Within the construction profession, builders remain the most common and most important building block (excuse the pun!) It’s one of those rare professions where you will be doing exactly what your title says – building!
From small projects such as the maintenance of walls and small structures, right up to working on the big sites such as new houses, offices and skyscrapers, builders make the designs of the architects become a reality by putting the pieces in place.
It’s mostly a project based role, so when one construction is complete, it’s on to the next one – the variety never ends, and you’ll meet and work alongside a whole host of new people – carpenters, electricians, plumbers and roofers, to name a few – so it’s a great social profession as well.
Salary & benefits
Obviously your monetary situation completely depends on the firm that hire you, but the average starting salary of a builder is around £22,000 per year, and this goes up with both experience and progression within the trade. When you move up the ladder to a more supervisory role (such as a surveyor or a foreman), the money increases, and the most lucrative roles within the industry are some of the most sought-after in the country.
There’s also the attractive proposition of becoming self-employed, where you could run your own building firm, and if this takes off you’d be really beginning to rake in the money.
Working hours will vary depending on the projects which you’re on and how close you are to the deadlines for completion, but most builders work around 40 hours a week on a shift basis.
Your hours and projects will depends on whether you’re hired on a project-based programme, whether you’re working for a company on a contractual basis, or if you’re self employed.
There’s a lot of scope for beginning on an apprenticeship in the building industry, as hands on deck are always useful, but you’re going to start in the same place whether you’ve come out of University or straight out of school – experience is the name of the game.
Being on building sites is key to showing your interest, whether that’s just making and delivering the tea or starting to help out with the work, just being there is enough to show that you care.
Training & progression
A lot of the job training happens on-site, but there are courses out there to help develop your skills and train you in the different niches of the market, which in turn will allow you to progress up the career ladder, because your transferable skills will have been vastly improved.
Specialisations are common, with builders choosing to work with a certain type of project or simply with certain types of material. In a world where people love to have control over their developments, there is always a need for those who have specialised and the right decisions can propel you up the ladder both in a career and a monetary sense.