A groundworker prepares the ground before, during and after building - they are often the first tradesperson on a construction site and work throughout the project.

To become a groundworker there are a few options available to you and an apprenticeship is one of the most effective.

What is an apprentice groundworker?

An apprentice groundworker is a person who is learning the role on the job, with a construction company, while also taking some time to study parts of the job to qualify. There are no formal qualifications or entry requirements, but you must be over 16.

What does an apprentice groundworker do?

As an apprentice groundworker you will be working as part of a team who carry out the very first, and often last, work on a construction site. You’ll be learning on the job, so may have to watch a few of the jobs before you can undertake them, but you could be:

  • Clearing a construction site
  • Digging trenches for foundations
  • Setting up a site, putting up barriers, safety signs, huts, etc.
  • Providing excavation support to other construction professionals
  • Interpreting the use of drawings and specifications
  • Laying pavements, kerbs, and driveways
  • Concreting sites
  • Removing drainage and pipework systems
  • Operating plant machinery, such as excavators and dumper trucks
  • Preparing the ground/foundations to allow construction to begin
  • Redirecting waterways and connecting pipes with existing pipework

You’ll also be trained in health and safety and any other rules and regulations for the construction site you are working on. If you’re not on site, you’ll be with your training provider completing written work or taking tests to make sure you’re up to date on all your knowledge.

What does an apprenticeship entail?

During your apprenticeship, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and learning at college or a training provider. You will learn about health and safety, how to use certain tools and complete any written work that needs to be done to become a groundworker.

Find out more about what's involved in an apprenticeship here.

Where can I do an apprenticeship?

To begin any construction apprenticeship, you need to find an employer who can provide on-the-job training. Many will have sections on their websites telling you if they offer apprenticeships or not.

You can also apply for construction apprenticeships through the government websites for EnglandScotland and Wales or search for jobs via Talentview.

You can also contact your local college, specialist training provider, or apprenticeship managing agency as they may be able to help you find an employer. Tell them what you are looking for and they may also take a copy of your CV.

Don't have a CV? Our guide to writing one as you covered.

What does an apprentice groundworker salary look like?

As with most jobs, the more experience you have, the more you can earn. Newly trained groundworkers can earn between £17,000 and £20,000, but as an apprentice this may be slightly lower. However, you aren’t going to pay fees for the apprenticeship, instead you will earn as you learn, which is cheaper than going to university, and quicker.

Become an apprentice groundworker today

A level 2 groundworker apprenticeship, which is equivalent to five GCSE passes, is highly regarded by construction employers and a great option to get you started. There are no entry requirements, although you will need a good understanding of written and spoken English.

And if you’re worried about having no previous experience at all, read our guide to getting a job in construction without it.