toe cap protection.
Second, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment):
This allows you to be of service on the job site in a variety of situations, and makes you suitable for helping, holding, cleaning, prepping, and other tasks.
Gloves, safety glasses, a breathing mask (N95 or equivalent), and hearing protection all fall into this category.
Third, basic tools:
To start, you need to be able to measure, check, mark, note, scribe, cut, and see.
This makes you quite helpful on the jobsite, and you can be given a wide variety of basic tasks that can be done by yourself, or with others.
For this, I suggest:
A tape measure, Stanley, 25′.
A pocket or torpedo level, nothing fancy, just a simple level.
A carpenters pencil, a good construction marker, and a blue ink pen.
A small pocket notepad, or similar. You can use your smartphone to take notes.
A standard utility knife, such as the Stanley quick change razor knife, works great for this, and many other, tasks. Having additional blades on board is a huge plus.
A standard pocket knife, folding, around 3″, will usually let you cut a lot of stuff, and help you get through your day easily.
For seeing, a flashlight or headlamp will let you see into dark spaces. I suggest having both.
Fourth, tools for getting work done:
For moving up in the ranks, you’ll needs your own hand tools to do basic work tasks.
A basic set of screw drivers, Phillips #1-3, flat head in 3/16″ and 1/4″.
A painters tool (6 in 1).
Pliers: An assortment, start with one needle nose, one adjustable (channel lock), and one flat (Electricians).