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Recycled metals worker

Alternative titles for this job include

Recycled metals workers grade, sort, clean and bale scrap metal for recycling.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£24,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Recycled metals worker

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You can apply to do a Metal Recycling General Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

This takes a minimum of one year to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Direct Application

You do not need any particular qualifications to apply for jobs although GCSEs in English and maths can be useful.

Experience in metal working, operating a forklift truck or crane, or order picking on a production line, may be helpful.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about training and working in recycling from the British Metals Recycling Association.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need a large goods vehicle (LGV) licence if your job involves driving a lorry to collect metal waste.

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a recycled metals worker, you could:

  • weigh and record scrap metal collections
  • grade and sort metal, by hand or machine
  • shred scrap metal into pieces using hydraulic shears and cutters
  • use machines to crush the scrap into bales
  • operate a forklift truck or crane to stack and load sorted metal
  • drive lorries to collect or deliver recycled material

Green job

As a recycled metals worker, you'll remove materials to go for recycling from scrapped vehicles, household appliances and electrical and electronic waste. You'll also dispose of pollutants safely. This can have a positive impact on the environment.

Find out more about green careers

Working environment

You could work at a waste recycling site.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager of a recycling site.

You could also be self-employed and start your own recycling business.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Recycled metals worker 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

GCSE Maths and English

  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: Southend-on-Sea

GCSE Package Media Business Maths English Literature & Language (Fleet)

  • Start date: 11 September 2024
  • Location: Barnet

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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