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Maintenance operative

A maintenance operative is someone who carries out a variety of tasks around buildings, to keep them in good repair. Duties can include activities such as fixing roofs, painting walls, or fitting doors and skirting boards.

Average salary*




Typical hours per week


How to become a maintenance operative

There are several routes to becoming a maintenance operative. You could do a college course, an apprenticeship, or apply directly to an employer.

You should explore these routes 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

You could complete a college course in a construction-related craft, such as painting and decorating, carpentry, plastering, or more, to help you gain some of the practical skills required to become a maintenance operative.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


You could complete an apprenticeship to become a maintenance operative.

You could also complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in a construction trade like plumbing, carpentry or tiling.

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 out what the entry requirements are where you live.


If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain experience as a maintenance operative. You might start out as an assistant to a more experienced maintenance operative and progress as your abilities improve.

Work experience

You could volunteer to help out with DIY jobs for a housing association or charity. This would give you the chance to pick up skills and make contacts, which may lead to paid work.

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 maintenance operative. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a maintenance operative include: 

  • The ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • The ability to work well with your hands
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Practical skills for repairing and maintaining equipment
  • Good attention to detail
  • Excellent customer service skills.


To become a Maintenance Operative, you could complete a:

  • Level 2 Maintenance Operative apprenticeship

To become a Maintenance Operative, you could complete a:

  • Level 5 Maintenance Operative apprenticeship

To become a Maintenance Operative, you could complete a:

  • Level 2 Maintenance Operations (Construction)

What does a maintenance operative do?

As a maintenance operative, you will be responsible for maintaining, repairing, or fixing a variety of things within, or on the outside of buildings. Duties may include painting and decorating, fixing leaks in roofs, or assembling furniture. 

The job role of a maintenance operative may involve the following duties: 

  • Repairing roofing and guttering
  • Painting walls
  • Hanging doors and fitting skirting boards
  • Repairing or rebuilding walls
  • Fitting kitchens and bathrooms
  • Tiling walls and floors
  • Undertaking small plumbing repairs and minor electrical tasks
  • Performing checks on security and fire appliances
  • Masonry work on external walls or steps, laying slabs, erecting fences, laying vinyl flooring, glazing and replacing glass.

How much could you earn as a maintenance operative?

The expected salary for a maintenance operative varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained maintenance operatives can earn £20,000 - £25,000
  • Trained maintenance operatives with some experience can earn £25,000 - £30,000*
  • Self-employed maintenance operatives 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


Check out the latest maintenance operative vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a maintenance operative, you could take further courses and specialise in a particular area, such as carpentry or plumbing. Many maintenance operatives set up their own companies and work on a self-employed basis. 

Progression Opportunities

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