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How to get into construction and what to expect

Man in protective equipment welding steel on a construction site.

There is no single route into construction

You can start in construction any time from school leaver to later in your career. There are many entry points available including apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships (the equivalent of a first year of a degree) or entry level opportunities where you can learn on the job.

Many big construction companies and consultancies have graduate programmes with set intakes each year. For more information on the different routes into a career in construction, take a look at the ‘What are my options’ section on Go Construct’s website or visit the National Careers Service website.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is supporting careers in the industry with the Construction Talent Retention Scheme. The scheme helps talented people showcase their experience and expertise, and helps businesses find the skilled recruits they need. For details visit the CLC’s website.

What skills do I need?

There are many skills required for roles in construction. These include:

  • excellent verbal communication
  • solving problems
  • using computers
  • getting jobs done on time
  • working in teams
  • leading others
  • understanding instructions
  • making decisions
  • getting on with people
  • the ability to work well with others
  • good punctuality and reliability
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • attention to detail

What types of roles are available?

Working in the modern-day construction industry offers opportunities to be creative, collaborative and to enjoy huge potential to diversify and grow.

Trades such as bricklaying and tiling are still vital, however there’s a huge range of other exciting and varied roles to choose from on the Go Construct website. Take a look at the National Careers Service website for more information on the different roles available.

Whether you prefer an active job where you’re out and about, an office based role that relies more on planning and organisation, or something that combines the two, there’s something to suit your skills and preferences.

As well as house building, there’s commercial building – which covers everything from offices to football stadiums – and infrastructure, which includes roads, bridges, water supply and drainage, electricity supply and more. And then, of course, there’s the logistics of providing these services, as well as opportunities in research and development, human resources and future planning.

What qualifications and experience do I need?

Every role has different requirements and often several pathways into a career – whether you’re looking for an entry level job, an apprenticeship or a graduate job.

Whatever your current skills or chosen path you can find a career for you using this career explorer on Go Construct’s website.

Explore construction courses on the National Careers Service website.

Many firms offer on-the-job training, so you’ll often find plenty of opportunities to grow your skills while you’re working too.

Could you work in the construction sector? Check where to find construction jobs, see the latest vacancies we know about, or search now on the Find a job website.

Alternatively, you could take a look at the career search function on Go Construct’s website to find out more about the skills, qualifications and salary for various construction career options.

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