Piling operatives drive columns of wood, steel or concrete into the ground to provide support for structures such as buildings, bridges and piers.
Salaries depend on location, employer, level of responsibility and the amount of overtime worked. Self-employed piling operatives set their own pay rates.
There are no set qualifications to be a piling operative but you must be at least 18 years old.
It is useful to have Standard Grades/National 4 or 5s, GCSE grades 9-4 (A*-C) or equivalent) in maths and English because this helps with calculations on the job. You can do a SVQ/NVQ Level 2 in piling, which is a two-year training programme to learn skills such as driven or bored piling.
A Specialist Apprenticeship Programme (Piling Operative) is also available.
If you have at least five years’ experience and don’t need more training, you can take the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA). This involves a practical assessment, work-based evidence and employer endorsement – all completed within a specified time. Alternatively you can do On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT).
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