Construction plant mechanic


Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would make sure that large machines and vehicles on a construction site work safely and fix them if they broke down.

You’d maintain and repair plant machinery, such as

  • Diggers
  • Bulldozers
  • Excavators (JCBs)
  • Cranes
  • Dumper trucks
  • Generators
  • Concrete mixers

You’d regularly inspect different parts of the machines including the engines, gearboxes, hydraulics, electrical systems and tyres to check they are working well.

You would:

  • Find faults using specialist computer equipment
  • Explain the problem to the construction workers and managers
  • Dismantle machinery parts, and repair or replace faulty parts
  • Reassemble parts and test them to make sure they are working properly and safely

You’d do routine servicing of plant and equipment both on site and in the repair workshop. If you could not fix a machine on site, you’d arrange for it to be moved to the repair workshop.

You would use various hand and power tools, electrical testing equipment, welding equipment and lifting gear.

Working conditions


You would normally work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime is common, including weekends.


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


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

UK employment status



Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Working on your own
  • Working with your hands
  • Repairing and fixing
  • Being physically fit
  • Finding solutions to problems

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


 A Modern Apprenticeship leading to relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Construction Plant or Machinery Maintenance (SVQ level 2/3).

Entry requirements for a Modern Apprenticeship vary through some employer may require National 4 or National 5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Practical technologies subjects

You will also need

You usually need to pass an aptitude test to enter this role.

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test to work and train on construction sites.

A full driving licence is usually essential and a special category of licence for driving heavy vehcles is sometimes required. 

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate an understanding of construction and practical skills, such as

  • Skills for Work Construction Engineering (SCQF level 3)
  • Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).  

You might also need to have the Client/Contractor National Safety Group (CCNSG) Safety Passport to work in this job.