A-levels are not the only path into construction

National Federation of Builders

With A-Level students in receipt of their results, the National Federation of Builders (NFB) wanted to highlight that construction is the most exciting and innovative industry in the United Kingdom and it’s not just for those wanting to get their hands dirty!

If you are still deciding your career path, the following facts may help you consider construction as the most rewarding and exciting of all your options.

Earning potential

The average cost of training an apprentice in construction is around £22,000, typically paid for by the employer.

The average cost of a degree is more than £28,000, typically paid for through a personal loan.

On average, those who undertake an apprenticeship are likely to earn £3,729 more per year in their first job than those who have attended university, and over £100,000 more throughout their lifetime than other employees.

According to The Guardian, the average salary in construction is £45,900.

Career opportunities

  • Construction is a growth industry that delivers careers. Within the next two years, an estimated 150,000 new workers will be needed in construction.
  • As construction is multi-disciplined there are many opportunities to gain transferable skills and achieve promotion, retrain, or change your career – either within or outside the industry.
  • In the previous six years, there has been a 60% increase in women starting construction apprenticeships.
  • After leaving university, over 90% of Construction and Built Environment (CaBE) students found jobs in their chosen area of study.
  • There are many different ways to get into construction, for example, degrees, apprenticeships and T-Levels, but you could always go and speak to your local construction company.
  • The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) delivers funding every year so that there are always opportunities to retrain or upskill; this includes access to very many short and long term courses.

Working Life

The industry yields some great opportunities to work and live abroad. Many countries see construction as a desired profession and structure their visas to favour those with CaBE and construction qualifications.

Construction careers are great if you want to work part-time or self-employed. Many do this to better manage their free, family, or learning time while benefiting from good wages.

Small and medium sized companies (SME’s) train four in five construction apprentices and are the predominant rural employers, so everyone can access the industry.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “From drone operators and bricklayers to land buyers and human resource managers, construction is the most inclusive career path out there and offers something for everyone.

A-levels are a great way to start your construction career but it’s an industry that is open to all levels of experience and education. If you enjoy high wages, transferable skills, no two days the same and opportunities to work abroad, then construction is the right industry for you.”

Professions Average salary (£) Years to qualify
Buyer/Procurement Manager 59,000 0
Construction/Projects Manager 55,000 3
CGI Visualiser 29,000 3
Expert Witness or Dispute Manager 122,500 15
Building Control Surveyor 35,000 5
Timber and Damp Surveyor 35,000 2
Construction Lawyer 55,000 4
Landscape Planner 61,000 4
Architect 47,000 7
Trades Average salary (£) Years to qualify
Bricklayer 27,500 2
Electrician 32,000 3
Carpenter 27,500 4
Tiler 27,500 1
Paint Sprayer 42,500 1
Construction Inspector 41,000 2 to 3
Fence Installer 27,500 1
Quarry operative 23,000 1
Drone pilot 39,000 1


More information can be found at CITB’s GoConstruct Website or https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

National Federation of Builders

National Federation of Builders

The National Federation of Builders is a United Kingdom trade association representing the interests of small and medium-sized building contractors in England and Wales.

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