Article: Construction - Professional and Managerial

Summary

This article covers the following jobs:

  • Architect
  • Architectural Technician
  • Architectural Technologist
  • Building Control Officer
  • Building Services Engineer
  • Building Services Engineering Technician
  • Building Technician
  • Civil Engineer
  • Civil/Structural Engineering Technician
  • Construction Manager
  • Facilities Manager
  • Structural Engineer
  • Town Planner
  • Town Planning Support Staff.

The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It is recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.

Video: - Various: Construction - Professional and Managerial

Introduction

Construction involves working on new buildings or structures, or repairing and restoring existing ones. Buildings and structures include:

  • houses
  • shops
  • offices
  • bridges
  • roads.

Careers in construction at professional and managerial level involve planning, design, construction and maintenance.

Planning

The planning process involves choosing a location for a particular project and gaining planning permission for it.

Architect

Architects design buildings, and remain involved in the construction process until the work is complete. The construction process begins with a brief, which the customer and the architect decide together.

The brief indicates the type of building required, what it will be used for and the amount it is expected to cost. After discussing ideas with other professionals such as engineers and surveyors, the architect then produces a design in the form of sketches and plans or models.

After the client accepts the design, the architect produces detailed technical drawings for use by the building contractor and draws up a specific programme of work. At this stage, the architect may be involved in talks with town planners and building control officers regarding planning permission and health and safety.

During construction, the architect visits the site regularly to check that the work is being done according to the original plans.

The typical route to qualifying as an architect is a mixture of academic study at a university and professional experience within an architect's practice.

The training at university lasts five years. Added to this is a minimum of two years' work experience in an architect's practice.

Architectural Technologist

Architectural technologists work on building projects with architects and other professionals. They are specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction.

Technologists can be involved in the whole building process from drawing plans to checking finished building work.

Office duties may include making drawings for use on-site, dealing with contracts and managing an office.

To become a fully qualified architectural technologist, you usually need to complete a degree in architectural technology or other relevant subject, and follow it with two years' supervised work experience.

Building Control Officer

Building control officers (BCOs), also known as building control surveyors, examine building plans and inspect building work in progress to make sure that buildings are safe, weatherproof and suitable for living or working in.

Before any building work can begin, plans must be approved by the building control department. The BCO may be part of the design team and may need to meet with other professionals such as architects, surveyors and site engineers.

If building regulations are not followed, the BCO may serve a legal notice that work must be completed properly by a certain date or serve a court order to stop work altogether.

Additional responsibilities include arranging access for disabled people, checking fire escapes and naming streets. Work is usually a combination of office-based and site-based work.

You can enter this work by completing an HNC, HND, degree or foundation degree in a relevant subject, followed by supervised practical experience and professional exams.

Advanced Level Apprenticeships in Construction are available.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers plan, design and manage construction projects. They work in an office and on-site. Office duties include making detailed drawings for use on-site, producing designs for projects, planning work and keeping records of progress and finance.

During construction, civil engineers on-site are responsible for making sure that work is being carried out according to the designs, plans and estimated timescale. They also make sure that the structure is safe. Civil engineers also supervise construction workers and engineering technicians.

You need a relevant HND, degree or equivalent to become a civil engineer.

Civil/Structural Engineering Technician

Civil and structural engineering technicians carry out a variety of tasks to support civil and structural engineers.

Civil engineering includes roads, airports, railways, water systems and bridges. Structural engineering is a part of civil engineering that deals with structures and large buildings, including sports stadia, bridges and power stations.

Technicians' work can be office-based, site-based or both. Technicians produce designs for construction projects. Other duties include:

  • record keeping
  • buying and organising delivery of supplies
  • estimating costs and taking measurements
  • supervising work to make sure that projects run on time and are up to standard.

Most entrants either find work with a company and study part-time for relevant Edexcel (BTEC) National Certificate qualifications, or take a full-time college course leading to an Edexcel (BTEC) National Diploma.

Advanced Level Apprenticeships in Construction are available.

Building Technician

Building technicians give technical support to professionals and managers involved in construction projects. The duties of a building technician involve office-based work combined with supervisory responsibilities on-site.

Building technicians draw up plans of foundations, layout and features, for use by senior staff such as building surveyors. The building technician may calculate the basic costs of the project, which they give to a senior manager or a professional quantity surveyor. During construction, the building technician visits the site to check for faults.

You can train to be a building technician either by work with part-time study or by completing a full-time course. Both routes can lead to Edexcel (BTEC) National qualifications.

