What's involved - View steeplejack apprentice Elliot's video

Steeplejacks spend much of their time installing roof conductors, down conductors and earth terminations on all types of structures. These include industrial chimneys, power stations, chemical works, church spires, bridges and high-rise buildings.

They also fit aircraft warning lights on tall structures, replace roof glass, repair masonry, paint structures such as bridges, dismantle or demolish tall chimneys or buildings and inspect structures for damage.

The work can be dangerous so steeplejacks are very aware of safety issues, including the safety of those on the ground, and the need to follow strict health and safety regulations at all times.

Skills required

Not surprisingly, the most important attribute for this job is to have no fear of heights, but you'll also need to be fit and have a good sense of balance.

You'll need to be practical to use the tools and equipment, be an excellent organiser and work well as part of a team. Of course, you also need to be able to follow strict safe working practices.

Qualifications required

There are no formal requirements although it would help to have GCSE's in English or Welsh and Maths at A*-C (Applications from students with the Foundation or Intermediate Welsh Baccalaureate are also welcomed).

Salary ranges

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

£17,000 - £35,000

Find out what a real apprentice thinks:

 

I’m studying for my apprenticeship in Steeplejacking at the National Construction College East in Bircham Newton.

Which company do you work for?

My current employer is Rafferty Chimneys based in Stoke-on-Trent.

What do you do day-to-day?

The sort of work we do is erecting and dismantling steeplejack ladders and erecting and dismantling steeplejack scaffolds and that sort of work. The more training I do the more I'll be able to do, but at the moment I assist the steeplejacks on the site we're on.

What are the good bits about your job?

What I like about my role is that I get to learn new things. I get to erect and dismantle steeplejack ladders, I get to learn the basics of the tools and learn more things at college as well.

What's the coolest thing you've done so far?

The coolest thing about being at the college since I've been here is probably laddering the stack behind me right now. It's nearly 40m high. You just want to keep going and going.

What would you say to anyone who wanted to try this?

The thing that I would say to people who are considering being a steeplejack, or going into this industry, is if you've got a head for heights, this is the job for you.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I'd say that in ten years time I would like to see myself as an advanced steeplejack which is a supervisor's sort of role. It puts you in charge of jobs on site and gives you the power over everyone below you.