Careers in construction… 7 things you need to know

construction careers need to know

Could construction careers be the goose that lays your golden egg? Here are 7 things you need to know… and some of these facts may shock you.

1. Well-paid construction careers? You’d better believe it.

This list of some of the best-paid construction jobs in the UK features some BIG numbers. If you’ve never heard of roles like design manager, construction contracts manager or building surveyor, you need to check it out.

2. Construction degrees are very valuable qualifications.

Did you know there are all kinds of construction degrees out there? As well as getting an overview of modern construction and building your practical skills, you can specialise in areas like business, finance, people and project management, technology and design… and environmentalism, too. Once you have your degree, many employers have a recognised development graduate programme.

Construction degrees can help you get ahead in all kinds of industries – they’re a solid foundation for a sky-high career. You don’t need to be a construction graduate to make the most of your degree, either. Many graduate positions in the construction industry will be open to you if you’ve done another kind of degree course that shows you have Young Professional skills that are relevant to the role. You can still carve your niche and do very well for yourself.

3. Construction apprenticeships are bigger, bolder and better than ever

Construction apprenticeships are real trailblazers in the UK – literally. A group of employer “trailblazers” has helped to develop new apprenticeship standards so that construction apprentices can be sure that they are learning the skills that employers need. Construction apprenticeships are seen as a positive alternative to university, with many construction managers and other top-level professionals in the construction world starting out as apprentices.

4. UK construction is up to date and uses tomorrow’s technology.

Modern construction creates and uses some of the latest technology. That includes Building Information Modelling (BIM), Computer Aided Design (CAD) and even nanotechnology. Depending on your role, you could work with lasers or 3D modelling to turn buildings from someone’s dream into a reality. At a senior level you could be a surveyor or a design manager. But you could also start out as a CAD technician to build skills that would be valuable in construction and all kinds of industries…

5. Sustainable construction does not harm the environment.

This isn’t the Victorian industrial age. The UK construction industry is developed on the understanding that environmentally sound projects are absolutely vital, and that the environment has to be protected during all stages of project development. You can do construction degrees with a focus on green technologies and sustainability if you want to be a big part of that future.

Construction is good for a green and healthy environment because it builds infrastructure to give us all things like:

  • clean water
  • waste management
  • flood defence systems
  • better transport systems

6. Women in construction is not an impossible dream. It’s happening.

There are 320,000 women working in construction in the UK. If a construction worker tried to behave in an inappropriate way like wolf-whistling at someone walking by, most construction companies would take this very seriously.

7. Construction isn’t all hard hats and working out in the cold.

A construction operative is out and about on-site as the main part of their job – but there are so many more careers in construction out there. You could work in all kinds of locations when you develop a career in construction. You could travel across the UK and abroad. You could work from your home, or in an office or workshop. If you think everyone in construction puts up scaffolding on a building site, it’s like saying everyone who works in publishing only operates printing machines, or everyone who works in sports and leisure is an athlete. The construction industry is too big to fit into a tiny box like that.

It takes a lot of people with different interests, backgrounds and skills to build something big and beautiful. If you’ve got people skills, or a head for management, or business sense, or a gift for design… there are so many ways into the industry. And they really don’t involve being outside in all weathers.

Find out more about getting into careers in construction and explore our construction careers advice.

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