what is a groundworker?

A groundworker prepares a construction site and ensures the field is ready for the structural work to commence. Your job involves excavations, laying drains and preparing the place to lay the foundation for the new structure. Groundwork is crucial to ensure a project has a sturdy foundation that can hold the weight of the building. You will also help the construction crew to create the layout and structure of the building.

Your work doesn't end when the construction team starts building. After completing the building, it is your job to prepare the site and ensure the safety of the users. For instance, you will create pathways, driveways and kerbs using concrete and slabs.

what does a groundworker do?

Working as a construction worker involves complex activities, including excavation and constructing the underground drainage system. Hence, you ought to know how to use the equipment, machines, and tools to make your job easier. You are likely to use a dumper truck, an excavator, self-propelled rollers for flattening tarmacs and a block grab for lifting heavy slabs.

Groundworkers often work in building and construction and are often employed by civil engineering firms or construction companies. With additional experience, you can work in a consultancy firm providing advice on the best groundwork practices.

Would working as a groundworker suit your passion for working in the construction industry? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a groundworker role.

groundworker jobs

average salary of a groundworker

According to Go Construct, the average salary of a groundworker ranges from £17,000 to £30,000 a year. When you are newly trained, your annual earnings are between £17,000 and £20,000. With some experience and training, your earnings will increase up to £25,000 a year while senior-level groundworkers earn above £30,000 annually. Aside from the wages, most employers cover health insurance and provide other benefits. When you work overtime, your hourly rates differ from regular work hours. Some companies also offer bonuses and incentives for meeting deadlines.

what factors affect the salary of a groundworker?

The salaries of groundworkers vary depending on the company size and the construction project. Large construction projects require intense groundwork, which means groundworkers will have a lot of work compared to smaller projects. Besides, large projects have unlimited budgets; hence groundworkers get a larger piece of the pie. Big companies usually have better wages and benefits since they take on complex projects. Smaller businesses often have more limited budgets. The location also affects the salaries of groundworkers since most projects in small towns have a low budget compared to those in big cities.



types of groundworker

As a groundworker, you are involved in various activities designed to prepare construction sites. At entry-level, you can learn every role on the job, but as you gain experience, think about specialising in the following areas:

  • laying the foundation: as a groundworker responsible for laying the foundation, your work involves excavation, underpinning, block flooring and piling. You will also lay foundation structures that improve the aesthetic of a building, such as driveways and footings.
  • site clearance: clearing construction sites involves removing the topsoil and levelling the ground if the site has a slope. Sometimes, you have to create retaining walls to create level development platforms.


duties and responsibilities

When working as a groundworker, you are responsible for ensuring the construction site is ready for commencement of work. Let's look at what your daily tasks entail.


education & skills

Becoming a groundworker doesn't need educational qualification, but the following academic qualifications will propel your career:

  • college course: if you are interested in becoming a groundworker, you need GCSE qualifications in English and Maths. The qualifications allow you to study Level 1 Certificate in Construction or Groundworks. Alternatively, you can get a Level 2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Diploma in Groundworks. For the certificate, you need two GCSEs at grades 3 to 1, while the diploma course requires two or more GCSEs at Grades 9 to 3 (A* to D).
  • apprenticeship: getting an apprenticeship with a construction company is a fantastic way to become a groundworker. Completing the level 2 groundworker apprenticeship is equivalent to five GCSE passes. The apprenticeship has no entry requirements, and you will split your time between training and working.
  • work experience: even without educational qualifications, past work experience as a groundworker can land you a job. Aside from work experience, you need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work at a construction site.

skills and competencies

These technical and soft skills are beneficial for groundworkers:

  • ability to follow instructions: as a groundworker, you need to prepare the construction site following the instructions of your project manager. You should read site plans and adhere to the guidelines provided.
  • problem-solving skills: sometimes issues arise during the site clearing process leading to further problems. If you have problem-solving skills, you can find creative ways to deal with problems that arise at construction sites.
  • basic numeracy skills: groundwork requires basic mathematic skills to measure the depth of trenches and calculate the site's stability.
  • interpersonal skills: most groundwork is completed in teams. Hence, you need excellent teamwork skills to work with others and accomplish your responsibilities.





Here are the most asked questions about working as groundworkers.

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