Road worker

Road construction operative, highways operative

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Road workers build and repair roads and motorways.

Salary Range: £16,000 to £40,000

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How to become a road worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
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College

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.

Entry requirements

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

More information

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Apprenticeship

You could do a road surfacing operative intermediate apprenticeship, or highways maintenance intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

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Direct application

You may be able to apply for jobs if you’ve got experience in other areas of construction work, like labouring.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about training as a road worker from Go Construct.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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.

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

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.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a road works team supervisor, known as a ‘ganger’.

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