Career outlook for construction plant mechanic

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

Average UK salary

£38,480

Currently employed in Scotland

20,700

Five year job forecast

-2.98%

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

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

Hours

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

Environment

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.

Travel

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

Full-time

60%

Part-time

27%

Self employed

13%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Adaptability
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Evaluating
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Analysing

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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.

Qualifications

 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.