What are the different categories for construction jobs and why are they important for a construction company?
Construction workers come in all shapes and sizes – it's an extremely varied sector. This means plenty of career opportunities are available, and not all of them require a degree or lots of qualifications. You can begin an apprenticeship or complete work experience to help get you started on your dream construction role.
In this article we will go through the various categories of construction jobs, from financial to management jobs and everything in-between. This could help you find a job in construction you weren’t previously aware of or confirm your passion for a particular type of construction role.
Office-based construction careers
Every construction project will have a team of office staff behind it. This is where important documents are created, and staff make sure that a project runs smoothly and follows legal guidelines. Here, we will outline some of the most common roles, but there are many more.
Administrators support the smooth running of offices. They do things like draw up contracts, process information on computers, provide customer service and organise meetings. The role can be found in a wide variety of settings, with a lot of scope for progression. Find out how to become an administrator.
Computer-aided design (CAD) operators use computer software to produce 2D and 3D drawings for construction and manufacturing projects. They design everything from machinery to entire buildings, producing technical building diagrams for architects, engineers, and other construction workers. Learn more about becoming a CAD operative.
Document controllers manage the important information needed to run a construction project in the form of technical documents like blueprints and reports. They work closely with designers, surveyors, and architects. Discover how to become a document controller.
Why office-based jobs are important
These roles are vital to a construction project because they record everything that happens on and off-site. From environmental legislation and designs, office-based staff will oversee the project to make sure it all goes according to plan. Without these roles, there wouldn’t be an accurate record of plans and processes used for a construction project.
Financial roles in construction
Construction requires finance and information on economic trends from a number of sources, which will be managed by the roles below. From budgets to gaining access to funding, this is what keeps a construction project running. Here are just a few of the financial roles in construction.
Accounting and finance staff keep track of the money that goes into a construction business and how much profit it makes. You can either specialise in accountancy for a particular sector, or work more generally across numerous types, meaning there’s a lot of scope in this job. Become an accountant in construction.
The assets a company has might include stocks, shares and bonds, as well as money or property. An asset manager works to maximise an employer’s return on investment, plus makes sure the construction projects a business runs are financially viable. Find out how you can become an asset manager.
Economists study data and statistics and use their findings to provide financial advice to businesses. This advice impacts construction projects, as economists are aware of trends in technologies and materials, giving businesses the right information to develop and grow. Learn more about economists.
Why finance is important to construction
Without research, cost estimates, budgets and funding, construction projects just don’t happen. These roles are a crucial element to getting a construction project off the ground and keeping it running on time and on budget according to the latest rules and legislation.
The engineering sector
Engineers build and maintain the tools, systems and materials needed for a construction project. There are many different types of engineer, each specialising in a type of engineering. Below are just some of the roles you might find in this sector.
Electrical engineers design, develop and maintain electrical systems which can be used for many things from buildings to transport. They use their specialist knowledge to create safe uses of electrical power and can work in many different places, making it an interesting and varied career. Become an electrical engineer.
Environmental engineers work on a variety of projects to protect the environment by reducing waste and pollution. They may also use or create renewable energy resources or design technologies and processes that control pollution and clean up contamination on a construction site. Would you like to be an environmental engineer? Learn more here.
A geo-technical engineer analyses soil, rock, groundwater and other earth materials before major construction projects to help make sure the design and planned materials are safe. It’s a vital role, with a strong foundation in health and safety. Learn what it takes to be a geo-technical engineer.
Why engineering is important
Engineering makes use of science and mathematical abilities to get the most from a construction project. Engineers make things happen and they are the ones called to fix problems on site, making them essential members of any team.
Management careers in the construction industry
Management roles in construction keep things on track. These are the people who make sure work and equipment is within legal boundaries. They oversee anything from materials to machinery, with plenty of variation in between.
Goods-in managers make sure that any goods and materials coming into a site are managed, stored and moved correctly, in line with whatever processes are in place for a particular business or unique project. Want to be a goods-in manager?
Plant managers are responsible for any heavy machinery used on a construction site. They document their usage, maintenance, safety and storage. They work closely with engineers and manual construction workers. Become a plant manager.
Procurement managers find the best value services and goods needed to carry out a construction project to help it run on time and to a budget. They might work closely with accountants to do this. Become a procurement manager.
The importance of managerial roles
Ultimately, managers hold everything together and get projects to the finish line. Using leadership and people-skills, the people in management roles delegate tasks to teams, creating a smooth-running construction project from start to finish.
Outdoor and manual career opportunities in construction
Some construction roles are all about manual labour and some involve a lot of working outdoors. If you love to be physically active, these could be jobs for you. Plus, some involve working with machinery and tools that help complete construction work safely and in the best timeframe.
A forklift driver moves goods around construction sites using tools and machinery. They may also work in warehouses in a similar way. Learn what it takes to become a forklift driver.
General construction operative
Construction operatives are involved in a range of practical tasks on a construction site. They carry out tasks like manually moving equipment and materials or pouring concrete, amongst many others. Their work is extremely varied, with scope for progression or specialisation. Would you like to be a general construction operative?
Demolition operatives take down unsafe or unused buildings and structures, often working with hazardous materials. They use specialist tools and machinery including explosives to demolish things. Heavily managed by health and safety legislation, this role sees you work on a wide variety of projects. Learn more about demolition operatives.
The importance of manual workers in construction
These roles are important as they involve the physical part of a construction job. Building materials are moved and used by having the right people in place and manual jobs often also involve knowledge of heavy machinery and specialist tools.
Get started on your construction career
We can help you transition into a career in construction, so if you have any queries, get in touch with us on our social media:
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Twitter - @GoConstructUK
Not sure where to start? Take a look at CITB Apprenticeships or courses and qualifications, or read our other blog posts for some inspiration.