Job Description:

Steeplejacks climb high buildings and structures to repair them or make them safe.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

You will carry out installation and maintenance work at great height. You could:

  • assemble ladders, scaffolding, mobile platforms or industrial harnesses
  • inspect structures for damage
  • replace roof glass
  • repair masonry
  • paint structures
  • dismantle or demolish tall chimneys or buildings
  • install lightning conductors on buildings
  • fit aircraft warning lights on tall structures


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (ambition/drive)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a steeplejack, there are typically no specific subjects required. Steeplejacks are professionals who specialise in the repair, maintenance, and construction of high structures such as chimneys, steeples, and industrial towers.

Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for measurements, calculations, and understanding engineering principles related to the construction and repair of tall structures.
  2. Science: A foundational understanding of physics and materials science can be beneficial for understanding structural dynamics and the properties of materials used in steeplejack work.
  3. Design and Technology: Courses related to design and technology can provide a foundational understanding of construction principles, materials, and structural considerations.
  4. Physical Education (PE): Steeplejacks often engage in physically demanding work at heights, so being physically fit and having stamina is essential.

It’s important to note that becoming a steeplejack typically involves hands-on training, apprenticeships, and sometimes formal education or certification in areas like rope access and safety.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeships that may be useful for this role include:

  • Lightning protection operative intermediate apprenticeship
  • Scaffolder intermediate apprenticeship
  • Structural steelwork erector intermediate apprenticeship
  • Installation and maintenance electrician advanced apprenticeship
  • Engineering construction erector rigger advanced apprenticeship

Direct Application
You can apply directly to become a steeplejack. Employers may ask for GCSEs, or equivalent, in maths, English, science or design and technology.

Experience in general construction, scaffolding, roofing or electrical work may give you an advantage.

If you want to work as a lightning conductor engineer, you’ll need maths skills and a basic understanding of electrical theory.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 42 to 44 hours a week, occasionally including evenings, weekends, or holidays.

You could work on other structures, on a construction site, at a power station, on high rise buildings or at monuments and castles.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, at height, dusty and physically demanding.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could be promoted to supervisor or manager.

You could become self-employed and run your own business.