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Highways maintenance technician

Road construction operative, highways maintenance operative

Highways maintenance technicians oversee the maintenance and repair of highways and roads. They regularly monitor for damage, deal with public enquiries, liaise with local authorities and utility companies, and make repairs to pavements, street furniture, road markings and more.

Average salary*

£17000

-

£35000

How to become a highways maintenance technician

While there are no formal qualifications needed to become a highways maintenance technician, there are several routes you could take to help you pursue this career. You could complete a college course, an apprenticeship or apply directly to an employer for work.

You should explore these routes to becoming a highways maintenance technician, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions. 

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

College/training provider

Although there are no set entry requirements, anyone considering a career as a highways maintenance technician would benefit from achieving GCSE qualifications (or equivalent) in maths and English.

You could study for a Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills or a Level 2 Diploma in Construction and Civil Engineering Operations to improve your abilities and job prospects.

You'll need:

  • Up to 2 GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent (level 1 course)
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent (level 2 course).

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

You could apply for a road surfacing operative intermediate apprenticeship, or highways maintenance intermediate apprenticeship.

You'll need 2 - 3 GCSEs, usually including maths and English, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

You could apply directly to an employer to become a highways maintenance operative or technician, especially if you have some previous on-site or groundworks experience. This would give you the opportunity to develop your skills by learning from more experienced members of the team, and your employer may provide training to help you progress in your career.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a highways maintenance technician. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

Find out more about work experience

Skills

Desirable skills for a highways maintenance technician include: 

  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Good spatial awareness
  • Ability to work well as part of a team
  • Able to use and maintain machines and tools
  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Awareness of health and safety.

What does a highways maintenance technician do?

Highways maintenance technicians are responsible for the local roads and streets in a given area. They ensure that requests for repairs are actioned and that all highways and footways are well maintained.

The duties of a highways maintenance technician often include: 

  • Designing highways maintenance schemes, to cover resurfacing, drainage repairs and improvements to roads and footpaths
  • Inspecting roads to identify structural defects and safety issues 
  • Calculating costs of maintenance
  • Analysing the impact maintenance work will have on the environment 
  • Investigating and actioning maintenance requests submitted by members of the public
  • Overseeing practical maintenance of roads and streets
  • Directing traffic during repair operations
  • Operating, maintaining and transporting construction equipment and supplies
  • Maintaining road networks in winter
  • Painting traffic control lines
  • Performing roadside landscaping including clearing weeds and trimming trees
  • Sweeping debris from surfaces and structures
  • Spreading sand, asphalt, gravel and clay to build and maintain surfaces
  • Cleaning and repairing drainage systems, bridges, tunnels and other structures
  • Installing and repairing guardrails, road lighting and other features
  • Designing maintenance schemes to ensure work is carried out effectively and regularly
  • Producing technical drawings and specifications using CAD (computer-aided design) technology
  • Writing risk assessments ahead of maintenance projects.


How much could you earn as a highways maintenance technician?

The expected salary for a construction team leader varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained highways maintenance technicians can earn £17,000 - £25,000
  • Trained highways maintenance technicians with some experience can earn £25,000 - £30,000
  • Senior highways maintenance technicians can earn £30,000 - £35,000* 
  • Self-employed highways maintenance technicians set their own pay rates. 

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest highways maintenance technician vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary. 

Career path and progression

As a highways maintenance technician, you could complete training to become a mastic asphalter. 

With experience, you could move into more senior roles, such as a site supervisor, team leader or highways control manager.

Alternatively, you could set yourself up as a self-employed contractor.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Highways maintenance operative Ensure the roads, pavements & motorways are well maintained & conduct repair ope...
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  • Current role Highways maintenance technician Be part of the team involved in inspecting roads & identifying safety issues. Fi...
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  • Current role Estimator Work involves calculating the cost of supplying products or services for clients...
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  • Current role Buyer As a buyer you'll be responsible for ensure that the necessary materials for eac...
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  • Current role Highways engineer Help maintain the thousands of roads across Britain & build new ones. View a ful...
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  • Current role Civil engineer Civil Engineers plan, design & manage large construction projects which could ra...
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  • Current role Quantity surveyor A quantity surveyor works out exactly how much a building costs to construct and...
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  • Current role Highways control manager As a Highways Control Manager, you'll be helping provide highway maintenance, st...
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  • Current role Senior manager Senior managers and heads of department are responsible for leading teams of peo...
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  • Current role Contracts manager During a construction project, the contracts manager overseas the contracts proc...
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  • Current role Commercial manager Responsible for the budget on large scale projects & creating new business winni...
    Read more
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