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Road worker

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

Road workers build and repair roads and motorways.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£35,000 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 a road worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a college course like:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills
  • Level 2 Diploma in Construction and Civil Engineering Operations (Construction)

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

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 work, like labouring or groundwork.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about training as 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 public safety and security
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • 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:

  • build, widen and resurface roads
  • repair cracks, potholes and other damage
  • lay pavements, kerbs and drains
  • maintain roadside verges and central reservations
  • paint road markings
  • install crash barriers, road signs, traffic lights and street lamps
  • dig trenches for cables and pipes
  • operate power tools and machinery
  • direct traffic around road works
  • grit roads and clear snow in winter
  • lead a team of workers

Working environment

You could work on the road.

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', or become a highways technician, helping to design road improvements.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Highways Maintenance Operative

  • Wage: Competitive salary Annually
  • Location: Aylesbury

Road Surfacing Apprentice

  • Wage: £22,880.00 Annually
  • Location: Gloucester

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a road worker?

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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