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Construction plant mechanic

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Construction plant mechanics make sure that heavy plant items like diggers and dumper trucks are well maintained and working safely.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £12,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship. You'll usually need GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. 

You'll also need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on most building sites.

A driving licence may be necessary for some jobs.

Experience or qualifications in LGV mechanics or mechanical and electrical engineering maintenance can help. You may also find it useful to take a college course in plant or vehicle maintenance.

The Department for Education has a short video following a person training as an apprentice mechanic.

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has more information on this career.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent mechanical maintenance skills
  • communication skills for working with clients and other operators
  • problem-solving skills
  • the ability to work alone without direct supervision

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • servicing and repairing plant machinery
  • regularly inspecting engines, gearboxes and hydraulics
  • identifying faults and repairing or replacing faulty parts
  • reassembling parts and testing them
  • arranging for machinery to be moved to the repair workshop
  • carrying out routine servicing of plant and equipment
  • using hand and power tools and specialist equipment

4. Salary

Starter: £12,000 (trainee)

Experienced: £16,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000 or more

You could earn more with overtime and various allowances. If you're self-employed, you'll negotiate your own pay rates.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime, including weekends, is common.

Your time will be split between a workshop and sitework. The job can be physically demanding and some of your work may be underground or at height, for instance when repairing cranes.

You'll usually have to travel from job to job, and you could be working away from home for weeks at a time.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to construction plant technician, technical service representative, site supervisor or site manager.

You could also set up your own business.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018