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Road worker

Alternative titles for this job include Road construction operative, highways operative

Road workers build, repair and resurface roads, dual carriageways and motorways.

Average salary (a year)

£23,000 Starter


£36,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 47 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Road worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a college course to get some of the skills needed for this job. Courses include:

  • construction skills
  • highways maintenance - excavation operations
  • construction and civil engineering operations

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could apply to do a Road Surfacing Operative, or Highways Maintenance Skilled Operative, Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

These apprenticeships take between a year and 6 months and 2 years 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 may be able to apply for jobs if you've got experience in other areas of construction, like labouring and groundwork, or from operating plant machinery, like mechanical diggers.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a road worker 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:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • 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

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a road worker, you could:

  • operate power tools and plant machinery
  • build and maintain roads, tunnels, drains and pathways
  • repair potholes and resurface damaged highways
  • maintain roadside verges and central reservations
  • paint road markings, and put up traffic lights and road signs
  • dig trenches to install or repair cables and pipes
  • grit roads and clear snow in winter

Working environment

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding, dirty and noisy.

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 experience, you could be a road works team supervisor, known as a 'ganger'.

You could do further training to become a highways technician or electrician, designing and installing street lighting, traffic signals and road safety measures. You could also become a highways inspector, checking for road damage and the quality of repair works.

Another option is to move into the wider construction industry or work as a self-employed contractor.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Highways Maintenance Operative Apprentice

  • Wage: £21,060 a year Annually
  • Location: Upper Bristol Road, Clutton, Somerset

Highways Maintenance Operative Apprentice

  • Wage: £21,060 a year Annually
  • Location: Forest Road, Wokingham, Berkshire

Courses In England


  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Retford


  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Doncaster

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