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Demolition operative

Alternative titles for this job include

Demolition operatives dismantle buildings and structures, remove hazardous waste and salvage reusable materials.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a demolition operative

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a college course to learn some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. You could then apply to a demolition company for a trainee position. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills
  • Level 2 Diploma in Construction Operations

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


You may be able to start by doing a demolition operative intermediate apprenticeship.

If you're under 18, you could do an groundworker or construction plant operative intermediate apprenticeship, then move into demolition training once you reach 18.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


You may be able to work as a site labourer, plant operator or construction tradesperson and complete on-the-job training in demolition.

Direct Application

You can apply for jobs directly with demolition contractors if you have construction work experience. Some employers may ask for GCSEs in maths, English, and design and technology, or equivalent qualifications.

More Information


Further information

You can find out more about working in demolition from Go Construct.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • concentration skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • 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

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you could:

  • put up guard rails, safety screens and lay dust sheets
  • strip out fittings, remove doors and windows and dismantle roofs
  • cut metal beams and girders into pieces ready for removal
  • operate a crane-mounted magnet to recover metals
  • separate reusable materials from waste
  • load rubble and debris into mechanical crushers
  • prepare sites for explosive demolition
  • operate plant machinery to demolish structures
  • dispose of hazardous materials, like asbestos, safely

Working environment

You could work on a construction site.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With further training, you could specialise in a particular demolition method, for example the use of explosives.

With experience you could become a site supervisor, safety officer or move into contract management.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Groundworker

  • Wage: £174.00 - £328.40 Weekly
  • Location:

Level 2 Groundworker Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £174.00 - £328.40 Weekly
  • Location:

Courses In England

Certificate in Construction Skills

  • Provider: KENDAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 17 November 2021
  • Location: Kendal

Level 1 Certificate in Construction - Multi Skilled

  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Manchester

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