Graduate Careers Advice

Graduate Builder Careers

Lucy Miller

Prefer a hands on, physical job? Want to spend your days outdoors and not in an office? If you fancy creating new buildings and landmarks, then a career with in the building sector could be for you.

The construction and building industry is a major source of employment in the UK, providing a wide range of career opportunities. This is something you can get into straight out of school and earn a respectable wage through, or can come into after a degree at a more senior level.

Builders construct everything from spare rooms in your parents’ house to record breaking skyscrapers. This is an industry that requires you to learn technical skills on the job. You can work gain a trade in a particular specialist area – bricklaying, pointing – or as a general building contractor involved in moving heavy goods.

Labourers will typically load and carry materials, dig trenches, erect scaffolding, construct buildings and remove rubbish and rubble.

You can get work through a particular employer or as shift work through an agency. However, whatever way you choose to get in, remember that hours are often long and the work extremely physical – you’ll need to be strong and have good stamina.

You can also go into the building industry with a bachelors degree, as long as you have some practical experience.  

How Much Can I Earn as a Builder?

A labourer will start on an average of around £15,000 starting out, but salaries can increase rapidly depending on experience and if you learn a specific skill or trade.

According to Pay Scale, the average salary for a builder in the UK is £11.54 per hour – or around £22,800 annually.

What Qualifications do I Need to be a Builder?

Practical skill is the most important aspect of a builder’s job, so if you have an academic degree but want to pursue this job, you may want to look into completing a practical college course that will give you the skills you need to work on site.

What Skills Do I Need to be a Builder?

Whilst you do need to acquire some practical  it is likely that your degree will have prepared you for the job in plenty of other ways, however – teamwork, attention to detail, time-management and communication are all soft skills that are essential here.

What Experience Do I Need to Get a Job in Building?

Formal work experience is not usually essential to work as a builder, but any practical skill you have will be very useful – so try to get some part-time work on a site to make sure you know what you’re doing.

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