Piling Attendant

Drive columns of wood, steel or concrete into the ground to provide support for structures such as buildings, bridges and piers.


As a Piling Attendant (aka Piling Operative), you’ll assist in driving, boring and forming piles in the ground in order to provide firm support for buildings and structures.

You provide the roots for buildings and structures to be built.

You’ll know how to push wooden, metal or concrete posts into the ground to support buildings and structures during the initial stages of construction, as well other important parts of the building process.

You’ll also know how to drive a heavy steel tube to the right depth, filled with concrete and then remove it, or carry out another method where a fully reinforced, pre-cast concrete pile is driven into the ground.

Other methods are: 

  • Rotary bore piling – using a temporary casing and auger to drill to the necessary depth. A reinforcement cage is then installed and concrete is poured into the hole before the casing is withdrawn 
  • Minipiles – installed using similar methods and can be made up of small-diameter piles or located where there space is limited

Top 5 Tasks

  1. Carry out the piling process
  2. Check over equipment before it’s used
  3. Use hoisting equipment to position piling leads and hammers
  4. Operate machinery and keeping a close eye on all equipment 
  5. Keep equipment maintained or repaired.


A Piling Attendant or Operative starting out will typically earn around £20,000 and those at a more senior level will earn much more, approximately £40,000.

Those self-employed set their own pay rates and salaries typically range depending on location, employer and overtime.

Am I Suited?

  • Excellent communicator
  • Flexible
  • Self-motivator
  • Math geek
  • Team player
Piling can be traced back to the 4th century BC.


There are no set qualifications but you must be at least 18 years old.

It is useful to have GCSE grades 9-4 (A*-C) or equivalent) in maths and English because this helps with calculations on the job. You can do a SVQ/NVQ Level 2 in piling, which is a two-year training programme to learn skills such as driven or bored piling. A specialist apprenticeship programme (Piling Operative) is also available.

If you have at least five years’ experience and don’t need more training, you can take the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA). This involves a practical assessment, work-based evidence and employer endorsement – all completed within a specified time. Alternatively you can do On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT).

Vacancies / Apprenticeships

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