Tunnelling operatives build the underground tunnels needed for services such as rail lines and water works.
The Role
  • Tunnelling operatives build the underground tunnels needed for services such as rail lines and water works.
  • Operatives also use computers with construction management software to help keep the work running smoothly.
  • Most tunnellers start out working in the pit bottom removing earth, rock and other waste materials before becoming qualified.
  • Tunnelling operatives have to be able to work in a confined environment for long periods of time, as some tunnels are several kilometres long
  • Preparing the site for tunnelling work
  • Organising the delivery and storage of all the equipment
  • Ensuring the correct materials are available for the team to start work
Salary
  • Newly trained Tunnelling Operatives can earn in the region of £17,000£20,000
  • Trained with experience Tunnelling Operatives can earn in the region of £20,000 - £25,000
  • Senior Tunnelling Operatives can earn in excess of £25,000
Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.
Qualifications & Training
There are no set qualifications for becoming a tunnelling operative, but it helps to have GCSEs or Standard Grades in Maths and English or their equivalents such as BTEC, Welsh Baccalaureate, WJEC in Construction or Standard Grades/Scottish National 4 or 5s. Employers may be more interested in whether you have on site experience as a labourer before moving you on to becoming qualified in tunnelling through an apprenticeship or college course.