24 August 2017

Why you should consider a career in construction

With 2017’s GCSE results out and some A-Level students still making choices for next year, the National Federation of Builders (NFB) wanted to remind school leavers that construction is the most exciting and innovative industry in the United Kingdom and it’s not just for those wanting to get their hands dirty!

If you are still deciding your career path, the following facts may help you consider construction as the most rewarding and exciting of all your options.

Earning potential

The average cost of training an apprentice in construction is around £22,000, typically paid for by the employer.
The average cost of a degree is more than £28,000, typically paid for through a personal loan.

On average, those who undertake an apprenticeship are likely to earn £3,729 more per year in their first job than those who have attended university, and over £100,000 more throughout their lifetime than other employees.

According to TotalJobs, the average salary in construction is £42,500

Career opportunities

  • Construction is a growth industry that delivers careers. Within the next five years, an estimated 180,000 new workers will be needed in construction. In the previous two years, construction apprenticeship starts increased by 25%.
  • As construction is multi-disciplined there are many opportunities to gain transferable skills and achieve promotion, retrain, or change your career - either within or outside the industry.
  • In the previous six years, there has been a 60% increase in women starting construction apprenticeships.
  • After leaving university, over 90% of Construction and Built Environment (CaBE) students found jobs in their chosen area of study.
  • There are many different ways to get into construction, for example, degrees, apprenticeships and T-Levels, but you could always go and speak to your local construction company.
  • The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) delivers funding every year so that there are always opportunities to retrain or upskill; this includes access to very many short and long term courses.

Working Life

The industry also yields some great opportunities to work and live abroad. Many countries see construction as a desired profession and structure their visas to favour those with CaBE and construction qualifications. 

Construction careers are great if you want to work part-time or self-employed. Many do this to better manage their free, family, or learning time while benefiting from good wages.

Small and medium sized companies (SME’s) train two thirds of apprentices and typically employ within fifteen miles of their head offices. SMEs are the local employers and trainers, with two out of three trainees getting a job after they finish their training.

Construction is a mix of office and site based roles, with very many new positions being created off-site. From drone operators and bricklayers to land buyers and human resource managers, construction is the innovative industry.

Much more information can be found at CITB’s GoConstruct Website, but why not see what courses your local colleges have? If you’re considering University clearing, we recommend speaking to a course tutor about which CaBE or construction related course might be best for you.