Advanced Level Apprenticeships in Construction are available.

Town Planner

Town planners advise on how land can be developed or conserved. They take into account conflicting demands such as whether to build new houses or factories, or conserve open land.

Town planners make long-term plans that set out the policies for future development. To do this, planners evaluate statistical information, carry out research into social and commercial trends and consider local interests and environmental issues.

Planners with district councils also consider planning applications. Applications for planning may be to build, add to, or change the use of an existing building. When considering these, planners consult anyone likely to be affected by the changes. If people start building work without getting planning permission, town planners can stop the work.

A common route into this career is to study for a degree accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Subjects such as town planning, and environmental planning are useful.

Another possible route into this career is by doing a degree in a related subject and following it with an RTPI accredited postgraduate qualification. Courses in a general subject area such as geography will be useful.

Following the education stage, you'll need two years' relevant work experience to become a Chartered Town Planner.

Town Planning Support Staff

Town planning support staff provide technical and practical support to town planners.

They help to collect and analyse planning information. This may involve carrying out site surveys and interviewing members of the public to help find out local needs.

They prepare reports about new projects. This involves using statistics and making plans and drawings. They also keep records and drawings relating to planning applications.

Another task is to handle initial enquiries from the public and from members of planning committees.

To get this job, you will usually need at least:

  • 4 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above; subjects to include Maths and English.

Training for this career is usually on-the-job.

Architectural Technician

Architectural technicians give support to other professionals in the construction industry. This might include architectural technologists, surveyors, engineers and architects.

They carry out site duties, which are likely to include collecting and analysing technical data. They give this to the architect and other members of the design team.

Technicians have to prepare drawings for a project using CAD software and also, sometimes, by hand. They will also work on preparing plans and specifications.

Technicians liaise between members of the design and construction team of a project. They make sure everyone is kept informed of any developments that may affect the construction project.

To become an architectural technician, you usually need to complete an HNC, HND or foundation degree in a relevant subject. This will be followed by further on-the-job training.

Design

The design process involves designing the building or structure using precise measurements to suit the purpose of the construction.

Architect

Architects design buildings, and remain involved in the construction process until the work is complete. The construction process begins with a brief, which the customer and the architect decide together.

The brief indicates the type of building required, what it will be used for and the amount it is expected to cost. After discussing ideas with other professionals such as engineers and surveyors, the architect then produces a design in the form of sketches and plans or models.

After the client accepts the design, the architect produces detailed technical drawings for use by the building contractor and draws up a specific programme of work. At this stage, the architect may be involved in talks with town planners and building control officers regarding planning permission and health and safety.

During construction, the architect visits the site regularly to check that the work is being done according to the original plans.

The typical route to qualifying as an architect is a mixture of academic study at a university and professional experience within an architect's practice.

The training at university lasts five years. Added to this is a minimum of two years' work experience in an architect's practice.

Building Services Engineering Technician

Building services engineering technicians help building services engineers in the design, installation and maintenance of services in buildings.

These services include air conditioning, heating, lighting, lifts and ventilation. Technicians carry out surveys of existing buildings to find out their condition and to help recommend the services needed.

They usually complete designs for making changes to existing systems. (A building services engineer usually does complex designs).

Technicians estimate costs, check deliveries of materials, examine installation work and write progress reports for chartered engineers.

Most entrants either find work with a company and study part-time for relevant Edexcel (BTEC) National Certificate qualifications, or take a full-time college course leading to an Edexcel (BTEC) National Diploma.

To enter a relevant Edexcel (BTEC) course, you will usually need:

  • 4 GCSEs at grade C or above; subjects to include English, Maths and a science subject (Physics preferred).

Some people enter this career via a Building Services Engineering Technology Advanced Level Apprenticeship.

Structural Engineer

Structural engineering is a branch of civil engineering. Structural engineers deal with the design of framework and foundations for buildings and structures such as bridges, sports stadia and tower blocks.

They make sure that a building or structure is stable and that it can withstand 'operational loads' such as people, equipment, machinery and traffic; and 'environmental loads' such as snow, wind and water.

Structural engineers are usually part of a design team with other professionals such as architects, quantity surveyors and building services engineers.

Structural engineers produce detailed designs that are used to build the structure. The process of designing structures involves choosing suitable materials and making calculations to ensure that the foundations and frameworks are sound.

During construction, the structural engineer supervises the building of foundations and frameworks.

You need a relevant HND, degree or equivalent to become a structural engineer.

Architectural Technologist

Architectural technologists work on building projects with architects and other professionals. They are specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction.

