You might be about to choose subjects to study, or about to finish your exams, and if you're unsure what kind of career to pursue, consider a career in construction. 

Where should I start?

Starting/choosing GCSE subjects

There are different factors to consider when you're choosing what subject to study: 

  • Interests - GCSEs last between 1-2 years so you want to know that you're going to enjoy studying this for that length of time
  • Future career - are the subjects you're choosing going to help you in your future career? Some subjects might not be relatable to your career aspirations, so it's worth thinking about this. Also, you may need to think about what subjects you'll need to do the A-level you want, or the university course you want
  • Advice - talk to people you trust, friends, family, teachers, and see what they think of the choices you're making. Sometimes they can give you a different perspective on what subjects might be best for you, and this could help you in your final decision

Construction is an old-fashioned and very traditional industry


Modern construction develops and uses some of the latest technology including Building Information Modelling (BIM), Computer Aided Design (CAD) and even nanotechnology. 

Finishing GCSEs/Choosing your next step

A lot of the factors you'll need to consider are the same as choosing GCSE subjects (see above), but after GCSEs there are more paths that you could choose:

  • A-levels - this is the next academic step from GCSEs, where you study for 1-2 years (depending on the subject) and gain a qualification
  • BTEC/HNC/HND - these are vocational qualifications that combine practical experience with theory 
  • Apprenticeships/Traineeships - these are also vocational qualifications, and mean you are employed with a company and learn the skills and knowledge you need for the job you want. 
"There are so many opportunities in construction and you will always be rewarded for hard work"
Ryan Donoghue BIM Coordinator

What subjects should I take?

There are many different ways that you can get into construction and for certain roles, studying the right kind of subjects will help you gain more understanding of the industry, and of your chosen role. 

Our Choosing academic subjects page will help you understand how different subjects can help with specific roles. If you wanted to be an Architect, choosing subjects like Maths, Physics and English will be very useful in your career, as well as a strong interest in Art. 

If you're still wondering what subjects you should take, UCAS has a lot of advice for what subjects are needed for different degrees when it comes to applying for university

What if I don't want to do A-levels?

The great thing about construction is that there are many possible routes that can get you into a career - A-levels and standard qualifications is just one of them. Our Useful qualifications guide gives you lots of advice about the different kinds of qualifications that can help you into the industry, so you'll find one that suits your way of working. 

This includes apprenticeships, HNCs, HNDs, non-construction degrees and industry skill qualifications, all of which the industry recognise and could help you get into your chosen career. 

If you know what role you're aiming for, find its career profile in our Career A-Z, which will give you more information about what training and qualifications are best for that role. 

What if I want to start earning?

Construction is a competitive industry in terms of wages, and with an apprenticeship, you could go straight from Year 11 into an apprenticeship and start earning. Check out our guide for more information about how to get started in your apprenticeship journey. 

If you wanted to study for a degree, there are many graduate schemes in construction, which gives you the opportunity to start earning once you've graduated. If you think this is something for you, it's best to research different construction companies to see what they offer. 

As your experience and level of responsibility increases, the opportunity for you to earn more increases as well. 

Would I just be working on a building site?

Construction isn't just about working on a building site, there are plenty of roles that are needed in the industry that don't involve being on site. Use our Career Explorer to find the possible roles suited for you, based on your interests, skills and talents. 

There are also roles that involve a mixture of working on and off site, which our Career Explorer can show you. Wherever you find it best to work, there'll be a role in construction to suit you. 

Josh - Head of Building Development|01:48

Matching Service

If you want to experience construction first-hand to help you make your choice, our Matching Service can help. 

You can search for work experience opportunities local to you, and apply directly to the employer. You can get answers from them for any questions you may have, and apply for various opportunities. And as there are new opportunities being added on a regular basis, this gives you the chance to try out different roles to find the one for you. 

There's more to it than you think

Construction has long been seen as 'old-fashioned' and consisting of men working on a building, but there is much more to it than that. 

Our Mythbusters reveal the truth behind some of construction's biggest misconceptions, helping you understand what the industry is really like. 

You can also check out our 'Day in the life' section, with real-life stories from those already working in construction. There's a variety of roles, including apprentices, technicians, designers, managers and directors. 

What's out there

With over three million people working in the construction industry, there's plenty of choice for a role in construction. From IT technicians to marketing executives, accountants to quantity surveyors, plant hire managers to architects, landscape designers to BIM technicians, there's plenty of choice in terms of careers and areas of construction to go into. 

Useful links

Here are some websites that could offer advice and guidance on what your next step should be: