A road worker helps to build new roads and pavements, repair or improve existing ones, and bury cables underneath the road surfaces. They are also called Highway Maintenance Operatives and Vehicle Restraint Operatives.
You could be:
digging trenches for laying cables and pipes for services such as gas, electricity, water, telephones and television
using hand tools, such as picks and shovels, using machinery such as drills, cement mixers and rollers
driving large vehicles with machinery attached
mixing and spreading concrete, tarmac, gravel and crushed stone
laying kerb slabs and paving stones
painting road markings, filling in potholes and resurfacing cracks
putting up fences, barriers (called vehicle restraint systems) and road signs or traffic lights and street lights
trimming trees and grass in the central reservations
spreading grit and salt in snowy weather.
The figures below are only a guide. Pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of your company
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage. The apprentice rate, for those aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship, is £5.28 an hour (1 April 2023).
Starting pay for qualified road workers is around £9.00 an hour, rising up to around £12.50 an hour or more with experience. You can earn extra through overtime and shift allowances.
You work outdoors in all weathers.
You use very noisy equipment such as pneumatic drills.
You wear protective clothing including reflective jacket, ear protectors, hard hat and boots.
You might be working in remote areas, travelling a lot and spending days at a time away from home.
Your standard working week is between 37 and 39 hours, but overtime is common.
You work night and weekend shifts to avoid disruption to traffic.