Technologists can be involved in the whole building process from drawing plans to checking finished building work.

Office duties may include making drawings for use on-site, dealing with contracts and managing an office.

To become a fully qualified architectural technologist, you usually need to complete a degree in architectural technology or other relevant subject and follow it with two years' supervised work experience.

Architectural Technician

Architectural technicians give support to other professionals in the construction industry. This might include architectural technologists, surveyors, engineers and architects.

They carry out site duties, which are likely to include collecting and analysing technical data. They give this to the architect and other members of the design team.

Technicians have to prepare drawings for a project using CAD software and also, sometimes, by hand. They will also work on preparing plans and specifications.

Technicians liaise between members of the design and construction team of a project. They make sure everyone is kept informed of any developments that may affect the construction project.

To become an architectural technician, you usually need to complete an HNC, HND or foundation degree in a relevant subject. This will be followed by further on-the-job training.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers plan, design and manage construction projects. They work in an office and on-site. Office duties include making detailed drawings for use on-site, producing designs for projects, planning work and keeping records of progress and finance.

During construction, civil engineers on-site are responsible for making sure that work is being carried out according to the designs, plans and estimated timescale. They also make sure that the structure is safe. Civil engineers also supervise construction workers and engineering technicians.

You need a relevant HND, degree or equivalent to become a civil engineer.

Building Services Engineer

Building services engineers design building services systems. They also supervise their installation and operation.

These systems include air conditioning, heating, lighting and power, lifts and ventilation. Some buildings need complex building services. For example, computer rooms need precise controls of temperature and humidity, and hospital operating theatres must be completely sterile.

Building services engineers work with the architect, the customer and other members of the design team to prepare a design. They then supervise the installation of the building services and inspect the quality of the work, dealing with any problems that arise.

The most straightforward route into this career is to study for a relevant engineering degree that has been accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Civil/Structural Engineering Technician

Civil and structural engineering technicians carry out a variety of tasks to support civil and structural engineers.

Civil engineering includes roads, airports, railways, water systems and bridges. Structural engineering is a part of civil engineering that deals with structures and large buildings, including sports stadia, bridges and power stations.

Technicians' work can be office-based, site-based or both. Technicians produce designs for construction projects. Other duties include:

  • record keeping
  • buying and organising delivery of supplies
  • estimating costs and taking measurements
  • supervising work to make sure that projects run on time and are up to standard.

Most entrants either find work with a company and study part-time for relevant Edexcel (BTEC) National Certificate qualifications, or take a full-time college course leading to an Edexcel (BTEC) National Diploma.

To enter a relevant Edexcel (BTEC) course, you will usually need:

  • 4 GCSEs at grade C or above; subjects to include English, Maths and a science subject (Physics preferred).

Relevant Advanced Level Apprenticeships are available.

Construction and maintenance

Professionals who work at the construction stage are responsible for producing the building or structure by using plans and designs. They also maintain, renovate and restore buildings and structures to keep them up to standard.

Architect

Architects design buildings, and remain involved in the construction process until the work is complete. The construction process begins with a brief, which the customer and the architect decide together.

The brief indicates the type of building required, what it will be used for and the amount it is expected to cost. After discussing ideas with other professionals such as engineers and surveyors, the architect then produces a design in the form of sketches and plans or models.

After the client accepts the design, the architect produces detailed technical drawings for use by the building contractor and draws up a specific programme of work. At this stage, the architect may be involved in talks with town planners and building control officers regarding planning permission and health and safety.

During construction, the architect visits the site regularly to check that the work is being done according to the original plans.

The typical route to qualifying as an architect is a mixture of academic study at a university and professional experience within an architect's practice.

The training at university lasts five years. Added to this is a minimum of two-years' work experience in an architect's practice.

Architectural Technologist

Architectural technologists work on building projects with architects and other professionals. They are specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction.

Technologists can be involved in the whole building process from drawing plans to checking finished building work.

Office duties may include making drawings for use on-site, dealing with contracts and managing an office.

To become a fully qualified architectural technologist, you usually need to complete a degree in architectural technology or other relevant subject and follow it with two years' supervised work experience.

Structural Engineer

Structural engineering is a branch of civil engineering. Structural engineers deal with the design of framework and foundations for buildings and structures such as bridges, sports stadia and tower blocks.

They make sure that a building or structure is stable and that it can withstand 'operational loads' such as people, equipment, machinery and traffic; and 'environmental loads' such as snow, wind and water.

Structural engineers are usually part of a design team with other professionals such as architects, quantity surveyors and building services engineers.

