Road construction operatives

£17,160 Average salary at age 20
£34,840 Average Salary
52 Average hours per week


Road construction operatives construct, repair and maintain roads and lay paving slabs and kerbstones to form pavements and street gutters.

Main Tasks

  • Inspects road surfaces for hazards or signs of deterioration, clears mud, weeds and debris from road and spreads grit or salt as required;
  • Cuts away broken road surface with pick or pneumatic drill;
  • Heats bitumen in bucket, applies it to newly laid asphalt and beats or draws tamper head on asphalt to close joints;
  • Spreads bitumen, tar or asphalt and compacts surface using roller;
  • Spreads aggregate over road surfaces using shovel and lays markings on road surface;
  • Removes damaged paving slabs and kerb stones, lays bedding of sand, concrete or mortar on prepared foundation, lays new slabs or stones and fills joints with mortar.


No academic qualifications are required. Training is typically provided on-the-job. All sites are required to have a ‘trained operative’ registered with the Street Workers Qualification Register. Trained operatives are required to attend accredited assessment centres. NVQs/SVQs in Highway Maintenance and Road Building are available at Levels 1 and 2.

UK Prospects

20200 Workforce Size
15.38% Predicted decline 2020 - 2027
4329 Predicted Replacement 2020 - 2027

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