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Steeplejack Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Steeplejack. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Steeplejack
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Steeplejack Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Steeplejacks and lightning conductor engineers install lightning protection systems and carry out a variety of building, repair, maintenance and renovation work at heights on the inside and outside of tall structures. These can include industrial chimneys, power station cooling towers, tower blocks, church spires and bridges. They may also work on restoration projects on historical monuments such as castles.

Depending on the type of building or structure, a number of tools and techniques may be employed to reach the work area. These include access ladders, scaffolding, work platforms (cradles), traditional bosuns seats (harnesses) and industrial rope access (abseiling). Fall arrest systems are also put in place to minimise risks to operatives. Once the job is complete, equipment and rigging is dismantled and returned to ground level.

Other tasks include painting, inspection, welding, demolition, replacing glass, erecting and dismantling steel chimneys, and fitting aircraft warning lights on tall structures.

Hours and Environment

Steeplejacks work a 39-hour week but hours vary with the demands of the job; shifts and overtime, including evenings and weekends are often required.

The work is mainly outdoors at heights, in all weathers, and includes climbing and carrying ladders, tools and safety equipment. Conditions can be very dusty, especially inside industrial chimneys and may therefore be unsuitable for people suffering from chest complaints. Protective clothing and headgear is worn.

Travel to different parts of the country and abroad is often necessary. Depending on the contract, steeplejacks may have to work away from home for periods of time. A driving licence is useful.

Skills and Interests

To be a steeplejack you should:

  • be comfortable working at heights
  • be physically fit with a good sense of balance
  • pay careful attention to safe working practices
  • have good practical skills for using tools and equipment
  • have highly developed organisational and teamwork skills, as safety depends on this.


There are no specific entry qualifications but GCSEs (A-E)/S grades (1-5) in maths, English, science subjects and CDT are useful. Lightning conductor engineers in particular, need knowledge of maths to help with basic electrical theory. A background in more general construction as a labourer or trades person, such as a bricklayer, may be helpful in gaining an initial position with a company, although this is not essential.

There is sponsored training for young people aged between 16-25 which must be completed by their 25th birthday.

Applicants for apprentice sponsored training through the Steeplejack Industry Training Group Association and CITB-ConstructionSkills, have to sit an aptitude exercise involving maths and problem solving. They are also assessed on literacy.


Each year there are 12 places for trainee steeplejacks and 12 places for trainee lightning conductor engineers on the two/three-year course organised by the Steeplejack Industry Training Group Association and CITB-Construction Skills. For details contact CITB-Construction Skills below.

Trainees are sponsored by an employer and spend about six months, spread over two to three years, at the CITB residential National Construction College in Bircham Newton, Norfolk.

As a trainee, you work towards NVQ/SVQs levels 2 and 3 in Accessing Operations and Rigging. Mandatory units include setting up and dismantling access equipment; setting up fall arrest systems; and contributing to health and safety. You take optional units depending on your specialism:

Steeplejacking - operate powered tools, provide surface finishings (painting, brickwork, concrete repairs and rendering), install components to structural fabric (steel banding, bolts, cleats and decorative masonry).

Lightning Conductor Engineering - install components to structural fabric (lightning conductors and fixings), survey the structural fabric(reading technical diagrams and using visual, mechanical and electronic detection systems to check existing components), locate and avoid existing service apparatus (gas, electrical and communications infrastructure).

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Nearly all employment is with specialist firms of steeplejacks/lightning conductor engineers. A very small number are employed by building or civil engineering companies. Within the specialist firms, promotion to supervisory and managerial posts is possible. There are good opportunities for self-employment and to work abroad.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only. The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) agrees minimum wage rates annually.

Trainee steeplejacks/lightning conductor engineers over 21 may earn between £12,500 and £13,800 a year.
Qualified operatives earn around £17,000 a year.
With experience, this can rise to £21,000 a year.

Steeplejacks and lightning conductor engineers may significantly increase their income with overtime payments and shift allowances.

Further information

CITB-Construction Skills
Bircham Newton
Kings Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

Association of Technical Lightning and Access Specialists
4d St Marys Place
The Lace Market
Tel: 0115 955 8818

Other Useful Steeplejack Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Steeplejack job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Steeplejack Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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