Road construction operatives


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Road construction operatives construct, repair and maintain roads and lay paving slabs and kerbstones to form pavements and street gutters.


No academic qualifications are required. Training is typically provided on-the-job. All sites are required to have a ‘trained operative’ registered with the Street Workers Qualification Register. Trained operatives are required to attend accredited assessment centres. NVQs/SVQs in Highway Maintenance and Road Building are available at Levels 1 and 2.

Typical tasks

  • inspects road surfaces for hazards or signs of deterioration, clears mud, weeds and debris from road and spreads grit or salt as required;
  • cuts away broken road surface with pick or pneumatic drill;
  • heats bitumen in bucket, applies it to newly laid asphalt and beats or draws tamper head on asphalt to close joints;
  • spreads bitumen, tar or asphalt and compacts surface using roller;
  • spreads aggregate over road surfaces using shovel and lays markings on road surface;
  • removes damaged paving slabs and kerb stones, lays bedding of sand, concrete or mortar on prepared foundation, lays new slabs or stones and fills joints with mortar.

Common job titles

Man, road (building construction)
Repairer, road
Layer, tar
Layer, slab
Layer, stone
Hand, maintenance (local government: highways dept)
Layer, floor, concrete
Spreader, asphalt
Layer, road
Layer, surface (gas supplier)
Lengthman, road
Liner, road
Pavior, tar
Layer, asphalt
Superintendent, highways
Leveller, concrete
Spreader, tar
Worker, road
Contractor, road
Layer, tarmac
Man, surface (civil engineering)
Operative, highways
Mender, road
Worker, reinstatement
Finisher, concrete (building construction)
Layer, concrete
Roadsman (local government)
Inspector, road
Contractor, lining, road
Worker, concrete
Assembler, concrete
Layer, kerb
Worker, surface, road
Constructor, road
Mason, street
Paviour, tar
Surfacer, road
Worker, tarmac
Lengthman (local government)
Man, tar (building construction)
Hand, maintenance, highways
Inspector, roads
Paver, tar
Man, road (local government)
Raker, asphalt
Chipper (road surfacing)
Setter, kerb
Marker, road
Maker, road
Erector, concrete
Raker, tarmac