Ringa Tohu Papa
Roadmarkers use machines to apply markings to roads and surfaces such as airport runways, factory floors, car parks and sports courts.
Roadmarker assistants usually earn
$17-$18 per hour
Skilled roadmarkers usually earn
$19-$28 per hour
Source: Careers New Zealand research, April 2016.
Pay for roadmarkers varies depending on experience and responsibility, and where they work. Pay rates may increase as they gain qualifications, heavy vehicle and dangerous goods licences, and first aid certificates.
- Roadmarker assistants usually start on the minimum wage or a little more and progress to earn $18 an hour.
- Skilled roadmarkers, known as operators, usually earn between $19 and $35 an hour.
Source: Careers New Zealand research, April 2016.
- PAYE.net.nz website – use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Roadmarker assistants may do some or all of the following:
- control traffic
- lay out traffic cones to protect markings, and pick them up
- check machinery and make minor repairs
- load trucks with equipment and supplies.
Roadmarker operators may also:
- drive roadmarking trucks
- operate roadmarking machines to renew or install markings
- manage health and safety and environmental control
- measure, assess and record their work
- supervise a team.
Skills and knowledge
Roadmarkers need to have:
- knowledge of traffic control
- knowledge of roadmarkings and how to apply them
- ability to operate and repair their machinery
- driving skills.
- usually work regular business hours, but may have to work night shifts or extended hours
- work on local roads, motorways, car parks, sports fields and factories
- work in conditions that may be noisy, dusty, dirty, dangerous, hot or cold
- travel locally to work sites and may stay away from home at times.
What's the job really like?
A job where your mistakes are very visible
Phil Pattison says it takes more practice than you think to mark a road. "It took me a good four or five months to paint a good centre line."
He adds that he will never forget one of the accidents he had while practising using the roadmarking truck. "I was practising doing a centre line with water-based dye, but I had no idea the paint guns were also switched on. I was proud of my dye line until I saw a huge paint line after it!"
Multitasking key to roadmarking
Nowadays Phil has got the hang of roadmarking, but admits there are definitely still some challenges. "Corners are horrible and where I live there are lots of sharp corners. That's one of the biggest challenges, as well as avoiding traffic. There are lots of trucks so you have to be on the ball."
With so many things to think about, Phil says the ability to multitask is key. "Concentration is needed because you have to watch in your mirrors, watch in front of you and behind you, and also watch the paint guns below you."
There are no specific entry requirements to become a roadmarker. However, most employers prefer that you:
- are at least 18 years old
- have a full driver's licence
- can pass a pre-employment drugs test.
A heavy vehicle licence (Class 2 to 4) for driving roadmarking trucks is an advantage.
Roadmarkers gain skills on the job and may train for these certificates:
- National Certificate in Roadmarking – Assistant (Level 2 or 3)
- National Certificate in Roadmarking – Operator (Level 3)
- National Certificate in Roadmarking – Senior Operator (Level 3 or 4).
You can apply for Civil Trade Certification if you have either:
- an approved Level 4 qualification and 8,000 hours (around four years) of practical experience
- at least five years' experience in the industry and documentation, such as a logbook, to prove you have a high skill level.
- New Zealand Transport Agency website - information on heavy vehicle licences
- Connexis website - information on roadmarking qualifications
- The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation website - information on qualifications
- Connexis website - information on applying for Civil Trade Certification (PDF - 650KB)
NCEA Level 1 maths and English are useful.
Roadmarkers need to be:
- able to work well in a team
- able to concentrate and remain alert for long periods when driving vehicles
- good at following instructions
- accurate, with an eye for detail.
Useful experience for roadmarkers includes:
- labouring work
- driving heavy vehicles
- using machinery.
Roadmarkers need to be reasonably fit and strong as they do heavy lifting.
Find out more about training
- 0800 437 486 - www.connexis.org.nz
- New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation
- (09) 625 7470 - firstname.lastname@example.org - nzrf.co.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Entry-level roadmarking vacancies common
Although roadmarker is a relatively small occupation, chances of getting a job at entry level are good because:
- turnover is high as the work is demanding and dangerous, especially on open road and motorways
- maintenance and resealing of existing roads means constant demand for roads to be remarked
- improvements to roads and motorways mean existing roads may need to be remarked multiple times during an upgrade, as lanes shift to allow work to take place
- the National Land Transport Programme allocated $1 billion for improvements to road safety and cycleways, including roadmarking, to be spent by 2018.
Seasonal opportunities for roadmarkers
Contractors usually take on more roadmarkers between November and May, when the weather is better and more roadmarking is done.
Working as a roadmarker assistant on a casual basis during the busy summer months is a good way of gaining experience and can lead to a permanent position.
Versatility may help your chances of finding work
When the weather is too cold or wet for roadmarking, companies that do other roading construction work may expect roadmarkers to perform other duties. Having a heavy vehicle licence or skill using heavy machinery may help your chances of finding full-time work.
Small number of employers
A small number of companies (Downer, Fulton Hogan, Coastline Markers and Spray Marks) employ most roadmarkers in New Zealand.
- Elder, D, department manager – roadmarking, Downer, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2016.
- Harlow, A, executive director, New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2016.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- New Zealand Transport Agency, 'Safer Journeys', accessed April 2016, (www.nzta.govt.nz).
- Prendergast, D, managing director, Spray Marks, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2016.
Progression and specialisations
Roadmarkers usually start as roadmarker assistants, and progress to work as skilled operators.
Skilled operators can become supervisors or managers.
Last updated 6 April 2018