Your First Steps Towards Building A Career In Demolition

Making the decision to join the Military would be massive for anybody and the decision to leave could be even bigger especially for those who have served for a long time. Whereas entering one of the Forces has some certainty and definite structure, for some, leaving can be a bit more uncertain. Hopefully the information we have provided here can introduce an opportunity that you may have never considered and we can demonstrate the potential for a long term, sustainable career that provides good earning potential and progression opportunities.

Why is UK Demolition welcoming Ex-Military personnel?

There are some obvious reasons why someone leaving one of the Forces would be a significant asset to recruit and these include:

  • History of discipline and training
  • Motivated & Adventurous
  • Socially positive use of local resources

However the Demolition environment has a relevance that many other career options don’t have.

Military personnel are trained:

  • To be aware of risk and make constant assessments
  • To be resilient and able to work effectively in challenging conditions
  • To work effectively in a team environment
  • Make good decisions and solve problems as they arise

There is currently a massive opportunity to build a long term career that offers good rates of pay and progression up the ladder into leadership roles at all levels. Demolition’s unique resourcing requirements have created a leadership and experience void within many contracting operations and your Military background and training could provide the right stuff to open up these opportunities and establish a long term career in this exciting and challenging industry.

This is an opportunity to revitalise Demolition with competent people who could become the future leaders of the industry

What is the DFrP?

The Demolition Forces recruitment Partnership has been established to promote the UK Demolition industry as a viable and accessible career option for ex-military personnel. The partners in this initiative include:

  • the CTP (Career Transition Partnership) who assist ex-military personnel in the transition process out of the forces
  • the NFDC (National Federation of Demolition Contractors) who represent the UK demolition contractors from the very big to the very small.
  • Major UK Demolition contractors who are members of the NFDC

The sole objective is to provide ex-military personnel with a service that links them to recognised contractors/employers who can provide industry experience and sustainable employment opportunities.

The UK Demolition Industry

The old image of “Knock it down and clean up the mess” is now history and been replaced with a sophisticated deconstruction process that must comply with strict environmental, health & safety, social and commercial conditions. There is no doubt that any perceptions of a rough and ready industry are now out of date and now the environment is typically very professional.

It is, however, still a dangerous environment where constant appreciation of risk is required.

The modern demolition contractor now has the benefit of sophisticated IT and plant/machinery technology, which has lifted the industry well beyond its maverick past.  

Opportunities in Demolition

There are essentially 2-3 divisions that make up the Demolition sector:

Asbestos surveying and removal

  • This is a specialist and highly regulated activity which is not always associated with demolition. However it’s role is integral in the overall demo process and it offers significant opportunities within many demolition businesses or with standalone Asbestos contractors.
  • Roles range from labourers right through to project management and rates typically reflect the risk factors associated with the environmental hazards.

Soft Demolition/Strip Out

  • To achieve the environmental expectations and standards that govern the industry now, a structure set for demolition must now be totally stripped of all non-structural elements prior to the hard demolition phase. This is typically labour intensive and can be an excellent entry level into the industry.
  • Attention to detail and a good eye for hazard detection are important attributes and an ability to manage a team could provide opportunities to carry out further training and advance quickly into supervisory roles
  • Typical roles as a basic labourer require simple accreditation (CCDO Green Card), but as this is a highly regulated industry every step up the ladder requires training and accreditation. For specific information go to

Hard Demolition

  • This stage of the demolition process is less labour intensive and demands significantly more experience. Bringing a building down in the modern environment, especially in a city location, does not involve explosives or big heavy wrecking balls.
  • Plant technology has developed significantly to enable safe deconstruction of the structures in a controlled, risk calculated and predictable manor. Operating plant and managing the waste is often a highly technical skill in the modern environment

Industry Open Days

A major part of this collective Industry initiative is to hold a series of Open Days nationwide to bring together representatives from demolition contracting businesses and interested individuals from any of the forces who are in the process of leaving, have already left or may be looking at future opportunities.

