Plant operators use heavy machinery (known as "plant") to dig, lift and move materials on a building site. They are in charge of machines such as bulldozers and dumper trucks, mobile elevated work platforms, giant cranes, compactors and excavators (JCBs).
This role also involves unloading and moving building materials with rough-terrain forklifts and telescopic handlers. It can be one of the most exciting and dramatic construction jobs around.
For this role, you’ll normally work outdoors and sometimes at height if using a tower crane or one of the larger excavators. You generally become an expert in one type of large machinery, and do everything from driving and operating the machinery to keeping it running properly. This could include changing attachments (buckets and shovels), doing safety checks and maintenance, and then reporting any major faults to the specialist maintenance staff.
- Newly trained plant operators can earn in the region of £xxx - £xxx
- Trained with experience plant operators can earn in the region of £xxx - £xxx
- Senior plant operators can earn in the region of £xxx - £xxx
Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility.
Earnings typically depend on location, employer, the stage of your training, your hours worked and the opportunity to work overtime. Please also note that the pay rate figures have come from a variety of reliable sources including:
- National Home Builders
- Home Builder's Sub-Contractors
- The Home Builders Federation
- Construction Recruitment Agencies
Qualifications We Offer
There are no formal entry requirements to train as a plant operator, but some employers ask for GCSEs or equivalent in maths, English and design and technology.
An apprenticeship is a good way in. To find an apprenticeship visit the Government's vacancy website https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch in Wales visit Careers Wales https://ams.careerswales.com or in Scotland https://apprenticeships.scot.
Some of our trades have the opportunity to become "self-employed" where rates of pay will vary depending on your hours and productivity. In addition, all of our trade roles have the opportunity to progress and train as a construction site manager for a house building company. The jobs outlined on this website occur throughout the home building industry, but please note that actual job titles may vary slightly from one organisation to another.
Earn While You Learn
All our featured job roles offer an entry-point for school leavers to commence a career in the industry, particularly in site trades, where you will normally enrol for an apprenticeship. Site Management [Engineering] and Quantity Surveying also offer opportunities for college-leavers and graduates as well as school leavers.
For most jobs, depending on your qualifications and experience there are also openings for those looking to change career. This is particularly so in Sales, where your previous work experience in a customer-facing role will be just as relevant as any academic qualification.
Key job roles
A few (of many) jobs which we are looking to recruit in the home building industry.
Find opportunities in your region
Find opportunities in your region
To find opportunities available in your region, click a region to the left and then click one of the home builder logos below to be taken to their careers website.