Leakage operative

leakage controller leakage technician leakage engineer water distribution operative

Career outlook for leakage operative

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

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Five year job forecast


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

What's it like?

You would use specialist equipment to find leaks in water pipes and then arrange repairs to save water. People would depend on you to quickly get their water running again whenever there was a problem.

You would carry out planned surveys and also respond to emergencies, making sure that the water supply is disrupted as little as possible.

Because there is often no visible sign of a leak, you would use specialist equipment to examine water flowing in and out of an area to find out where any leaks are.

You would:

  • Inspect customers' water supply
  • Monitor water system leakage
  • Attach leakage detection equipment to pipes
  • Measure water pressure and flow
  • Record data from the detection equipment and use it to narrow down your search area
  • Listen for sounds that might indicate a leak, using acoustics and noise logging equipment
  • Notify a repair team to come out and fix the leak

The conditions will often be uncomfortable, wet and dirty. You’d need to make sure you follow health and safety regulations.

Working conditions


You would usually work a shift pattern including nights (when there is less background noise and water use). You may also be on a standby rota for emergencies that happen outside normal working hours. Overtime may be available.


You would work outside in all weather conditions, sometimes underground inside water pipes. Conditions may be wet and dirty.


You would travel to each job. A driving licence may be helpful.

UK employment status





Self employed


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

  • Taking responsibility
  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Understanding
  • Listening
  • Cooperating
  • Observation

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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.


You could do a Modern Apprenticeship in the Water Industry. Entry requirements for a Modern Apprenticeship vary but employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

If you are not joining the industry through an Apprenticeship you do not always need formal qualifications.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most employers) 
  • Science subjects (required by most employers) 
  • English
  • Technologies subjects such as engineering science

Helpful to have

Previous experience of a technical role in:

  • construction
  • plumbing
  • building services engineering or
  • plant maintenance

A driving licence is useful for some jobs.