This will be an opportunity to talk to potential employers and find out about what a career in the demo industry could be like. We will have representatives from the NFDC to talk about how to access the training needed to start in the industry.

There will be a number of employment models used by contractors, so there will be representatives available from Number 8 Resourcing Ltd who will manage all placements and payroll if required.

How to get started

The Employment Models

The Construction and Demolition industries have always been impacted by fluctuating work force requirements and have established an employment model that works. The ideal scenario is 100% direct full time employment, however with the variations in the numbers required, direct employment is not always possible. For this reason at an entry level contractors access some of the workforce via agencies. Although the intention of this initiative is to provide permanent direct employment opportunities it is highly likely that the route to this will be via a period of agency work as a self-employed worker. Typically these roles are for the duration of the contractor’s requirement so a worker could move around and get experience with a number of contractors. However the contractors who have signed up to this initiative will be looking to retain ex-military workers for as long as possible with view towards establishing a permanent role within the business. In the current conditions there is very little movement of workers who prove to be a valuable asset and even as a self-employed worker they can stay for extended periods.

It is important to understand that the main objective for the industry now is to find people who can ultimately take up critical roles within their businesses.

Self-Employed Worker status

  • Workers are engaged via Number 8 Resourcing Ltd who will manage all activity with employers/contractors
  • Payments are made weekly based on timesheets from sites using the CIS self-employed status. All assistance will be provided to explain how this works and get workers set up.
  • Payments made via a respected payroll service who provide comprehensive advise and an easy to use portal so you can see all activity
  • Workers will be offered training opportunities designed to progress them into new and more challenging roles
  • Workers will always be free to switch to a directly employed status with a contractor if this is offered and the worker wants to make the switch

Temp to Perm

  • In some cases a contractor knows it will have a requirement for a certain role and will offer the chance to get some basic experience and training as a temp worker with the intention to transition into a permanent role at an agreed stage

Permanent roles

  • Typically permanent roles will be offered to individuals with very specific experience.
  • This will be a straight forward process where the worker signs a contract of employment with the contractor and will be paid via the contractor’s internal payroll

Potential Rates and Salaries

Rates and salaries in the demolition industry are typically higher than general construction due to the specialist training and accreditation required. The rates shown in this table are a guide only and can be affected by location and industry conditions such as high demand. These are also only a selection of the most requested roles. There are requirements for a wide range of more specialised roles.

Role Rate/hour (Temp/Self Employed) Directly Employed per annum (Estimated) Accreditation Required Experience Required
Demo Labourer £ 13.00 £28,000 - £30,000 CCDO (Green Card) None
Demo Operative £15.00 £30,000 - £35,000 CCDO (Red Card) 3 Months Demo or equivalent
Traffic Marshall £11.00 £28,000 - £30,000 CSCS & TM Certificate/Card None
Burner £16.00 £35,000 - £38,000 CCDO ( Top-man) or Burning certificate Demolition experience
Excavator Operator £18.00 £40,000 - £50,000 CPCS plant ticket or D90 Demo plant ticket Proven plant experience
Demolition Supervisor £20.00 £45,000 - £50,000 CCDO Gold Card Extensive Demo experience
Engineer POA £40,000 - £55,000 Degree or similar  


These are the national federations that represent the demolition industry in the UK. They are recognised organisations and provide the leadership and standards for the national industry. The NDTG are accredited to carry out training within the transition phase of exiting the military.

Number 8 Resourcing Ltd

Number 8 is a well-established supplier of temp and perm labour to the UK Demolition Industry. They have been a major influence in working alongside the NFDC to bring the contractor groups together for this initiative. Although temp labour is a core part of their operation, they share the main objective to provide sustainable employment opportunities for ex-military personnel. Their role will be to support and advise all workers involved in this scheme and their reputation for integrity will ensure that support is available when needed.

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