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Principal designers manage risk prevention during the pre-construction phase of a project.

Average salaries are in the region of £35,000.00 to £42,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Principal Designers manage risk prevention during the pre-construction phase of a project.

What they do

As well as construction industry experience, they have a design-based focus on risk prevention, in relation to health and safety, on any project involving more than one contractor.

Typical duties include:

  • Making appropriate design decisions during the pre-construction phase to ensure a project is delivered effectively
  • Securing the health and safety of those affected by the work on projects
  • Making Clients aware of their duties
  • Collating pre-construction information
  • Identifying how any information gaps will be resolved in a timely manner to ensure sufficient consideration of health and safety issues. 
  • Carrying out H&S specific design reviews throughout the design and construction phases of a project

Either in an organisation or as an individual, Principal Designers are embedded in the project team and have sufficient knowledge to influence the project design.

Hours & Salary:

  • Newly trained Principal Designers can earn in the region of £29,000 to £35,000
  • Trained with experience, Principal Designers can earn in the region of £35,000 to £42,000
  • Senior Principal Designers can earn in the region of £42,000 to £60,000

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


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Qualifications & Training

A degree in a relevant field may be one route to becoming a principal designer. Alternatively, combining work with part-time study towards industry-recognised qualifications, such as those delivered by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), offers another.

Once established in a building design or suitable construction role, specific training in CDM 2015 is essential for the role of principal designer. 

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

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The number of jobs vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

630 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 630 Construction Process Managers (which includes Principal Designers), every year for the period 2016 - 2020.  The majority of this demand will be in the South West, followed by a fairly even spread across West Midlands and Northern Ireland.

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