Road construction operative, highways operative
Road workers build and repair roads and motorways.
Salary Range: £16,000 to £40,000
How to become a road worker
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could take a college course like:
- Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills
- Level 2 Diploma in Construction and Civil Engineering Operations (Construction)
This would teach you some of the skills needed for the role. You could then try to find a job as a trainee.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You could do a road surfacing operative intermediate apprenticeship, or highways maintenance intermediate apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You may be able to apply for jobs if you’ve got experience in other areas of construction work, like labouring.
You can find out more about training as a road worker from Go Construct.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of public safety and security
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- be over 18 years of age
- have a full driving licence
You may need to join the Street Works Qualifications Register and get a safety card, depending on your job.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- building, widening and resurfacing roads
- repairing cracks and potholes
- laying pavements
- maintaining roadside verges and central reservations
- painting road markings
- putting up crash barriers, road signs, traffic lights and street lamps
- digging trenches for cables and pipes
- gritting roads and clearing snow in winter
You could work on the road.
Your working environment may be you’ll travel often, dirty, outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and noisy.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a road works team supervisor, known as a ‘ganger’.