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Sprayed concrete lining tunnel operatives line tunnels with concrete sprayed from purpose-built equipment.

Average salaries are in the region of £40,000.00 to £60,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

As the job title suggests, sprayed concrete lining tunnel operatives line tunnels with sprayed concrete.

What they do

This construction job involves accurately applying concrete using high-pressure spraying equipment to form the lining of any newly-excavated tunnel. A sprayed concrete lining tunnel operative has to keep the mess (‘rebound’ and ‘overspray’) to a minimum and also achieve the required surface finish.

These are some of the skills you would need for this type of role:

  • A good eye for detail
  • Good co-ordination
  • Able to confidently work in tight spaces
  • Good at working in a team

There are different teams that work together in order to complete this kind of work. The lining team works together using hand-held equipment. On major projects, the concrete is applied robotically. The support team provides the ‘nozzleman’ at the business end with a constant supply of controlled materials, keeping the concrete consistent and avoiding any blockages.


This is a well-paid career and operatives are in demand.

  • Trained with experience Sprayed Concrete Lining Tunnel Operatives can earn in the region of £40,000 - £60,000
  • Self-employed Sprayed Concrete Lining Tunnel Operatives set their own pay rates

Salaries typically range depending on location, employer and overtime. 


Explore all the different construction industry jobs available with our Roles In Construction Animation.

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Case Study

Leon Mason is an apprentice Sprayed Concrete Lining Tunnel Operative at BAM Nuttall

I work for the civil engineering division of the company and, of course, spend a lot of my time spraying concrete. I also do some digging and mucking out as preparation work before the spraying. I’m involved in cleaning and maintenance operations for the machinery I use.

How did you get started?

I was researching construction jobs online and noticed some information about a career in spray concrete lining. I’d never heard of this specialist role before and was interested to learn more. I contacted the CITB via their website, where I completed an online test. Following the test, I was invited to an open day to learn more about the role.

What do you enjoy about your job?

As I’m a new spray concrete lining apprentice, I like the fact that I am learning something new about the role every day. Every working day can be different and this makes the role very interesting for me.

Any new skills?

I’ve improved my timekeeping, which is now very good!

Proudest career moment?

Winning Apprentice of the Year in spray concrete lining. I was the first apprentice to win the award.    

Any advice about joining the construction industry?

It’s a very interesting place to work with lots of opportunities, especially now with all the construction projects taking place across London. If you look for advice and guidance to help you make the right choices you’ll have an enjoyable career.

Qualifications & Training

There are no set qualifications for being a sprayed concrete lining tunnelling operative. It helps, though, to have good Standard Grades/National 4 or 5s, GCSEs in Maths and English or the Welsh Baccalaureate. You must also be at least 18 years old.

In the past, sprayed concrete lining tunnelling operatives were trained on site but now you can apply to do a two-year apprenticeship with a construction employer.  To search for apprenticeship vacancies in your area, visit the government's vacancy matching site, or in Wales, Careers Wales. In Scotland visit Skills Development Scotland

If you have a minimum of five years’ experience you can do On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) to achieve the SVQ/NVQ Diploma.

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 


Jora Jobs

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

3980 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 3980 civil engineering operatives and related occupations (which includes sprayed concrete lining tunnel operatives) to meet demand every year between 2017 - 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of this demand will be in North West England and Scotland.

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