Demolition operative

Demolition operative

Demolition operatives dismantle old and derelict structures or buildings.

The Role

  • Working closely with demolition topmen, who prepare sites for demolition.
  • Stripping out fittings, removing doors and windows, dismantling roof structures, cutting steel framework, stripping off fragile roofs and instructing others on safe demolition practices.
  • Using hammer drills, oxyacetylene cutting equipment and plant machinery. 
  • Preparing a structure for explosive demolition.  
  • Following strict health and safety regulations at all times
  • safely removing hazardous materials like asbestos and toxic chemicals
  • Planning, overseeing and reviewing the demolition of buildings and structures
  • Managing the project team throughout the process
  • Advising on the work being done
  • Making sure health, safety and environment requirements are being met
  • Looking after the administration of contracts
  • Looking after the financial control 
  • Managing sub-contractor governance
  • Looking after the daily on-site management of other construction workers
  • This role involves working outdoors and in all conditions.
  • It’s often dirty and dusty and is occasionally at height and may work longer hours over the summer months


  • Newly trained demolition operatives can earn in the region of £10,000 - £20,000
  • Trained with experience demolition operatives can earn in the region of £20,000 - £30,000
  • Senior demolition operatives can earn in the region of £30,000 - £45,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and the amount of overtime worked. Self-employed demolition operatives set their own pay rates.

Qualifications and Training

There are no set qualifications that you need to have studied at school, though it is helpful to have Standard Grades/National 4 or 5s or GCSEs in maths, English or technology or equivlent such as BTEC, Welsh Baccalaureate, WJEC in Construction.

You will need to be aged 18 or over to work on-site in demolition. It is helpful to get on-site experience first, perhaps as a labourer. Your employer may then be willing to train you in demolition.

A construction apprenticeship with a demolition firm is a common way to enter the field. To search for apprenticeship vacancies in your area, visit the government's vacancy matching site, or in Wales, Careers Wales.


A Day in the life of...

Lee Clarke

Lee Clark is a demolition operative for Bath Demolition.

Read moreabout Lee Clarke


Check out the latest Demolition Operative vacancies: 

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

Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!

Find out more

For information on the Demolition Operative role in Scotland please visit the Skills Development Scotland website My World of Work.

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which role is right for you.

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