When I left school I had eight CSEs, and took on various job roles including apprentice fabricator and welder, HGV driver, heavy plant machinery operative and manual labourer.

I also spent five years in the Armed Forces within their Logistics Corps. When I was 32, I decided to enrol on an ONC construction course to further my career, with the view of becoming a Civil Engineer.

Overall I spent nine years in university part time gaining the academic qualifications needed and on the job training, which was all supported by my employer.

So I now have a BTEC National Award in Construction from Ystrad Mynach College, a BSc (Hons) in Civil and Construction Engineering from the University of Wales, Newport and a MSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of South Wales. 

When you actually see something that you’ve designed being put in place – that’s a great feeling!

Case study
Category Information
Based Caerphilly
Employer Caerphilly County Borough Council

Describe a bit more about what you do in your job role.

I work for the Caerphilly County Borough Council, in their Engineering Projects Group, structures team. My workload is extremely varied and includes: designing, assessing, maintaining and inspecting bridges and culverts (tunnels carrying a stream or open drain under a road or railway), compiling tender documents and bills of quantities for projects, and checking and processing invoices.

I also inspect and supervise construction works on-site, check the setting-out, and I ensure that the works are carried out in accordance with the project’s specification. Another aspect of my job is to assist the junior members of the team, new to construction jobs and develop their skills further. 

Set your sights on the career you want and go for it… I persevered and was rewarded… if I can do it, then so can you!

Carl Bugler

Senior Assistant Engineer, Structures

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I really enjoy how varied and rewarding my job is. I get involved with each scheme from inception to completion. I manage my own time, so I’m able to get out onto the sites during the construction phase to supervise each of my schemes.

When you actually see something that you’ve designed being put in place – that’s a great feeling!

What is the highlight of your day?

A part of my job is to deal with service requests that come in from members of the public. When someone has complained about a defect, for example a retaining wall that they think is dangerous, it’s my responsibility to go and inspect it and then write a factual report about my findings and recommendations.

I’ll get in contact with the member of the public and go through my report and any actions to be taken. The praise and thanks that I get from that person really make my day.

Where do you want your career to take you?

To be honest, I’ve already surpassed the position that I thought I'd be able to gain in structural engineering, based on moving into construction industry jobs at a fairly mature age, so for me I just want to be able to progress as far as I can.

What would you say to someone thinking about a career in construction?

My advice would be to research the various construction careers options carefully and seek advice from people working within your preferred choice of profession.

I’d also say set your sights on the career you want and go for it. When I went back into education at 32 it was a bit of a shock to the system, but I persevered and was rewarded when, at the age of 35, I was offered a job within the Engineering Projects Group Structures Section as a Technician following a successful interview. If I can do it, then so can you!

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