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Highways maintenance technician

Highways maintenance technicians work in a team to carry out highway maintenance programmes.

The role

  • Inspecting roads and identifying structural defects and safety issues
  • Designing highway maintenance schemes such as road and footway resurfacing and drainage
  • Making structural maintenance, design and analysis calculations
  • Looking at impact on the environment
  • Producing design drawings and specifications using CAD technology
  • Preparing tender packages, cost estimates, risk assessments, plans and reports
  • Liaising with local authorities, utilities companies and the general public

James Gunn

James Gunn is a Highways Maintenance Technician at VolkerHighways, part of VolkerWessels UK. They specialise in highways maintenance, civil engineering, hard and soft landscaping and street lighting.

Qualifications and training

You need to have GCSE grade 9-4 (A* to C)/Standard grades or National 4/5s in Maths, English and Technology and in Wales, the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Many people go through a trainee technician scheme with day release training, leading to a National and Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Civil Engineering/Building Services. You may also be able to take a foundation degree qualification or study part-time for a degree in construction, engineering or quantity surveying. For some training schemes you will need prior work experience. 

You could also work towards the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification. It provides professional recognition for transport planners and is awarded by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Transport Planning Society (TPS). You need to demonstrate an appreciation of a broad range of transport planning procedures and techniques, and a competence to work in some of these.


  • Newly trained highways maintenance operatives can earn in the region of £17,000 - £25,000
  • Trained with experience highways maintenance operatives can earn in the region of £25,000 - £30,000
  • Senior highways maintenance operatives can earn in the region of £30,000 - £35,000

Salaries typically range depending on location and overtime. Self-employed  highways maintenance operative’s set their own pay rates.




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Progression Opportunities

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