Resources Construction Ambassadors Matching Service Matching Service Cymraeg Go Construct - Industry led, funded by the CITB levy

Self employed sub contractor/ self employed/

A self-employed contractor or sub-contractor runs his or her own construction business.

Average salaries are in the region of £19,000.00 to £55,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

A self-employed contractor or sub-contractor runs his or her own construction business.

What they do

Being your own boss puts you in charge of everything from balancing the books, training and health and safety to (in bigger outfits) managing other people. 

This is one of the most challenging but rewarding construction jobs, and it demands good time management skills, whatever the trade or service the business deals with.

Self-employed contractors and sub-contractors are responsible for all or part of business operations. They put their experience and construction qualifications to work to achieve business goals and are sometimes helped by a team of people. 

Working as a self-employed contractor or sub-contractor is interesting and varied. For example, he or she may have a project that needs completing during the day, followed by a visit to a customer to give a price for a job and rounded off by updating the accounts.

The job also involves planning the future of the business and dealing with any issues with customers, suppliers and employees.

Typical duties include:

  • Generating new business opportunities
  • Visiting customers to talk about particular jobs
  • Negotiating with customers and suppliers to achieve the best price and profit margins
  • Managing people on and off site to make sure they’re working in the right way
  • Doing paperwork which includes submitting official forms such as VAT and tax returns

Hours & Salary:

  • Self-employed contractors and sub-contractors set their own rates, depending on the work they’re doing and who it’s for.
  • Working in construction as a self-employed contractor or sub-contractor means you'll be flexible about working hours, doing what’s necessary to get a job finished and maintain a good reputation.


Head to our Resource Library for loads of materials to help employers promote construction careers 

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Qualifications & Training

Continued training and development improves your general business and management skills. This can mean earning a formal professional qualification or learning through informal training and mentoring.

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: 


The number of job 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

3970 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, there will be an additional 3970 construction vacancies for Construction Trades Supervisors (which includes self-employed contractor/sub-cfontractors) every year for the period 2017 - 2021.  The highest demand for these construction jobs will be in the North East followed by Scotland, North West, Wales, West Midlands, South West, Yorkshire & Humber.

Search other careers

Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

Find out more
Web design by S8080