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Steeplejacks tackle building and repair work that needs to be done high above the ground.

Average salaries are in the region of £18,000.00 to £25,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Steeplejacks tackle building and repair work that needs to be done high above the ground. They are crucial to keeping everything safe and in good working on order on tall buildings and other structures.

What they do

A Steeplejack has absolutely no fear of heights and needs to be fit with a good sense of balance. They climb a huge range of buildings and structures, including industrial chimneys, power stations, chemical works, church spires, bridges and high-rise towers.

As well as having a good head for heights a steeplejack is organised, an expert in the tools and equipment needed for the job and works well in a team.  

Sticking to strict health and safety rules is second nature to a steeplejack. The job can be dangerous so they are very aware of safety issues for themselves and the people on the ground. Once a job is finished, he or she must dismantle the equipment and return it safely to the ground. Steeplejacks usually work outdoors and in all weathers. 

Typical duties include:

  • Installing lightning conductors
  • Fitting aircraft warning lights, replace roof glass, repair masonry and paint structures such as bridges
  • Demolishing tall chimneys or buildings
  • Checking for damage on buildings after heavy weather such as high winds
  • Reporting on problems and recommending solutions to architects, surveyors and engineers

Hours & Salary:

  • Newly trained Steeplejacks can earn in the region of £18,500 - £19,000
  • Trained with experience Steeplejacks can earn in the region of £23,000 - £28,000
  • Senior or Master Craft Steeplejacks can earn higher salaries
  • Salaries and career options improve with Chartered/Master status
  • Overtime and various allowances can significantly increase income
  • Self-employed Steeplejacks set their own pay rates

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and any overtime that you may do. Self-employed access floorers set their own pay rates. 


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

Learn more about construction careers – and some of the misconceptions surrounding them – with our Myth Busters  

Case Study

Elliot Bruce is an apprentice steeplejack and works for Rafferty Steeplejacks in Stoke-on-Trent.

Where are you doing your training?

I’m studying for my apprenticeship in steeplejacking at the National Construction College East in Bircham Newton, Norfolk. I started work at Rafferty and they got me onto the course itself. I had to pass a height test before I even started my course.

What kind of work do you do?

We erect and dismantle steeplejack ladders and steeplejack scaffolds. The more training I do, the more I’ll be able to do. At the moment I assist the steeplejacks on the site where we’re working.

What do you love about your job?

What I like about my role is that I get to learn new things, such as how to put steeplejack ladders together then take them apart again, I enjoy getting to know how to use the tools we need and learning all about my trade at college.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far?

The coolest thing I’ve done at college is laddering a stack that was 130 feet high. You just want to keep going and going.

Where do you want your career to take you?

I’d like to become an advanced steeplejack, which is a supervisor’s role. It puts you in charge of jobs on site and gives you power over everyone below you. That’s where I see myself in ten years.

What’s your advice to anyone who wants to be a steeplejack?

I’d say that if you’ve got a head for heights, this is the job for you

Qualifications & Training

There are no formal entry requirements to be a steeplejack, but GCSEs or Standard Grades in Maths, English, Science or Design and Technology are useful.  In Wales, you might consider the WJEC GCSE in Construction, or the Welsh Baccalaureate. You need ability in maths and a basic understanding of electrical theory to be a lightning conductor engineer.

A good way to start a career as a steeplejack is with an apprenticeship. You would work towards relevant Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) or National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) at Levels 2 and 3, including Accessing Operations and Rigging (Construction) - Steeplejack.  Once you have completed an apprenticeship you can apply to upgrade your CSCS trainee card to a Skilled Worker card.

For further information on this occupation visit World of Work

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: 

ATLAS (Association of Technical Lightning & Access Specialists)
UK Jobs Network
Universal Jobsmatch

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

25,450 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 25,450 specialist building operative roles (which includes steeplejacks) to meet demand between 2017 - 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of this demand will be in East of England and East Midlands.

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