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Clerk of Works

Site inspector, construction inspector, warranty manager, building quality inspector

A clerk of works inspects the workmanship, quality and safety of work on construction sites and reports back to senior managers and clients. As a clerk of work, you’d be conducting regular site inspections and checking that building plans are being followed correctly. You’d check that work is being carried out to the correct specifications and legal, safety and environmental standards.

Average salary*

£25000

-

£60000

Typical hours per week

41 - 43

How to become a clerk of works

There are several routes to becoming a clerk of works. You can gain the qualifications you need by doing a university course or an apprenticeship. If you already have relevant experience, you could apply for a role directly.

You should explore the options to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options will list qualification requirements many employers are more interested in people who have a depth of experience in the construction industry.

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

University

You could study for a foundation degree, a higher national diploma (HND) or an undergraduate degree. Relevant subjects include building studies, construction, surveying or engineering. Afterwards, you may be able to join a company’s graduate trainee scheme.

You’ll generally need:

Apprenticeship

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

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.

You could apply for a construction technical and professional advanced apprenticeship. Alternatively, you could enrol on a construction site supervision higher apprenticeship. This will take up to three years to complete. In both cases, you’ll train on-the-job with time at a local training provider.

You’ll need:

  • 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths (advanced apprenticeship)
  • 4 - 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels (or equivalent) plus some experience in construction (higher apprenticeship).

  • Find an apprenticeship near you
  • Guide to apprenticeships

Work

If you are already working as a tradesperson, building technician or surveying assistant you may be able to become a clerk of works through on-the-job training. You could do a Level 2 SVQ/NVQ Diploma in Site Inspection, for instance.

If you already have several years’ construction experience, you could apply directly for a job as a clerk of works.

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 in construction. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

Skills

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as clerk of works include:

  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Customer service skills
  • Able to use your initiative patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Maths knowledge and analytical thinking skills
  • Able to analyse quality or performance
  • Able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What does a clerk of works do?

As a clerk of works you will be responsible for inspecting construction work to ensure it meets standards and health and safety requirements.

The job role of a clerk of work involves the following duties:

  • Inspecting construction work and comparing it with drawings and specifications
  • Measuring and quality checking building materials
  • Identifying defects and suggesting ways to correct them
  • Monitoring progress and reporting to construction managers, architects and clients
  • Keeping detailed records of work
  • Referring to plans and taking photographs of work, along with measurements and samples
  • Liaising with contractors, engineers and surveyors
  • Checking that building regulations, health and safety, legal and ecological requirements are met
  • Working between an office and construction sites.

How much could you earn as a clerk of works?

The expected salary for a clerk of works varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained clerk of works can earn in the region of £25,000 - £30,000
  • Trained with experience clerk of works can earn in the region of £30,000 - £40,000
  • Senior, chartered or master clerk of works can earn in the region of £40,000 - £60,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status. 

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest Clerk of Works vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary. 

Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!

Career path and progression

People often work as a construction or engineering tradesperson or technician for several years before becoming a clerk of works.

To be a clerk of works, your employer may ask that you join the Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate (ICWCI).

With experience, you could move into construction management, surveying or civil engineering and earn a higher salary.

You could become a tutor, or set up as a self-employed consultant.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Clerk of works The Clerk of Works inspects the site, construction, building quality & liaises w...
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  • Current role Building control surveyor Involved in the planning & construction phases of projects, everyday is differen...
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  • Current role Construction manager Construction managers are required to handle the practical side of managing & pl...
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  • Current role Site Engineer/Technician Acting as the main technical advisor on projects ranging from new houses to rail...
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  • Current role Instructor / assessor / tutor Further Education (FE) instructors, assessors and tutors teach construction skil...
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  • Current role Self-employed contractor A self-employed contractor or sub-contractor runs his or her own construction bu...
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  • Current role Contracts manager During a construction project, the contracts manager overseas the contracts proc...
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  • Current role Senior manager Senior managers and heads of department are responsible for leading teams of peo...
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  • Current role Project manager Oversee construction projects from start to finish in order to achieve successfu...
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