Focus on construction
With a career in construction, you'll be a part of a global industry with loads of exciting and rewarding jobs and projects to choose from. Around three million people work in construction in the UK, making it one of the nation's biggest and most diverse industries.
What could I do in construction?
Construction isn't quite the industry you'll be expecting. Technology is playing an important part in the way this industry is evolving; using drones for site-surveying, 4D modelling software and augmented reality are all potential roles you may take a part in, no matter what stage you enjoy in a project.
In Essex, up to 24,000 new people ma be needed in the next few years to help develop the county's 174,000 new planned homes, and many of the other large-scale projects like the new power plant at Bradwell, the Lower Thames Crossing or the several community garden areas. With so many long term opportunities, construction is a sustainable career choice which could see you in Essex one minute, then a different country the next minute.
- 'Construction is a sector only for men' - Actually, over 200,000 women are employed in construction across the UK and the industry is doing a lot to encourage even more women to join construction and play a vital role in taking the industry forward.
- 'Construction is all about brick-laying' - Just here in Essex, there were well over 200 different job roles advertised in the last year (2016-17). It is a fast-paced, technology-driven sector with almost half *485) of roles which are office-based, professional services.
Top skills employers are looking for
- Contract Management
- Computer Aided Design (CAD)
- Civil Engineering
- Construction Industry Knowledge
Top job roles advertised in Essex
- Quantity Surveyor
- General Labourer
- Site Manager
- Field Service Engineer
- Rail Construction Operative
Examples of job roles
Example entry job roles:
Construction often requires you to have some skills, experience or qualification that are relevant to the sector for a lot of roles, however, there are a lot of other fulfilling roles that you can access using your transferable skills and willingness to learn.
Damp Proofer: £15k - £30k+ Damp proofers lay damp proof membranes to prevent moisture seeing into a building from the earth. This is a physically demanding career that suits people who enjoy a very active working day. Tasks include identifying damp problems, giving advice to clients and using specialist tools to either detect or treat the damp.
CAD Technician: £20k - £35k+ A CAD (computer assisted design) technician uses computer software to create 2D or 3D design plans for buildings or structural civil engineering projects. This is a career that involves a creative flair as well as technical skills and accuracy. There are a number of routes that can lead into a career in CAD, but one of the most common entry points is via an apprenticeship.
Roofing Labourer: £15k - £18k+ Roofing Labourers help qualified roofers to repair and replace slate, tile and flat roofs. Work involves mixing mortar, stripping old roofs, dealing with customers and cutting a range of suitable materials for the job. With this experience, you could begin a qualification to help you develop this career path into more substantial projects in roofing or restoration, or to allow you to explore a different branch of the construction industry.
Further job roles:
All of these roles will expect you to have some form of relevant qualifications or experience and will often expect you to have four to five GCSEs at grades 9-4 (A* - C) including English and Maths.
BIM Technician: £30k - £50k+ A BIM (building information modelling) technician is responsible for using IT to provide an accurate representation of a building or civil engineering project, similar to a CAD Technician (see above). However, a BIM technician needs to looks beyond the structural point of view, but will also look at how the model will be used and how it can be a practical project too. If you have experience using 3D design or rendering software, this could be the job for you.
Quantity Surveyor: £30k - £27k+ A quantity surveyor works out the exactly how much a building costs to construct and is in charge of keeping a close eye on finances from the first budget to the final bill. They have two very big focuses: to make sure a project meets every legal and quality standard and that the client gets value for their money This career suits people who are very good figures and enjoy the challenge of 'balancing the books' throughout complex processes.
Electrician: £18k - £30k+ Electricians install, inspect and test electrical equipment, making sure that everything in a building works properly and safely - whether it be a house, a stage, an infrastructure project or corporate building. This is one of the most in-demand job roles because every build relies on safe and functional electricity.
Construction: the numbers
My experience: working in construction
"I have a mixed background in events and hospitality but I restarted my career in construction as a mature student on an apprenticeship scheme. Although I had transferable skills, I started with no technical knowledge in construction. I have always had a passion for property, however ten years ago I didn't realise there were opportunities within construction that would suit me. Now, I get to work on-site as well as within an office environment which really breaks he week up. When on-site, it's great to see projects develop from an open field or a derelict site into a brand new community for people to live in." - Kirsty, Countryside Properties
Kirsty's advice for getting into the sector: "If you are unsure where your passion lies, I would recommend starting your career within a property development company rather than with a specialist trade. This will give you expertise o a broader outlook on construction and solid array of career options for the future. It is hugely important to work for a company that shows interest in your training, development and career progression." Be sure to check out the www.goconstruct.org or www.britishconstructionjobs.co.uk to learn more about the sector and find local job opportunities.