Structural engineers produce detailed designs that are used to build the structure. The process of designing structures involves choosing suitable materials and making calculations to make sure that the foundations and frameworks are sound.

During construction, the structural engineer supervises the building of foundations and frameworks.

You need a relevant HND, degree or equivalent to become a structural engineer.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers plan, design and manage construction projects. They work in an office and on-site. Office duties include making detailed drawings for use on-site, producing designs for projects, planning work and keeping records of progress and finance.

During construction, civil engineers on-site are responsible for making sure that work is being carried out according to the designs, plans and estimated timescale. They also make sure that the structure is safe. Civil engineers also supervise construction workers and engineering technicians.

You need a relevant HND, degree or equivalent to become a civil engineer.

Civil/Structural Engineering Technician

Civil and structural engineering technicians carry out a variety of tasks to support civil and structural engineers.

Civil engineering includes roads, airports, railways, water systems and bridges. Structural engineering is a part of civil engineering that deals with structures and large buildings, including sports stadia, bridges and power stations.

Technicians' work can be office-based, site-based or both. Technicians produce designs for construction projects. Other duties include record-keeping; buying and organising delivery of supplies; estimating costs and taking measurements. They may also supervise work and help to make sure that projects run on time and are up to standard.

Most entrants either find work with a company and study part-time for relevant Edexcel (BTEC) National Certificate qualifications, or take a full-time college course leading to an Edexcel (BTEC) National Diploma.

To enter a relevant Edexcel (BTEC) course, you will usually need:

  • 4 GCSEs at grade C or above; subjects to include English, Maths and a science subject (Physics preferred).

Relevant Advanced Level Apprenticeships are available.

Facilities Manager

Facilities managers help companies and organisations to run better by managing things like:

  • heating and lighting
  • security
  • catering
  • repairs to buildings and offices
  • health and safety issues
  • .

Facilities managers deal with outside companies to try to find the best provider of a service that they can. For example, they might need to contact a number of catering companies to find the one that offers the best value service.

Once an outside company has been chosen, the facilities manager will make sure that the service they provide is up to the standard required. They will also negotiate any new contracts with the company.

Some facilities managers have degrees or other high level qualifications, such as foundation degrees or HNCs. Some go on to take postgraduate qualifications.

It is worth bearing in mind that you do not always need to have a degree or other high-level qualification to enter this career. Some people working in this industry have used skills developed from other areas of business in order to gain employment as facilities managers.

Building Services Engineer

Building services engineers design building services systems. They also supervise their installation and operation.

These systems include air conditioning, heating, lighting and power, lifts and ventilation. Some buildings need complex building services. For example, computer rooms need precise controls of temperature and humidity, and hospital operating theatres must be completely sterile.

Building services engineers work with the architect, the customer and other members of the design team to prepare a design. They then supervise the installation of the building services and inspect the quality of the work, dealing with any problems that arise.

The most straightforward route into this career is to study for a relevant engineering degree that has been accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Relevant NVQs are available.

Building Services Engineering Technician

Building services engineering technicians help building services engineers in the design, installation and maintenance of services in buildings.

These services include air conditioning, heating, lighting, lifts and ventilation. Technicians carry out surveys of existing buildings to find out their condition and to help recommend the services needed.

They usually complete designs for making changes to existing systems. (A building services engineer usually does complex designs.)

Technicians estimate costs, check deliveries of materials, examine installation work and write progress reports for chartered engineers.

Most entrants either find work with a company and study part-time for relevant Edexcel (BTEC) National Certificate qualifications, or take a full-time college course leading to an Edexcel (BTEC) National Diploma.

To enter a relevant Edexcel (BTEC) course, you will usually need:

  • 4 GCSEs at grade C or above; subjects to include English, Maths and a science subject (Physics preferred).

Some people enter this career via a Building Services Engineering Technology Advanced Level Apprenticeship.

Building Technician

Building technicians give technical support to professionals and managers involved in construction projects. The duties of a building technician involve office-based work combined with supervisory responsibilities on-site.

Building technicians draw up plans of foundations, layout and features, for use by senior staff such as building surveyors. The building technician may calculate the basic costs of the project, which they give to a senior manager or a professional quantity surveyor. During construction, the building technician visits the site to check for faults.

Relevant Advanced Level Apprenticeships are available.

Construction Manager

Construction managers supervise and control construction on-site. They make sure that projects are constructed within time, quality and cost limits. They work from technical drawings, plans and schedules and budgets.

