Highways cleaner

Street cleaner street cleaning operative
Facilities and property services

Career outlook for highways cleaner

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland

Information is unavailable

Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would keep towns and cities pleasant and safe by making sure streets and other public areas are clean and free of litter and rubbish.

You’d use cleaning vehicles and machines, like pressure washers and road sweepers, and hand tools such as brushes and shovels.

You would:

  • Clean streets, footpaths, green spaces and public areas
  • Clear drains and gullies so they don’t flood in bad weather
  • Clean paved areas using a use a pressure washer
  • Remove litter, graffiti and fly posters
  • Remove chewing gum from pavements using a specialist machine
  • Clean equipment at the end of each day

You would usually work as part of a team responsible for a particular area of a town or city. You’d need an understanding of health, safety and hygiene regulations.

Working conditions


You will usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, starting at around 7am or earlier. You may work overtime after public events such as football matches or concerts.


You must be prepared to work outside in all kinds of weather, and be able to do a lot of walking and lifting. You will be provided with protective clothing, such as waterproofs, overalls, gloves and high-visibility jackets.


You may need a driving licence to operate cleaning vehicles like road sweepers.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Persevering
  • Reliable
  • Time management
  • Managing resources
  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Cooperating
  • Respecting

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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.


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this job but a good general education (SCQF level 4/5) may be required by some employers.

You may be able to get into this job through an Modern Apprenticeship in Cleaning and Environmental Support Services.

Vacancies are advertised by local authorities so entry requirements vary.

You will also need

Many jobs require a driving licence.

Helpful to have

Work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Cleaning and Support Services (SVQ level 2) can be of value when applying or relevant qualifications may be achieved once in a job.