Chimney sweep

Chimney sweeps clean the chimneys of open fires, including coal, gas, oil and wood-fired heating systems.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

weekends occasionally

How to become a Chimney sweep

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • training with a professional body


You'll need to find an experienced chimney sweep to take you on as an assistant and train you on the job. As part of that training, you could complete a Level 2 Certificate in Chimney Sweeping or Level 2 Diploma in Chimney Engineering.

Experience in construction or engineering may be helpful, although not essential to do these courses.

Other routes

You could take a training course with a professional body if you're working in the industry. Professional bodies include:

Training courses cover areas like:

  • flues and ventilations
  • sealing cleaning access points
  • sweeping techniques
  • building regulations
  • health and safety

More information

Career tips

Many chimney sweeps set up their own business once they have some experience.

Further information

You can find out more about working in chimney sweeping and engineering through Go Construct.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a full UK or EU driving licence, held for at least 12 months

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • inspecting the chimney or flue before cleaning
  • protecting the surrounding area so that soot and debris doesn't escape into a room
  • using brushes on extending rods to clean the chimney or flue
  • removing soot and debris from the fireplace or appliance using an industrial vacuum cleaner
  • advising customers about any potential hazards and faults, and when the chimney or flue will need cleaning again
  • using equipment such as smoke-generating machines and CCTV cameras to examine the condition of chimneys and investigate faults
  • advising customers on the safe operation and maintenance of chimneys, appliances and flues

Working environment

You could work in a commercial building or at a private house.

Your working environment may be dirty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You'll usually be self-employed, although you may also find jobs with private companies like solid fuel distributors.

Membership of NACS, the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps or the Association of Professional and Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS) will show customers that you're competent and work to strict standards governed by a code of practice.

It may be possible to buy an existing business.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Chimney sweep right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

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