Interested in joining the 2.4 million

people working in the UK Construction industry? 

Types of Construction

There are 4 key categories for UK Construction all of which offer differing roles, challenges and career aspirations.

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House building & renovations

This is a specific type of construction where plans are drawn up by an Architect.  

The House building sector is heavily regulated with national planning and building regulations in place. These are overseen by the relevant Local Council.

The building processes and materials are often specific to house building. However, the sector is always developing as new environmental considerations are taken into account.

This category of construction provides a plethora of career opportunities for those looking for practical 'on the tools' role or office-based position.

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Commercial & industrial

Commercial construction projects range from a new sports facility, a new office block or a shopping centre.

These projects will be overseen by contractual obligations where deadlines are paramount.

Due to the size of the projects you will usually find a team of project managers and commercial directors with many different trades and sub-contractors being involved in the construction and fit-out of the building.

This category of construction provides a plethora of career opportunities for those looking for practical 'on the tools' role or office-based position.

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Infrastructure construction is building that helps keep us together. This can include power networks, telephone and broadband networks, roads, railways and bridges.

Think of it as building facilities, rather than homes or office buildings. It can often go unseen as it happens underground or takes place during unsociable hours.

It vital to a country’s economy and as such in many cases the Client will be a Government Department rather than a commercial company.

This category of construction will rely upon many of the trades seen within House Building and Commercial but will also offer many specific career opportunities.

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The last category of construction is completed away from the main construction site, with items being manufactured off-site and taken the to the site for installation or assembly.

This sector has grown vastly over the last few years as the country moves towards more modern methods of construction (MMC).

Offsite manufacturing methods offer a range of benefits from improved efficiency and shorter construction times to reduced cost and environmental benefits. 

This category offers a huge selection of 'on the tools' and office-based roles and in many cases a single place of work.

Training & qualification routes

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Apprenticeships are a great way to move into a new career. They are available to all age groups, across all qualification levels from an NVQ1 to NVQ7 (masters degree).

As they are so varied, they can take anywhere from 12-months to 5 years to complete depending on the qualification level.

They allow you to work and gain experience whilst studying.

If you would like to find out more about apprenticeships please speak to your Transition Partner or visit the National Apprenticeship Website

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Vocational Training

These courses are aimed at those wishing to learn why they work. There are many different courses at different levels and a large number of training providers delivering the content. 

Programme lengths will differ widely depending on the qualification you are undertaking.  They can be as short as a few hours online,  two days face to face or much longer. Delivery options also vary, with courses taking place online, face to face and through a blended approach.

To find out more use the training partner links below or speak to your Transition Partner for more information.

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Degree Courses

For those interested in moving into Construction Management or Architectural Design there are a number of degree level courses available for both part-time and full time study.

The Undergraduate BSC (HONS) in  Construction Management, is a great  qualification for anyone looking to move into Site Management, M&E quantity surveying, Technical co-ordination or Project management.    If you are more interested in going into Architectural Design you will need to complete a 5 year university course, recognised by Architects Registration Board (ARB) followed by 2 years of professional work experience. 

Speak to your Transition Partner for more information.

Career paths & opportunities

Construction labourer

£ 17K-30K 

/ per annum
  • Apprentice building operative
  • Trained building operative
  • Experienced building operative
  • Self-employed operative

Site Management


/ per annum
  • Trainee site manager
  • Qualified site manager
  • Contracts manager
  • Contracts Director

Construction Management

£ 25K-90K

/ per annum
  • Management Trainee
  • Newly qualified construction manager
  • Experienced construction manager
  • Senior / Chartered construction manager

Partner Training Providers

O'Halloran & O'Brien

Cross Industry Construction Apprenticeship

Chartered Institute of Builders 

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