Just as the construction industry offers an incredible variety of roles, there are also a number of routes into it and no set time for starting your career.

People enter the construction industry at different stages in their lives – after GCSEs or A levels, after they’ve taken their degree or even later. The route you follow will depend on the stage you’re at.

Know the role you want

Before you begin to think about the next steps, you need to decide exactly what construction role you’re interested in – and there are hundreds to choose from. To find out what role might be right for you, take a look at the Go Construct career explorer

Once you know what you want to do, you can start planning your route to getting there.

After GCSE's

There is a range of options post-GCSE for people interested in construction.

Progressing into A-levels is one option. If you know what area of construction you want to go into, think about what subjects will be helpful to you in your chosen career before you make your choices. 

An alternative to A-levels is to combine something academic with something hands-on. Vocational qualifications like a BTEC, HNC and HND are an excellent mix of practical experience and theory.

If you want to go into a very specific role you may need to take a particular vocational qualification or degree. Find out more about choosing the right course 

Another option is to start learning on the job with an apprenticeship. This will usually also give you the opportunity to take vocational qualifications and you’ll be paid while you learn. Once you know what role you’re interested in, you can find out what’s available in your area.

Traineeships are also available. These are shorter than apprenticeships and combine on-the-job training with maths and English support to build your skills.

Find out more about apprenticeships and traineeships 

After 'A' Levels

If you have your eye on a career in construction, you may want to look at going on to take a vocational qualification after A levels. Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) can be studied at university full-time, or you can study them as part of an apprenticeship.

Some construction roles, such as civil engineer or quantity surveyor, require a university degree. As with ‘A’ levels, keep your career choice in mind when choosing your degree subject.


Using your degree to enter a career in construction depends on exactly what it’s in. For example, those wishing to enter into marketing, business development or IT within construction, would need these specific areas of knowledge.

If you want to enter into an unrelated area of construction you may need to take a conversion course. These are offered by a number of universities and the location of study will depend on the role that you’re interested in.

You can search for postgraduate courses on Prospects

Learn more about how to get into construction