You would design new buildings so that people have practical, attractive, safe places in which to live and work
You might also restore old buildings so they can be used for a new purpose.
You'd be responsible for a building project from the earliest stages through to completion, including designing the land around the building.
You'd talk with clients about their needs and expectations and draw designs for them to see and approve.
Once you and your clients have agreed the design, you would:
You'd work closely with other construction professionals to ensure the building meets safety standards, building regulations and planning laws. It would also be useful to have an awareness of the social and environmental impact of your work.
On larger jobs, you're likely to be part of a team alongside other architects and architectural technicians or technologists.
You would make sure that electrical systems in people’s homes and businesses work safely. You’d fix faults and install new systems.
You might set up and maintain power systems for engineering projects and buildings or ensure that street lights work.
You could also work on renewable technology, such as wind turbines, 'smart' heating systems and photovoltaic systems that produce solar power.
You could specialise in an electrotechnical role such as:
You’ll usually work as part of a team under the supervision of a lead installer or foreperson. You might work on any of the following:
Your day-to-day duties could include:
Health & Safety Advisor
You would keep people safe from accidents, injuries and health problems in the workplace. You’d create health and safety policies and make sure employers and workers follow them.
Depending on your employer, your work could cover areas such as:
You’d work with Health and Safety Executive inspectors and trade unions.
You’d need to have a good knowledge of health and safety legislation and keep up to date with changes in the law.
In some companies, responsibility for health and safety may be part of another job role such as personnel or facilities management.
painter & decorator
You would decorate and protect surfaces such as plaster, metal and wood to create pleasant spaces for people to live and work in.
You could work on everything from redecorating living rooms to painting large structures like bridges.
When working in a home, you would use paint, varnishes and wallpaper to decorate rooms. You would follow instructions about colours, textures and wallpaper patterns.
For industrial projects, such as bridges or ships, you would remove old paintwork with abrasive blasting methods before applying new coatings using industrial paint spraying equipment. You would use a cradle or safety harness when working.
Paints and solvents give off fumes, so you may have to wear a protective mask or use fume extraction equipment on some jobs.
You’d need a good awareness of health and safety issues for this role.
You’ll install and weld pipework on construction and engineering projects. Jobs can range from fitting heating systems in a hospital to installing pressure vessels and boilers in a factory.
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
You would work in people’s homes and other buildings to prepare the walls and ceilings for decorating and to protect the building from the weather.
You’d apply different kinds of plaster to internal walls and ceilings. You’d cover external walls with coatings, such as sand and cement render or pebble-dash.
You’d calculate how much plaster you need for the size of the job. Once it is mixed and ready to use you’d need to work quickly and accurately by hand.
As part of a small team, you’d work on one of these processes:
You would plan and organise people and resources so a project achieves its aims.
You’d get everyone working together effectively so the project is completed on time and on budget. You’d spot problems that could arise in the project and work out how to solve them.
You could work in almost any industry on many different types of project. For example, you could oversee the introduction of a new computer system or a large building development. You’d need to have technical knowledge relevant to the project.
Whatever the project, you would:
Part of your work would involve using particular project management methods such as PRINCE2 or Agile to break down the project into stages and check its progress.
You would also use specialised software to help with scheduling, costing, and risk analysis.
You would estimate and control the costs for a construction project from the early design plans through to the completed building. You’d make sure that projects meet legal and quality standards.
Your client - the company or organisation which is paying for the building - would rely on you to make sure that the project is good value for money.
There are lots of different projects you could work on, including:
You would use computer software to carry out some of these tasks, and to keep records, prepare work schedules and write reports. You might also deal with the maintenance and renovation costs once buildings are in use.
It would be important to have a good knowledge of construction methods and materials. You’d also need to understand Building Regulations and other legal guidelines.
You would supervise and direct operations on a construction project to make sure the building or structure is completed safely, on time and within the budget.
You’d manage the project on behalf of another company, your client. You’d lead and motivate the construction team and sort out any problems that arise during the project.
On small sites you might have full responsibility for the whole project. On larger sites you may be in charge of a particular section and report to a senior site manager.
Before the building work starts, you would:
Once construction has started, you would:
You would also be the main point of contact for subcontractors and the public.
As a senior manager, you could oversee several projects at the same time.
You would create and improve the structure for all kinds of building projects.
You would be a key part of a team of construction professionals. You might work on everything from houses, theatres and hospitals to bridges, oil rigs and space satellites.
You would need to come up with practical, attractive designs within a budget.
You would install and repair the wood inside homes, shops and bars. Or you could build sets for film and TV.
You could work in people’s homes or on construction sites fitting out shops, bars and offices.
