I started after university as a graduate engineer, but have quickly progressed to a site manager role.

I assist the project manager in producing programmes for site activities and organising subcontract works. I also manage the day-to-day activities on-site including site inductions, safety inspections and subcontract coordination. In coordination with the site quantity surveyor, I manage costs efficiently and seek opportunities to save cost through design variations.

I enjoy working outdoors, not being confined to an office. I naturally enjoy problem solving and this is something I have to do on a daily basis in construction.

Based Loughborough
Employer Kier Construction Eastern

Which company do you work for and what do they do?

Kier Construction Eastern. I work for the regional construction business which builds schools, offices, hospitals and other commercial buildings with a value between £2million and £50milllion. The Kier Group (parent company) operates in a number of sectors including construction, infrastructure, property and services. They are multinational, with a head office in the UK and a turnover of around £4bn.

Construction is a diverse industry and has careers to cater for all backgrounds. There are very few barriers to entry, yet vast opportunities to develop and further your career.

James Wood

Site manager (sub-agent)

What education route did you take from secondary school to where you are today?

After completing my GCSEs, I studied history, design technology, maths, and business studies at A-level. I then applied to universities and accepted a place at my first choice, Loughborough University. It was a four-year course, with two six-month industrial placements. The course was sponsored by a consortium of construction companies and each student on the course had to be sponsored by one of the companies to gain entry. I went for an interview with Kier and was fortunate to be offered sponsorship with them. They would provide industrial placements for me, provide sponsor money and also guarantee a job in construction after graduating as long as I received a 2:1 degree or better.


What is your favourite thing about your job?

 

I enjoy working outdoors, not being confined to an office. I naturally enjoy problem solving and this is something you have to do on a daily basis in construction careers.


What is the highlight of your day?

Each day is very much different to the next, depending on the construction stage. However, I’m most happy when inspecting a finished detail on site that has gone to plan – it could have been a detail I first noticed as a problem months ago but managed to create a design solution.


Where do you want your career to take you?

I want to be a highly respected project manager and be involved in some high-profile builds working on innovative schemes.


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

If you have a practical brain, and have been wondering how to get into construction, it's a great time to do it. Construction is ever evolving and I haven’t had a boring day to date in the industry!


Is there anything else you would like to share, which would inspire others to follow their chosen career path?

Seek as much work experience with construction companies as you can - it will help identify your preferred career path. Construction is a diverse industry and has careers to cater for all backgrounds. There are very few barriers to entry, yet vast opportunities to develop and further your career.

Head to the Careers Explorer A-Z for information on the whole range of jobs in the construction industry on offer