A road worker helps build and repair roads and motorways.

What does a road worker do?

A road worker helps build and repair roads and motorways. You might also excavate trenches, lay drains, kerbs and pipes, and paint road markings. 

Your typical duties could include:

  • road building, widening and resurfacing
  • repairing potholes and cracks
  • laying pavements and kerbs
  • maintaining roadside verges and central reservations
  • painting road markings
  • putting up crash barriers, road signs, traffic lights and street lamps
  • digging access trenches for cable and pipe laying
  • gritting roads and clearing snow in winter

You would do some of the work by hand, using picks and shovels. For heavier jobs, you operate power tools and plant machinery, for example pneumatic drills, 360-degree excavators and road rollers.

Working safely is very important, and you would be responsible for setting up warning signs and cones, as well as managing traffic and pedestrians close to the work site.

What do I need to do to become a road worker?

You don’t need formal qualifications, but employers may want some on-site experience.

You could get into this career by completing an apprenticeship with a construction or utility company. To get on a scheme, you may need GCSEs in subjects like maths, English and design and technology, or equivalent qualifications.

Another option is to take a Level 1 or 2 college course in construction, which would teach you some of the skills needed.

You have to be 18 or over and have a driving licence to operate construction plant machinery.

You may also need an LGV licence for some jobs.

Related skills

  • Literacy
  • Physical fitness
  • Teamwork

Vocational route

  • Apprenticeship with a construction or utility company
  • Level 1 Certificate in Basic Construction Skills
  • Level 1 Certificate in Building Crafts
  • Level 1 Certificate/Diploma in Work Preparation for Building and Construction
  • Level 2 Diploma in Construction Operations

Desirable qualifications

  • GCSEs in subjects like maths, English, and design and technology, or equivalent qualifications

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You work in all weather conditions and it's noisy, dirty and physically tough. You could be travelling from site to site, which may involve overnight stays.


Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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