Building and Construction School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Did you enjoy playing with Lego when younger? Ever build a tree house or your own mini fort? A career in building and construction could be the perfect life for you.Building and Construction

Building and construction is a hard, physical industry which requires you to be aware of lots of different things all at once. The industry is as much about knocking things down and starting again as it is about building new skyscrapers and bridges.

What’s it all about? TOP ^

The great thing about building and construction is that there are many ways for school leavers to break into it. School leavers can get qualifications or join apprenticeship schemes in things like bricklaying, plumbing and electrics.

Alternatively, you can continue into further education and keep studying to become an architect or civil engineer, designing buildings and working out how to put them together. It basically depends on whether you're better doing hands-on work onsite, or heading up the planning process behind the scenes.

And girls, it's not just men who work in construction – the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) reckons around 200,000 women have construction jobs. This is an industry which has plenty of jobs for everyone.

Even though constructions jobs and building jobs were hit hard when the economy crashed, some areas of the construction industry are starting to grow again. Growth is expected to continue in 2013 and 2014, reaching 6.2% above 2011 levels by 2015, according to the Construction Skills Network.

You'll usually work normal hours during the week, but if there's a deadline to meet for a project or for finishing wiring, etc, then you might need to keep going until the job's done. You can end up working with lots of people on a big business building, a few people on a residential home or flat, or with a team on structures that provide power and electricity.

Most jobs in the building and construction industry can be done on a freelance basis, so you can set up your own business and work whatever hours you like.

What will I earn? TOP ^

Starting salary: £12,000 - £15,000
With experience: £15,000 - £22,000

Where can I work? TOP ^

You will need experience if you want to go into the professional areas of construction such as electricians, builders and plumbers. You can gain this from on the job training, apprenticeships and professional qualifications.

You can work anywhere from local building companies and trades people to large national construction companies like Balfour Beatty.

What skills will I need? TOP ^

Safety is paramount on a building site, so entry level school leavers will have to have good communication and awareness skills to follow instructions as they start out. It will also be important to be able to work as part of a team, so being easy going and a good team player is essential.

As a general rule, construction and building workers should have the following skills:

What entry level building and construction jobs can I do? TOP ^

Entry level construction jobs generally consist of basic labouring initially, but with experience you may be able to follow other professionals such as engineers and drivers and learn skills from them.

Some entry level building and construction jobs include:

  • Labourer
  • Land surveyor
  • Entry level design engineer
  • Facilities assistant
  • Utilities driver
Browse all Building and Construction jobs for this guide