The construction industry employs 2.17 m people in the UK. Construction professionals shape our world and make a vital contribution to the British economy accounting for 8% of Gross Domestic Product. Construction has become a global industry providing opportunities to work and travel overseas.
There are a wide range of exciting and challenging roles in the industry. The construction environment is the ideal vehicle to develop excellent management skills because of the challenges it raises. Site managers and project managers oversee the construction process ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget. Design managers and architectural technologists work on the design process. Quantity surveyors manage the costs or commercial aspects of the project.
All of these careers present different challenges but working as a team is fundamental to success in all roles. The Construction industry offers good opportunities for career development and many of the top managers started their careers on site in a trade occupation. Starting salaries for graduates range from about £21,000 - £25,000 per annum.
For a successful career in construction, you will need to have excellent communication skills, problem solving skills and an aptitude for figures. A science or technology subject is also a good preparation for a career in construction.
A variety of routes into the industry are available to suit all abilities from apprenticeships and vocational qualifications to degrees and post graduate qualifications, with all qualifications featuring a real emphasis on skills development. There are opportunities to 'earn as you learn' with larger companies which sponsor training and education for employees.
Lucynda Jensen graduated from university with a degree in construction and went on to complete the CIOB professional Development Programme. Lucynda is now building a successful career with construction company, Mace. She is currently working on site at the Tate Modern in London.
Lycinda says: "I chose the construction industry because it is fast paced, and there is unlimited opportunity to work on projects that people remember and use in everyday life. It is an important and challenging career because buildings are the fabric we surround ourselves in on a daily basis. The degree course I chose gave me a direct link into a role within Construction because it was vocational and focused me on what career path to take."
For further information on apprenticeships, see Construction Skills website
For information on degree courses and other vocational qualifications, refer to the Chartered Institute of Building site
For further information on careers in construction, refer to b-live or total professions.