Lightning conductor engineer

Steeplejacks carry out repair work high above the ground on construction sites, power stations, high rise buildings or on monuments and castles. They ensure they are structurally sound and may also install lightning conductors.

Average salary*

£15000 – £35000+

Typical hours per week


How to become a steeplejack

There are several routes to becoming a steeplejack. You can gain the qualifications you need by completing a college course, on-the-job training through an apprenticeship or applying directly to an employer.  

You should explore these routes to becoming a steeplejack, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

College/training provider

There are no formal entry requirements to be a steeplejack, however GCSEs in maths, English, science or design and technology may be useful.

You could start your career by studying a construction-related qualification, such as bricklaying or scaffolding, and then specialising to become a steeplejack. If you want to specialise as a lightning conductor engineer, you’ll need ability in maths and a basic understanding of electrical theory.

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

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You could start your career by completing a bricklaying or scaffolding apprenticeship, and then specialise to become a steeplejack.

You’ll need up to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent for an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you


If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain onsite experience as a steeplejack. You might start out as an assistant to a more experienced steeplejack and progress as your abilities improve.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a steeplejack. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a steeplejack include: 

  • Confident to work at height, outdoors, in all weather
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Knowledge of maths
  • Ability to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Patience and be able to remain calm in stressful situations.

What does a steeplejack do?

As a steeplejack you will be responsible for carrying out repair and maintenance on industrial sites, high-rise buildings, and other tall structures.

The job role of a steeplejack involves the following duties: 

  • Carrying out repairs, maintenance and renovation work on industrial chimneys, power station cooling towers, church spires, castles, high-rise buildings and bridges
  • Installing lightning conductors
  • Earthing large machinery
  • Assembling ladders and scaffolding, mobile work platforms, traditional harnesses and industrial ropes for abseiling
  • Fitting aircraft warning lights
  • Replacing roof glass or repairing masonry 
  • Painting structures such as bridges
  • Demolishing tall chimneys or buildings
  • Checking for damage on buildings after adverse weather such as high winds
  • Working with electricians to protect computers and other electronic equipment
  • Reporting on problems and recommending solutions to architects, surveyors and engineers
  • Dismantling equipment and returning it to the ground once the work has been completed.

How much could you earn as a steeplejack?

The expected salary for a steeplejack varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained steeplejacks can earn £15,000 – £25,000
  • Trained steeplejacks with some experience can earn £25,000 – £35,000
  • Senior or master steeplejacks can earn in excess of £35,000+
  • Self-employed steeplejacks set their own pay rates.

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources

Find an apprenticeship/job



Apprenticeships in England

Apprenticeships in Scotland

Apprenticeships in Wales


Check out the latest steeplejack vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As you gain experience and skills in your career as a steeplejack or a lightning conductor engineer, you could be promoted to the position of a supervisor or manager. 

Alternatively, you could become a self-employed contractor and set your own wage.