If you are a fan of the great outdoors and like to work with your hands, then a career in fence installation and repair could well be the perfect occupation. This field of work can include the installation of wooden garden fences, secure enclosures around prisons, and even crash barriers on motorways.
But what skills and qualifications are required? How much can you expect to receive and what are the daily responsibilities of a fence installer? Here is a quick guide with everything you need to know.
Activities and duties
The projects you will typically work on as a fence installer include:
- Boundary fencing for domestic homes and commercial premises
- Security fencing and enclosures for prisons and airports
- Vehicle barriers on roads and motorways
- Electric fencing and gates
- Soundproof barriers
Generally speaking, you will work as part of a team but under the supervision of a lead installer or foreperson. You or your supervisor will be given direction from the customer on what type of fence they need. During these discussions, you will also need to give a cost and time estimate for the work, which can include:
- Removing any old fencing
- Measuring where the new fence will go
- Levelling the ground
- Using tools or machinery to dig necessary foundations
- Position the posts and fixing them in place
- Cutting and installing the fence panels to the posts
- Painting and weather proofing as required
Conditions and income
Almost all fences are installed outdoors, which means you may need to work in adverse weather conditions. Due to lifting heavy materials and digging solid ground, you will also need to be physically fit and strong.
Fence installers can expect to earn around £15,000 to £20,000 initially, but this could rise to £30,000 with experience. Lead fence installers can also command a higher income, while self-employed workers will negotiate their own rates.
Although you do not need any specific qualifications to become a fence installer, it helps to have some work experience in a related role, such as landscape gardening or construction.
Failing that, you may be able to find a job through an apprenticeship in fencing. You will learn how to operate and maintain relevant tools, prepare sites for fence erection projects and complete work to customer requirements.
Skills and training
Qualities that you might need include:
- The ability to operate power tools and handle various materials
- The ability to follow plans and work as part of a team
- The ability to communicate with customers
- Basic maths skills for working out material measurements
- An awareness of health and safety
Most fence installer training is be on-the-job, however you will need to have a Fencing Industry Skills Scheme/Construction Skills Certification Scheme (FISS/CSCS) card for working on construction sites or Highways Agency contracts. This is nationally recognised in the fencing industry and shows you can safely carry out work to a high standard.
For specialists working in FENCING in Essex and the surrounding area, see what professionals the online trades directoryBook a Builder UKhas to offer.