Construction managers carry out the following tasks:

  • Recruit staff when required.
  • Solve day-to-day problems as they arise.
  • Work out extra time and costs that may arise due to bad weather or unexpected problems.
  • Tour sites to observe and co-ordinate work progress to make sure that standards meet those in the plans and designs.

Many construction managers enter the job with a degree in construction management, or closely-related subject.

If you have an HNC/HND or a foundation degree in a subject such as building studies or construction management, you may enter construction management at higher technician level.

Relevant Advanced Level Apprenticeships are available.

Building Control Officer

Building control officers (BCOs), also known as building control surveyors, examine building plans and inspect building work in progress to make sure that buildings are safe, weatherproof and suitable for living or working in.

Before any building work can begin, plans must be approved by the building control department. The BCO may be part of the design team and may need to meet with other professionals such as architects, surveyors and site engineers.

If building regulations are not followed, the BCO may serve a legal notice that work must be completed properly by a certain date or serve a court order to stop work altogether.

Additional responsibilities include arranging access for the disabled, checking fire escapes and naming streets. Work is usually a combination of office-based and site-based work.

You can enter this work by completing an HNC, HND, degree or foundation degree in a relevant subject, followed by supervised practical experience and professional exams.

Relevant Advanced Level Apprenticeships are available.

Property development

With the skills they have picked up in their careers, some construction professionals move into the area of property development.

Property developers buy land or buildings to be sold or rented. They might build new homes on the land, or add new features to any properties they've bought. The aim is always the same though - to make a profit.

Property development suits people:

  • with an interest in the built environment
  • who are prepared to take risks
  • with good communication skills
  • who can multi-task.

Many property developers are self-employed.

Further Information

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Address: Lutyens House, Billing Brook Road, Weston Favell, Northampton NN3 8NW

Tel: 01604 404121

Email: building.engineers@abe.org.uk

Website: www.abe.org.uk

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

Address: 397 City Road, Islington, London EC1V 1NH

Tel: 020 7278 2206

Email: info@ciat.org.uk

Website: www.ciat.org.uk

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

Address: Englemere, Kings Ride, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7TB

Tel: 01344 630700

Email: reception@ciob.org.uk

Website: www.ciob.org.uk

CITB-ConstructionSkills

Skills for the construction industry

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Website: www.cskills.org

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.uk

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

Address: One Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA

Tel: 020 7222 7722

Website: www.ice.org.uk

Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)

Address: 11 Upper Belgrave Street, London SW1X 8BH

Tel: 020 7235 4535

Email: mail@istructe.org

Website: www.istructe.org

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Address: 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

Tel: 020 7580 5533

Email: info@riba.org

Website: www.architecture.com

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Address: 41 Botolph Lane, London EC3R 8DL

Tel: 020 7929 9494

Email: contact@rtpi.org.uk

Website: www.rtpi.org.uk

National Heritage Training Group (NHTG)

Address: Carthusian Court, 12 Carthusian Street, London EC1M 6EZ

Tel: 01342 326171

Email: rayrobertson@nhtgskills.org

Website: www.nhtg.org.uk

Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA)

Irish enquiries

Address: 2 Mount Charles, Belfast BT7 1NZ

Tel: 028 9032 3760

Email: info@rsua.org.uk

Website: www.rsua.org.uk

CITB NI

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Nutts Corner Training Centre, 17 Dundrod Road, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SR

Tel: 028 9082 5466

Email: info@citbcsni.org.uk

Website: www.citbcsni.org.uk

Construction Employers Federation (CEF)

Irish enquiries

Address: 143 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6SU

Tel: 028 9087 7143

Email: mail@cefni.co.uk

Website: www.cefni.co.uk

WISE

Women in science, engineering and technology

Address: Quest House, 38 Vicar Lane, Bradford BD1 5LD

Tel: 01274 724009

Email: info@wisecampaign.org.uk

Website: www.wisecampaign.org.uk

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Tel: 0844 5768777

Website: www.cscs.uk.com

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)

Scottish enquiries

Address: 15 Rutland Square, Edinburgh EH1 2BE

Tel: 0131 2297545

Email: info@rias.org.uk

Website: www.rias.org.uk

bConstructive

Publisher: CITB-ConstructionSkills

Tel: 0344 994 4010

Email: myapprenticeship@citb.co.uk

Website: www.bconstructive.co.uk

UK Schools of Architecture with courses validated by RIBA

Publisher: Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Website: www.architecture.com/Files/RIBAProfessionalServices/Education/Validation/2010/ukSchoolsList.pdf

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