Starting a career in Street Works

If you are looking to start a career in Street Works there are a few important things you need to know first.

There are many roles that require you to work on the roads and which you may need a NRSWA ticket.

Some common career paths that involve working on the roads include:

-        Road construction operative: Looks after maintenance and repair of the roads
-        Groundworker: Specifically prepares ground before, after and during construction
-        Traffic Management: Guide traffic around a disruption in the road
-        Fibre optics: Maintaining and installing fibre/broadband/telephone networks
-        Utilities field maintenance: Working for water/gas/electric companies maintaining the network

And some less obvious ones:

-        Tree surgeons
-        Christmas decorators 
-        Bus stop installer and maintenance technician 
-        Events staff

Should I get a NRSWA ticket/card first?

Straight from school or career change?

If you are coming straight from school or never worked on the roads before, don’t automatically sign up for a NRSWA course as this will not necessarily be the best starting point or guarantee you a job.

Also, ideally you would need some street works experience or construction experience to go on a street works course (please speak to your training course provider if you have no experience).

Do thorough research first into what area you would like to go into, as some more technical roles, i.e. with electric or gas will require additional qualifications.

Then look for apprentice or trainee roles within the area you would like to break into first.

Ask around any friends and family in the industry, call around companies of interests to see if you can get some work experience.

Already in the construction industry?

If you are already working in groundworks or on the roads and are looking to widen your horizons a street works course might be for you.

It may open up additional job opportunities if you have your NRSWA card ready to show.

But again, please research and research some more. 

See what roles you want to go for and what quals they ask for, contact companies to see if they are taking anyone on as they may be able to put you through a course once hired.

From the bottom up?

For most of the roles the best way to start is by working your way up from the bottom. To begin your journey you would require:

-        Core GCSE’s including English and Maths at least
-        Passion and enthusiasm 
-        Willingness to learn and work hard
-        Not be put off by the great British weather 

Then get your foot in the door of a company you would like to pursue (road works, fibre company etc) as a trainee, apprentice, a labourer, or through work experience.

Once in a lot of companies will provide you with all the necessary training including NRSWA, and your career progression can begin.

Do I need a driving licence for Streetworks?

We get asked a lot if you need a driving licence to do your NRSWA course. 

No you don’t.

But, and its a big but, we do see a lot of Street Works roles require you to be able drive, so it will be very handy for you to have, if you can.

Do I need a CSCS card?

We also get asked if you need CSCS card to get your NRSWA qualification.

Again no you do not need CSCS to do your NRSWA qualification.

And it is not a legal requirement to have CSCS to work on the roads unlike NRSWA.

However some, especially larger sites may ask all construction workers have a CSCS card, so it is worth looking into if it is something you may need.

Career Progression

It’s likely you will begin your career as an Operative doing the physical works on the roads. 

There are many other qualifications you may gain along the way, such as abrasive wheels, manual handling, first aid, asbestos awareness and plant operations.

You could also move from local authority roads to working on motorways, with NHSS qualifications.

From an Operative you can work your way up to be a Supervisor or ganger as they are called, so you will supervise and monitor the operatives and the works being carried out on the road.

From there you could move up into further managerial and planning roles, owning your own groundworks company, or even training the next generation of street workers.

We hope this has helped or inspired you into a career in street works.

If you do have any questions or need Street Works training, feel free to reach out to us.