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Building envelope specialist

Building envelope specialists install and repair non-structural coverings to buildings using a variety of materials such as wood, glass and metal. Building envelope design is a specialised area of architectural and engineering practice that draws from all areas of building science and indoor climate control.

Average salary*




How to become a building envelope specialist

There are several routes to becoming a building envelope specialist. You could complete a college course, an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. You should explore each route to find out which is right for you.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


While there are no set qualifications required to become a building envelope specialist, having GCSEs (or equivalent) in maths and English are beneficial as you will have to work to precise measurements and follow instructions carefully. 

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


An apprenticeship with a construction company is a good way into the industry.

You could do an apprenticeship as a building envelope operative to start you on your career path.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a building envelope contractor to gain on-site experience as a building envelope specialist. You might start out as an assistant to a more experienced building envelope specialist and progress as your abilities improve.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a building envelope specialist. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a building envelope specialist include: 

  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work to precise measurements
  • Able to follow instructions carefully
  • Knowledge of building protection and cladding
  • Ability to work at heights.


To become a Building Envelope Specialist you could complete a:

  • NVQ Level 2 Insulation and Building Treatments (Construction) 
  • NVQ Level 2 Cladding Occupations (Construction)
  • Level 3 Curtain Wall Installer apprenticeship

To become a Building Envelope Specialist you could complete a:

  • SVQ at SCQF Level 5 in Roof, Sheeting and Cladding
  • Modern Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 5 in Construction Building (Roofing Occupations)

What does a building envelope specialist do?

As a building envelope specialist, you will be responsible for the design and construction of building envelope systems across a variety of structures, during concept and at the construction stage. From on-site assessments and the preparation of construction documents, to project management services during construction, the role is varied and can involve a lot of travel both nationally and internationally.

As a building envelope specialist you could be: 

  • Studying assembly instructions and specifications, as well as gathering parts and materials
  • Positioning components according to drawings
  • Assembling a product – fitting hardware and glazing units, examining for correct fit, applying sealants, fixings and finishing materials
  • Verifying specifications by measuring finished assembly
  • Ensuring all equipment is operational 
  • Maintaining a safe and clean working environment by complying with procedures, rules and regulations
  • Maintaining a supplies inventory by checking stock to determine inventory level and anticipating needed supplies.

How much could you earn as a building envelope specialist?

The expected salary for a building envelope specialist varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained building envelope specialists can earn £17,000 - £25,000
  • Trained building envelope specialists with some experience can earn £25,000 - £50,000*
  • Self-employed building envelope specialists set their own pay rates.

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest building envelope specialist vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a building envelope specialist, you could move into the position of a site manager or estimator. 

Alternatively, you could work as a self-employed consultant on building projects.

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