A shunter driver is responsible for the safe movement of vehicles on construction sites. This could include large goods vehicles (LGVs) or trailer units, and can involve manoeuvring goods around site, into storage or loading bays, or to be picked up by other workers.

Average salary*

£20000 – £35000+

Typical hours per week


How to become a shunter driver

There are no formal qualifications required to become a shunter driver, however you could complete a college course, an apprenticeship or apply to an employer directly for this role.

You must hold a full UK driving licence and may also be required to hold an LGV C+E licence. 

You should explore these routes to become a shunter driver 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.

The above courses would be useful for a Shunter Driver

College/training provider

You could complete a Level 2 Certificate in Construction Plant Operations or a Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment to help you become a shunter driver.

You’ll need: 

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent (level 2 course)
  • 4 – 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent (level 3 course). 

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice 


An apprenticeship with a construction firm is a good way into the industry.

You could complete an intermediate apprenticeship as a plant operator, or an NVQ/SVQ Level 2 in Plant Operations to start you on your journey to becoming a shunter driver. An intermediate apprenticeship takes around two years to complete.

You might need 2 – 3 GCSEs (including English and maths) or equivalent, to do an apprenticeship, but not all employers ask for formal qualifications.

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.


If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain on-site experience as a shunter driver. You might start out as an assistant to a more experienced shunter driver and progress as your abilities improve. You will need to hold a full UK driving licence.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a shunter driver. 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 shunter driver include: 

  • Knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Good attention to detail
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Ability to operate and control equipment.

What does a shunter driver do?

As a shunter driver, you’ll be responsible for the safe movement of large vehicles and trailers around sites. This can vary between construction sites, shipping yards, loading docks, or more.

The job role of a shunter driver involves the following duties: 

  • Ensuring the safe movement of large vehicles and trailers around a construction site
  • Adhering to strict health and safety guidelines
  • Completing safety assessments
  • Inspecting vehicles and trailers
  • Coupling and uncoupling trailers
  • Safely parking trailers
  • Manoeuvring laden and un-laden trailers
  • Ensuring handover procedures are correctly implemented when passing goods on to other workers.

How much could you earn as a shunter driver?

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

  • Newly trained shunter drivers can earn around £20,000 
  • Trained shunter drivers with some experience can earn £20,000 – £35,000
  • Senior shunter drivers can earn in excess of £35,000+

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 shunter driver 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 a shunter driver, you could progress your skills to become a forklift driver, HGV driver, or banksman.