The fencing industry incorporates several main areas of work:
- Boundary fencing – domestic and agricultural (post and rail, post and panel, strained wire)
- Vehicle restraint - roads and motorways
- Sound proof barriers
- Parapets and bridges
- Security fencing, prisons, airports
- Electric fencing and gates.
There are around 3,150 fencing businesses throughout the UK employing 27,000 people in urban and rural areas.
Fence Installers use concrete, timber, wire, plastic and metal to install and repair fences in a wide variety of situations, from fencing off gardens on a new housing estate to putting up a high-security and acoustic sound deadening fence around an airport.
They work outdoors as part of a fencing team, usually under the direction of the Lead Installer or Foreman.
Some Fence Installers specialise in strained wire fences, electrical fencing, high security fencing, or the installation of automatic security gates and barriers.
Fencing businesses can operate seven days a week, so employees usually work flexible hours based around the jobs that need completing. In larger businesses, they often work on a rota system with other staff across early mornings, evenings and weekends.
There may be opportunities for full-time and temporary work.
Fence Installers spend most of their time working outside. They may also need to collect materials or equipment and make deliveries, so usually need a full driving licence.
They are employed by large construction groups working on major building projects, by landscaping or fencing companies, and by motorway, road or rail network companies.
Many fencing contractors cover a wide area so often need to travel or work away from home.
Anyone working on a construction site, including Fence Installers, needs to have the FISS (Fencing Industry Skills Scheme) CSCS (Construction Skills Card Scheme) card.
Salaries vary with experience, qualifications and between companies, but here's a guide to what you can expect.
Experience of working in the fencing or related industry is an advantage, but training is usually given. Often entry is through an apprenticeship where skills and knowledge are gained on the job.
Fencing Contractors usually advertise in local press or in trade publications or online, so this could be a good place to start your job search.
What experienced workers can do
- Maintain health and safety in the work environment
- Use and maintain tools and equipment
- Operate plant and machinery
- Prepare sites for work
- Excavate and form foundations for fencing
- Communicate with customers.
Personal qualities you should have
- Good communication skills
- Able to use initiative
- Able to work on own or in a team
- Flexible and adaptable.
There may be opportunities to move to a Lead Installer or Foreman position, depending on individual performance, skills and knowledge and size of the business.