Profession waterway construction labourer

Waterway maintenance labourers maintain canals, dams and other waterway structures such as coastal or inland water plants. They are responsible for the construction of breakwaters, canals, dikes and embankments as well as other works in and around water.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional


  • Types of waterways

    Field of information which distinguishes different types of man-made waterways such as canals and dams.

  • National waterways

    Know the national waterways used for inland navigation, know geographical location of rivers, canals, seaports and inland harbours, and understand the relationship with cargo flows.

  • Water pressure

    Physical laws, qualities and applications of liquid or water pressure.

  • Excavation techniques

    The methods to remove rock and soil, used in an excavation site and the associated risks.

  • Water policies

    Have a solid understanding of policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations concerning water.

  • Dredging consoles

    The configuration of different types of dredging consoles. How the functions of the dredge are mapped to the console.


  • Inspect concrete structures

    Visually inspect a concrete structure to see if it is structurally sound. Check for different types of cracks, such as those due to reinforcement corrosion, impact damage or high water content.

  • Manage sumps

    Oversee correct operation of sumps; to make sure that the operations for collecting and removing the undesirable or excess liquid runs smoothly.

  • Operate sumps

    Operate industrial sumps used to remove excess liquid such as water or chemicals.

  • Identify defects in concrete

    Use infrared techniques to discover defects in concrete.

  • Construct canal locks

    Install lock systems in sections of canals for the raising and lowering of vessels from one level to another. These are used for their passage over canals as well as for the control of the water level.

  • Operate pumps

    Operate industrial pumps used to remove excess liquid.

  • Work in a construction team

    Work as part of a team in a construction project. Communicate efficiently, sharing information with team members and reporting to supervisors. Follow instructions and adapt to changes in a flexible manner.

  • Plan surface slope

    Make sure the planned surface has the necessary slope to prevent puddling of water or fluids.

  • Construct dams

    Dewater a suitable area through the construction of a diversion tunnel and use earthmoving equipment to build a coffer dam. Remove rocks and rubble in order to construct a plant, which uses concrete to prevent water leakages by using waterstops.

  • Inspect construction sites

    Ensure health and safety during the construction project by inspecting the construction site regularly. Identify risks of putting people in danger or of damaging construction equipment.

  • Dig soil mechanically

    Use mechanical equipment to dig up and move soil. Form pits according to excavation plans.

  • Use rigging equipment

    Set up rolling and lifting equipment required to lift and move objects e.g. with a crane or block and tackle system.

  • Measure water depth

    Measure the depths of a body of water by using depth measuring equipment such as a depth gauge.

  • Perform drainage work

    Dig draining ditches and lay the pipe or gutter installation to allow evacuation of surplus liquid and avoid subsidence or other damage.

  • Maintain dredging equipment

    Keep the dredging equipment in good condition. Regularly inspect suction elements, pumps, cables, cutterheads and other elements and take the necessary steps to repair any damage or wear.

  • Install tunnel segments

    Set the reinforced concrete tunnel segments in place after the tunnel boring machine has excavated sufficient space. Base the position of the segments on the plans or calculations for optimal placement.

  • Follow health and safety procedures in construction

    Apply the relevant health and safety procedures in construction in order to prevent accidents, pollution and other risks.

Optional knowledge and skills

european classification of inland waterways demolition techniques quality assurance procedures operate vacuum dewatering system conduct sediment control inspect pipelines read standard blueprints conduct erosion control operate cranes design dams perform underwater bridge inspection inspect drainage channels develop flood remediation strategies pour concrete underwater mix construction grouts water reuse identify risk of flooding insert charges into drill holes international waterways set up temporary construction site infrastructure flood remediation equipment check borehole depth position dredger operate drilling equipment