What is constructon and property?
Construction is the business of building properties and other structures for residential, commercial or public use. This includes:
- Homes for people to live in.
- Offices, factories and warehouses for use by businesses.
- All manner of public buildings and structures from museums, libraries, council buildings and leisure centres to roads and bridges.
The construction industry is concerned with getting the materials to create a structure, the building process itself and everything that goes into making the structure usable, such as putting in utilities like water, electricity, gas and a phone line.
If you work in this area, you could focus on building houses, sky-scraping office blocks, hospitals, schools, bridges or roads.
Property is about the buying and selling, leasing or letting of buildings and structures, as well as their maintenance and management.
Construction and property jobs focus on:
- Planning: From finding the best place to build a bridge to organising the layout of a whole new district.
- Design: Working out how a building or structure will look and what materials need to be used to make it.
- Sourcing: Getting hold of the materials needed to assemble the structure.
- Building: Bringing together a diverse group of skilled tradespeople to bring your design to life.
- Sale: Putting a value on properties and attracting people to rent or buy.
What construction and property jobs can I do?
Town planners: Shape the way our towns and cities are laid out. They look at the community needs of a place and work out where our homes, shops and public transport should go. They can plan affordable housing and approve new developments as well as develop parks and open spaces.
Architects: Design and restore buildings as well as the space around them. They are there from the start of a project, right through to the end, overseeing construction and making sure things are done on-time and within budget. Check out this article on how to become an architect.
Engineers: Help architects decide which materials to use to make the safest and strongest structures. Civil engineers can put together blueprints and budgets, as well as assess the impact of a new building on the environment. Structural engineers work out how to keep something standing against the non-stop forces of gravity and weather. For more on engineering jobs, check out our engineering career zone, or learn more about the different types of engineering jobs.
Surveyors: Use their scientific skills to map out and assess the quality of land or property, to work out what it is worth and how it can be used. Their work is varied, from drawing up plans, models and budgets for new building projects, to checking a house is safe and stable before buyers put their money on the table.
Construction managers: Run the building process, managing tradespeople on site and making sure that everything goes safely and according to plan.
Tradespeople (sometimes referred to as tradesmen or builders): Skilled workers with specialist construction knowledge, who put together our buildings and other structures. Some tradespeople are all-rounders but many choose to focus on a particular skill, from bricklaying to roofing, painting, carpentry, masonry or welding.
Estate agents: Get properties on the market, advertise, show them around and negotiate between buyers and sellers.
Is a career in constructon and property for me?
- Enjoy working with people? Jobs in construction are all about teamwork, both on site and in the office, so if you enjoy working with others this is an exciting and varied career.
- Enjoy problem solving? If you are creative and enjoy maths and like solving problems, a career in architecture, engineering or planning might be a good fit.
- Like working with your hands? If you enjoy working practical work and like working outdoors, studying a building trade or managing a building site can be very rewarding.
There are also eco-friendly construction careers within the renewable energy industry.
How can I start a career in constructon and property?
To work as an architect, a town planner or an engineer, you will need a professional degree.
For each of these careers, you should study physics and/or chemistry at GCSE. It’s useful to choose at least one of these subjects at A-level: maths, physics, chemistry, design technology, graphic design or IT, as you will often be working with computer programmes.
Architects need to study for seven years including two years' professional experience.
Surveyors can become qualified through a degree, a Higher National Diploma, BTEC or an advanced apprenticeship in construction. You will need GCSEs in English, maths, IT and science as well as A-levels with at least one Science subject.
To work as a construction manager you will usually need a foundation degree or higher national diploma in construction management or something similar.
Take a look at our jobs board to find out if there are any work experience or training opportunities in construction and property.
What constructon and property qualifications are available?
There are lots of qualifications available for different skills including: chartered surveyor, chartered architect or chartered town planner.
Tradespeople and construction managers can study towards NVQs and diplomas as they work and estate agents can also gain industry qualifications through the National Federation of Property Professionals.
Please see the How do I get there? section for qualification routes you'll need for particular jobs.
Did you know these constructon and property facts?
It took 11,000 glass panels to cover the Shard building in London, Western Europe’s tallest building, which stands at 308 metres tall. 95% of the construction materials used to build it were recycled.
Are you considering studying construction at university? If so, check out our list of universities in the UK to help you decide which one would be best for you. If you're undecided about the university route, take a look at our post on whether uni is for you.