Diamond drilling operatives have one of the most highly-skilled and specialist construction jobs – cutting through the toughest materials on a building site.
The Role
  • Drilling/ Floor sawing/ Hand sawing/ Wire sawing
  • Involves using machinery, careful planning, and high levels of safety
  • Floor sawing: the most common diamond cutting method, normally done on flat surfaces (floors, pavements). Floor (or slab) saws have a diamond blade mounted on the machine that the operative walks behind. This saw is useful for construction jobs such as removing damaged pavement sections.
  • Hand sawing: this is where diamond blades are used in hand-held power saws and chain-type saws. This piece of kit is quick and portable, used on building and demolition sites, and used in tasks such as sawing concrete pipes to length
  • Wire sawing: used for very thick concrete. It’s used for removing large sections of heavily reinforced concrete such as towers and bridge sections, or for cutting concrete in areas where there is limited space
  • Newly trained diamond drilling operatives can earn in the region of £17,000 - £20,000
  • Trained with experience diamond drilling operatives can earn in the region of £20,000 - £25,000
  • Senior, chartered or master diamond drilling operatives can earn in the region of £25,000 - £30,000
Salaries depend on location, employer and the amount of overtime worked. Self-employed diamond drilling operatives set their own pay rates.
Qualifications & Training
There are no set qualifications that diamond drilling and sawing operatives need, but it helps to have grades at 9-4 (A*-C) in maths and English or equivalents such as the Welsh Baccalaureate or Scottish Nationals 4/5. An NVQ/SVQ Level 2 in Drilling and Sawing can be achieved by completing the Drilling and Sawing Apprenticeship, a formal two-year training programme. If you have a minimum of five years’ experience you can take the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA). This combines the key parts of the SVQ/NVQ into one practical assessment, together with work-based evidence and employer endorsement. Alternatively you can do On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT).