We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Recycled metals worker

Recycled metals workers grade, sort, clean and bale scrap metal for recycling. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,500 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but you’ll need to be at least 18.

Experience of working in metal fabrication or operating cranes or lift trucks will help.

A driving licence will be useful.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to complete tasks on your own
  • confidence in operating machinery

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • weighing and recording metal
  • grading and sorting metal, by hand or machine
  • pulling apart large metal items, like industrial machinery, using metal cutters and burners
  • shredding scrap metal into small pieces using hydraulic shears or fragmenters
  • cleaning scrap metal
  • using machines (balers) to crush the scrap into bales
  • operating lift trucks or cranes to stack or load the sorted metal

You might also drive a lorry to collect scrap, and deliver the recycled metal to businesses that use it.

4. Salary

Starter: £13,500 to £15,500

Experienced: £16,000 to £19,000

Highly Experienced: £25,000 (supervisor or manager)

The figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime may be available.

This is a physically active role, so you'll need a reasonable level of fitness. You’ll work outdoors in all types of weather. 

Conditions can be dirty and noisy. You’ll often need to wear protective gear, like safety boots, goggles, a helmet and gloves.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager.

You could also become self-employed and start your own business. 

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 09 October 2018