You’d carefully measure the wood and cut it to the required size and shape to make things like doors, floors and fitted furniture. Then you’d put it together and fix it inside the building.
You'll need an eye for detail, good maths skills for working out measurements and the ability to follow technical plans.
BUILDING SERVICES Engineer
You would make sure that systems like lighting, water and heating work well and save energy for people who live or work in a building.
You’d design, install and service the systems used in buildings like offices and shops.
You would be responsible for the heating and ventilation, hot and cold water systems, lighting, electrical cabling and telecommunications networks inside a building like an office block.
You may be involved in the design and installation of systems or oversee their maintenance once up and running.
You would fit glass in people’s windows and doors and replace broken glass panes.
You could fit double glazing at a house, install windows at a new office development or carry out glass repairs.
You’d need to be able to follow technical drawings and plans. Accurate measurements will be important for cutting the glass to size and you’d need to work carefully and precisely.
On a glass replacement job, you would
As well as fitting glass, you could be involved in the manufacture of glazed units, such as timber or UPVC-framed windows and doors.
With experience, you may be able to use your skills on specialist projects, for example on churches or restoring listed buildings.
Some jobs involve working at heights from ladders, scaffolding or suspended cradles.
At the start of a job, you'll help to prepare the site - putting up huts, unloading and storing building materials and setting up ladders and scaffolding. Much of this will be hard physical work.
Once work gets underway, your day-to-day tasks may include:
You'll use various hand, power and machine tools. With further training, you may operate construction plant equipment like dumper trucks and excavators.
You would construct, plant and look after gardens and parks to make pleasant environments for people to live, work and relax in.
You’d make the most of the land or space you are working with to make it look attractive. Some landscapers specialise in interior projects with plants and garden features, often in shopping centres or large office blocks.
The work would vary depending on whether you are working inside or outside, the time of year and the condition of the space you are given. You’d need to use a variety of tools, and possibly also machines like small mechanical diggers.
You would follow the designs drawn up by garden designers or landscape architects. You’d use your knowledge of plants to ensure that they grow and thrive.
You would lead development projects to preserve buildings and communities or give areas a new lease of life.
You would assess, design and manage projects in towns, cities and rural areas.
For example, you could:
Depending on the project, you would:
It would be important to have good networking skills to make contacts and handle negotiations. You’d need to have good knowledge of local planning policies and procedures. Understanding environmental and sustainable development issues would also be important.
When a project is completed, you might work in a marketing role to promote the development site.
You would fit and repair water and heating systems and appliances in homes and businesses. People who were having problems with their water supply or heating would rely on you to get these systems up and running again as soon as possible.
You would need to be good at following technical plans. You’d also need to have a good understanding of safety rules.
As an experienced plumber, you might specialise in sheet metal work for industrial, commercial or historical buildings.
You would plan, design and manage construction projects for large buildings, transport links and major structures.
You’d explain your ideas to the client and make sure that the project is finished on time and to budget.
The projects you’d work on could be anything from bridges and tall buildings to transport links and sports arenas.
You could work in one of these specialist areas:
You would prepare the documents to try and win projects for your company. You’d estimate how much it would cost, how long it would take and how many people would be needed to work on it.
At the start of the project you would:
Once a project is underway you would:
You’d work closely with other professionals such as architects, surveyors and building contractors.
You’d work as part of a team on a building site to construct a building or structure safely and efficiently.
You’d use different building methods and work with a variety of materials. You’d use hand, power and machine tools, following health and safety rules, to successfully complete the different processes involved in a construction project.
At the start of a project you’d help to prepare the site. For example, you would:
Once work starts, you could do a variety of tasks including:
With further training, you could operate construction plant equipment, such as dumper trucks or excavators.
You would measure and assess an area of land to check if it can be used for civil engineering and construction projects. You’d collect and analyse data to map the shape of land.
Projects could range from building roads, tunnels and bridges, to land development, mining and quarrying or the installation of power and water supply networks.
You would do initial surveys of potential sites and assess the impact on the environment to check whether construction plans are workable.
You’d use surveying instruments and GPS (global positioning system) technology to get the exact coordinates of site features. This is called geospatial measurement.
As you gather information you would also produce digital images of the sites (photogrammetry). You’d map land use with satellite photography (remote sensing). You’d use geographic information systems (GIS) to analyse and interpret site features. This is called geomatics.
During the project you’d monitor land movement and subsidence caused by the construction or by natural processes (geomechanics).
You would use computer-aided design software and other cartographic techniques to create 2D and 3D charts and maps.
Some surveyors specialise in hydrographic surveying to map inshore and offshore features, covering:
Natural waterways and canals for environmental projects
For hydrographic work, you might need experience of navigation and using small boats.