Working in construction with a degree (or similar)

Graduate jobs in construction tend to be based around designing, planning and managing projects.

You will need an understanding of the industry, including building methods and legal requirements, which you should get from a relevant degree. Roles at this level also require commercial and financial awareness. Many jobs, including architecture and quantity surveying, will involve managing a budget or bidding for new business.

Example jobs

Quantity surveyor
Managing the costs of a building project.

Architect
Designing new buildings or adapting existing structures.

Construction manager
Managing a building project, liaising with clients and the workforce, ensuring safety and quality.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

An architect’s salary will rise to £45,000 and above at senior level.

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

If you get a graduate-level job within the construction industry, you might spend some time in the office and the rest on site or meeting clients. It is unlikely that you will be based in the same place every day.

Qualifications needed

You will need a relevant degree that is recognised by the professional association that oversees the work you want to do. For example, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for quantity surveying or the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for architecture.

Some jobs like architecture will also require postgraduate training and further experience before you become fully qualified. This can take an additional four years after your first degree.

Career path

With experience and postgraduate qualifications, you might take on work at a higher level and with additional responsibilities. For example, you might progress to managing a larger project, supervising a bigger team or working for a multinational organisation.

Useful links

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Royal Institute of British Architects

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Architects Registration Board