Construction Jobs – A guide to Careers in the Construction Industry
Here’s our guide to Construction Jobs and Careers in the Construction Industry in the UK. There are over 2.4million Construction Jobs as of 2019 in the UK and the Construction industry contributed nearly £120billion towards the UK’s GDP. For a sector that is still massively understated and poorly promoted at its grass roots. The Construction Industry is crying out for new talent and the opportunities are limitless, whether you decide to gain your stripes through an apprenticeship, day release or higher education. Explore Construction Jobs and careers in the construction industry.
Thinking of a Career in Construction
Things have come a long way from the preconceived ‘muck and bullets’ construction worker. Whilst the hard hat and high-vis are still essential items of personal protective equipment. There is a whole other side to the industry that commonly gets over looked. These construction jobs need to be pushed as potential careers and given more exposure. This should be happening more widely in schools and colleges throughout the country.
Careers advisors need to realise the opportunities within the construction professions, which are commonly referred to as ‘white collar workers’. I prefer to use the term ‘Construction Professions or Professionals’, as many roles have associated degrees and qualifications on par with other professions.
Routes into the Construction Industry
Where many professions require you to have a degree nowadays, there is still plenty of opportunities to get into the Construction Industry and work your way up the management ladder. You can do this a number of ways: –
Time Served Tradesman or Tradeswoman
This used to be achieved through a recognised technical college, working with a contractor as an apprentice, commonly in carpentry, plastering or bricklaying. If you are more hands on then this was and still could be the stepping stone into a potential management job within a handful of years.
Day release or a Degree in Construction?
Similarly, you could pursue an academic route through a degree course. This can be obtained a number of ways. Through what’s referred to as ‘Day Release’, studying an HNC, the foundation course into a degree. You can then complete your degree whilst working, attending college one day a week in term time, hence the name. A number of the top tier contractors offer schemes that support day release studies. The employer effectively sponsors you through your degree. In turn you work four days a week whilst gaining your degree and earning a salary.
The traditional route to Senior Management
Having spent the last twenty years recruiting in the Construction Industry, I have noticed a significant change in how people are climbing the management ladder. To what are now highly paid roles offering excellent career prospects.
From Trainee to Director
For example, a ‘QS’ or ‘Quantity Surveyor job’ is a commercial role and could be compared to an accountant for the building industry. They are responsible for managing budgets and project costs. Traditionally you would have started out as trainee, whether studying (day release or not), then after three years or so you would be deemed an Assistant QS and given a bit more responsibility, other than just the photocopying!
After about five years or so you would have then gained enough project experience to be considered a ‘Project Surveyor’, working under the supervision of an ‘Senior QS’. From Project QS you’d then become a Senior Quantity Surveyor, running your own projects. Finishing up as a Commercial Manager or Director after another handful of years with the six-figure salary to match.
Fast track to Senior Management
The opportunity to fast track your career within the Construction Industry has certainly become more achievable in the last five to ten years. This could be down to a number of factors: –
Age-old stereotyping, combine this with a lack of investment in apprenticeships, training and development. It has left a gulf in talent and the industry has been chasing its tail.
Austerity of the 2008-2015 recession, Brexit and the latest pandemic hasn’t helped.
A Window of Opportunity
What this has created is a window for ambitious individuals coming into the industry to fast track their careers. What would have traditionally taken ten plus years can potentially be done in half the time. A QS in London can now command a basic salary of between £75,000 and £85,0000 within five years of graduating. Add to this the generous benefits packages and bonus incentives. Six figure salaries in the construction industry are certainly not uncommon and can be achieved so many different ways.
Construction Jobs – A guide to Careers we recruit for at Speyhawk Ltd
We cover a majority of construction jobs or titles under the building umbrella, so that’s commercial, design, technical and management professionals to include associated support staff. Graduate through to director level. In total we recruit for over twenty different construction job titles. Some of these include: –
- Construction Directors
- Operations Directors
- Projects Directors
- Regional Directors
- Project Manager
- Construction Manager
- Construction Management
- Commercial Management
- Quantity Surveyor
- Design Manager
- Clerk of Works
- Document Control
- BIM Manager