Trades & Services

Chimney Sweep

Chimney sweeps clean the chimneys of wood heaters and open fireplaces.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Chimney Sweep do?

Chimney sweeps clean the chimneys of open fireplaces, including coal, gas, oil and wood-fired heaters. Your work would help to reduce the risks of chimney fires and dangerous fumes.

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Work activities

As a chimney sweep, you would:

  • inspect and evaluate the chimney or flue before cleaning
  • protect the surrounding area from dust and soot
  • sweep the chimney, firebox and flue using brushes on extending rods
  • remove dust and soot from the fireplace and firebox using an enclosed vacuum cleaner
  • explain the condition and safe operation of the chimney and associated fireplace parts to the homeowner
  • make follow-up appointments
  • clean trucks, tools and brushes
  • undertake minor repairs.
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Key skills and interests

To become a chimney sweep, you would need:

  • a good level of physical fitness
  • practical skills to use a range of tools and equipment
  • the ability to work at heights and climb ladders
  • awareness of health and safety regulations
  • good customer service skills.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would need to work hours which would suit your client base; this is likely to include weekends. You may work longer hours at the busiest times of the year.

Conditions

Most of your work would be in private houses, but you could also work on heating systems in industrial or commercial premises.

You would need to be aware of health and safety issues, and wear protective clothing such as a face mask and overalls.

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How to become an Chimney Sweep?

Entry Level Education

You would normally have to find a qualified and experienced chimney sweep to take you on and train you on the job. Once you complete your training and have some experience, you could become self-employed and start your own business.

A drivers’ licence is essential, as you will have to travel between jobs and transport all your equipment.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Opportunities for chimney sweeps are likely to decline.

While the demand for home services is growing, a combination of environmental protection and regulation and changing home heating technology is likely to progressively reduce the need for chimney sweeping services.

Opportunities could however exist for those in this occupation if the number of people providing chimney sweeping services also reduces.

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