How to choose subjects that make the grade

Make sure the subjects you choose can help you to move on to rewarding construction jobs after school, college or university.

Studying at school, college and university is one way to get the skills needed to succeed in an exciting career working in construction.

Did you know...

6,546 wind turbines

There are 6,546 wind turbines in the UK, generating 13 gigawatts of electricity, which is the highest in Europe.


Keep your options open

Optional subjects vary between schools, but are likely to fall into categories including:

  • Design and technology
  • Creative subjects
  • Humanities

You can keep your options open and develop several skills by choosing subjects from different fields.

For instance, Design and Technology offers the chance to practise working with your hands, while humanities subjects like business studies can give you an insight into how companies are run.

English, Maths and Science, meanwhile, are compulsory and could be especially important for your future career as they often form part of the main entry requirements for Highers and A-levels.

And if you decide to leave school after your exams, English, Maths and Science are also crucial for construction apprenticeships, which can give you the chance to earn a wage while learning new skills.


Build up practical skills

In England and Wales, if you decide to carry on to A-levels, you’ll have the chance to choose four subjects, one of which you can drop after a year.

You'll have the chance to build up practical skills, which can then be put to use as part of a construction career.

Physics can give you a good grounding for engineering and project management, while creative areas like Art can help prepare you for construction jobs revolving around design. 

In your senior phase of school in Scotland, you will be able to build up your practical skills by studying subjects such as skills for work in construction, national progression awards in construction, and foundation apprenticeships.


Do your research

Research all the subjects you're thinking of taking by:

  • Speaking to people already working in construction jobs
  • Speaking to teachers
  • Checking online for information about what employers want
Do your research