What's involved

A demolition operative demolishes or dismantles old and derelict structures or buildings using tools like hammer drills, oxyacetylene cutting equipment, plant machinery and explosives.

The dangers can change from day to day so you would need to follow strict health and safety regulations at all times. You would also be trained in the safe removal of hazardous materials like asbestos and toxic chemicals.

You could work in any of the following roles:

  • Labourer - preparing the site, putting up rails and safety screens, laying dustsheets and separating out re-usable building materials after demolition.
  • Mattockman or Mattockwoman - stripping out fittings, removing doors and windows, and dismantling roof structures.
  • Topman or Topwoman - all the tasks above as well as cutting steel framework, stripping off fragile roofs and instructing others in how to demolish structures safely.

Skills required

This is an outdoor job for outdoor people. It is essential that you are able to follow instructions and plan carefully.

You will also need to have good communication skills and be able to work as part of a team as you will be relying on each other.

Qualifications required

There are no formal requirements although it would help to have Maths and English Standard Grades.

Salary ranges

(This is a guide to the average salary a fully qualified and experienced person might expect to get.)

£17,000 - £25,000

Progression routes

If you decide to progress into supervisory, design or management roles there are opportunities to study for:

  • Technical, supervisory and  management SVQ qualifications (SCQF Levels 8,9,11)
  • HNC Construction or a number of other built environment HNC/HND qualifications (SCQF Levels 7 or 8)
  • Degree level qualifications in a number of construction disciplines (SCQF Levels 9 to 12)