The 10 jobs in construction you'll wish you'd heard about sooner

Future Mag and NOCN have come together to present the 10 of the best jobs on offer in the construction sector, get ready to be inspired. 

So, in no particular order, let's get started...

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What do they do?

Acoustics consultants help manage and control noise and vibrations in homes, workplaces and other environments.

Getting there:

You’ll usually need a degree in a relevant subject, like:

  • acoustics
  • maths
  • physics
  • engineering

If you have a degree in environmental science or music technology, you’ll need an additional qualification in acoustics to give you the skills needed by the industry.

You could start work as an assistant or trainee technician and, with further training, qualify as an engineer or consultant.

Pay: £18,000 to £50,000 average per year



What do they do?

Architectural technicians work closely with architectural teams on the design process of building projects.

Getting there

You’ll usually need a Higher National Diploma (HND), foundation degree or degree in:

  • architectural technology 
  • construction
  • the build environment

You could also get taken on as a trainee.

It will improve your chances of finding a traineeship if you have:
• 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent
• 2 A Levels at grade C or above in related subjects like maths, science, IT and technology
You could also get into this career through an Advanced Apprenticeship

Pay: £18,000 to £40,000 average per year



What do they do?

Bricklayers build and repair walls, chimney stacks, tunnel linings and decorative stonework. They may also refurbish brickwork and masonry on restoration projects.

Getting there

Some employers may expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in maths and English.
You’ll also need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. Labouring or experience on a building site would be helpful.
You could complete a college course, but this isn’t essential.
You could get a bursary, if you want to work in heritage conservation.
You could get into this job through an Apprenticeship.
Go Construct has more information on becoming a bricklayer.

Pay: £15,000 to £30,000 average per year



What do they do?

Building surveyors advise clients about the design, construction, maintenance and repair of buildings.

Getting there

You’ll need to complete a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited degree course, like surveying, construction, civil engineering or building engineering, followed by professional development training.

If you have a non-RICS accredited degree, you’ll need to take a postgraduate course in surveying. You could do this through:

  •  a company's graduate training scheme
  • studying full-time at a RICS-accredited university
  • taking a distance learning postgraduate conversion course (if you're already working in engineering)

If you have an HNC, HND or foundation degree in surveying or construction,
you may be able to start working as a surveying technician and then take further qualifications.Some employers may also offer a Degree Apprenticeship programme.
The RICS has more information about surveying careers and accredited degree programmes.

Pay: £22,000 to £70,000 average per year


What do they do?

Crane drivers operate machinery used to lift and move heavy materials and equipment on construction, quarrying and mining sites, and in warehouses and ports.

Getting there

  • experience of working on a construction site or using heavy plant machinery like excavators
  • a valid Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card
  • a college qualification in plant operations. This can be done through on-the-job training
  • a category C1 or C LGV licence if driving mobile cranes on public roads

You could get into this job through an Apprenticeship if you also get the Plant Operations college qualification and the CPCS card. You’ll usually need at least 4 GCSEs or equivalent, including maths and English, to apply.

CITB and Go Construct have more information on becoming a crane driver.

Pay: £20,000 to £36,000 average per year


What do they do?

Electricians fit, service and fix electrical equipment, circuits, machinery and wiring.

Getting there

You’ll need a level 3 electrical or electro- technical qualification. You’ll need to complete this qualification while you’re working in a related job.

A common way to get into this job is through an Apprenticeship. An Apprenticeship will give you a level 3 qualification.

Taking a level 1 or level 2 qualification in electrical installation may help you to find an Apprenticeship or get a trainee position. Electrical Careers has more information on how to become an electrician.

Pay £18,000 to £42,000 average per year



What do they do?

Engineering technicians install, service and repair machines and equipment in buildings, factories and industrial plants

Getting there

You could take an engineering college course which would teach you some of the skills needed for the job. This may also help you to find a trainee position with a company.

You could get into this job through an Apprenticeship.
If you want to specialise in design work, you could take a course in computer aided design (CAD).
The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has more details about engineering technician careers.

Pay: £18,000 to £32,000 average per year



What do they do?

Painters and decorators prepare and apply paint, wallpaper and finishes to different surfaces.

Getting there

There are no set requirements. But you will need:

  • practical skills and a high level of attention to detail
  • number skills to work out surface areas and quantities
  • the ability to follow job instructions

You could start as a painter and decorator’s labourer or ‘mate’ and learn on-the-job. You could get into this job through an Apprenticeship.
You could take a college course in basic painting and decorating, which may help you when looking for a trainee position. You’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on most building sites.

Pay: £15,000 to £30,000 average per year



What do they do?

Plumbers fit and service hot and cold water systems, heating systems and drainage networks.

Getting there

You’ll usually need GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in maths, English and science.
You’ll also need to get an industry- recognised qualification like a level 2 or 3 Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating. You’ll need gas related units at level 3 to work with domestic gas heating systems.

You could take a course in plumbing skills at college. This may help you find a trainee position with a company.
You could also get into this job through an Apprenticeship.

Pay: £15,000 to £40,000 average per year



What do they do?

Steel fixers install and tie together the steel bars and mesh used to strengthen concrete during construction.

Getting there

There are no set requirements, but some employers may want you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent in English, maths, science and technology. Relevant work experience or work-based qualifications in construction or engineering may also be helpful.

NOCN offers specialist qualifications in Steel fixing. The qualifications provide relevant occupational competence to enable learners to gain employment as Steel fixers within the Construction sector. You could also get into this job through an Apprenticeship.

Pay: £14,000 to £35,000 average per year


For more information on getting into careers in construction visit NOCN




CareersEmily Baulf