Professional and Managerial

Contracts Manager

A Contracts Manager is responsible for ensuring that a contracting company honours its commitments to a customer after the contract negotiation stage has been completed. The contracts manager will oversee the day-to-day running and administration of the contract.

  • Newly trained contracts managers can earn in the region of £25,000 – £35,000
  • Trained with experience contracts managers can earn in the region of £35,000 – £45,000
  • Senior, chartered or master contracts managers can earn in the region of £45,000 – £70,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status. 

There are no set qualifications, though employers will usually look for an HNC/HND or a degree in a subject such as project management, construction management or engineering.

You could also be considered from other industries if you have a background in project or contract management.

You would need to carry out continued professional development through seminars and training events.

Estimator

Estimators deal with the preparation, processing and submission of tenders for contracts by calculating the costs involved in supplying a product or service that meets the client’s technical specifications.

  • Newly trained estimators can earn in the region of £18,000 – £20,000
  • Trained with experience estimators can earn in the region of £20,000 – £35,000
  • Senior, chartered or master estimators can earn in the region of £35,000 – £40,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and careers options also improve with chartered status.

There are no set academic entry requirements to train as an estimator, but GCSEs 9-4 (A*-C) in science, technology, English and maths are useful or their equivalent. An IT qualification is also good to have. 

You could also study for a BTEC HNC, HND in subject areas such as structural engineering, civil engineering or construction. 

An excellent way to start  is by looking for construction apprenticeships with a building or construction engineering firm, then working up. Your employer might want you to take more on-the-job qualifications. These could include an NVQ in Project Control Levels 3 and 4, NVQ in Construction Contracting Operations levels 3 and 4, and Certificate and Diploma in Site Management Level 4.

With a Level 3 NVQ and several years’ experience, you can apply for membership of the Association of Cost Engineers. For further information see the website: www.acoste.org.uk

Many people also take on this role after first  as a craft person, assistant technician or administrator.

Health and Safety Officer

Health and Safety Officers (HSOs) are responsible for monitoring a contractor’s compliance with health and safety law and providing advice to both companies and employers in the work environment. This will involve both desk-based monitoring and site visits.

    • Newly trained health, safety and environment advisors can earn in the region of £20,000 – £30,000
    • Trained with experience health, safety and environment advisors can earn in the region of £30,000 – £35,000 
    • Senior, chartered or master  health, safety and environment advisors can earn in the region of £35,000 – £50,000   

    Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility, and salary and career options can improve with chartered status.

Many people can enter this role after gaining experience in the industry in a different craft/technical or professional capacity. They may have also gained health and safety training to assist in this role, such as IOSH’s Working Safely, Managing Safely qualification or through CITB Site Safety Plus training courses. 

Entrants may have studied a degree in health and safety or risk management for entry into the profession. Alternatively, construction degrees in engineering, business and management, or law may also be beneficial.

In addition, there is usually a minimum requirement of National General Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health (NEBOSH) 

If not already gained, training may also include IEMA approved courses (training aligned to the environmental profession), such as IEMA Approved Associate Certificate course in Environmental Management – a professional qualification for those dedicated to improving sustainability and environmental management within their organisation.

Quantity Surveyor

A Quantity Surveyor is responsible for ensuring that building projects meet legal and quality standards and for making sure clients get good value for money through careful monitoring of a project from start to finish.

    • Newly trained quantity surveyors can earn in the region of £25,000 – £35,000
    • Trained with experience quantity surveyors can earn in the region of £35,000 – £45,000
    • Senior or chartered quantity surveyors can earn in the region of £45,000 – £65,000

    Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.

Quantity surveyors usually hold a relevant degree in Quantity Surveying, or follow a work-based route doing a Surveying Apprenticeship.

You can then follow this with a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). This improves your chances of getting a job after your studies.

Other useful first degree subjects include geography, maths, economics, urban and land studies, building or construction, civil or structural engineering.

It’s possible to do an accredited masters degree and some construction companies and construction agencies may allow you to do your post-graduate qualification on the job.  If you have a non-relevant degree you must take an RICS-recognised post-graduate conversion course.

To qualify for chartered status, you must complete the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) while you are working and have at least two years’ work experience. To apply for CIOB chartered status, you will need an accredited honours degree and two years’ relevant work experience.

Project Manager

Project Managers are responsible for seeing a project through from the initial planning stages to completion. Their main task is to break down projects into stages, taking responsibility for monitoring and managing the scheduling, costing and risk analysis of each stage.

  • Assistant/trainee construction jobs in site management can earn in the region of £25,000 – £35,000
  • Trained with experience site managers can earn in the region of £35,000 – £45,000
  • Senior or chartered site managers can earn in the region of £45,000 – £50,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.

There are various ways to become a project manager. You will usually be qualified to degree or postgraduate level, often in project management. Other useful degree subjects include business and management, IT or construction management. 

You could study part-time for a project management degree or postgraduate qualification while you are working, or work towards NVQs at levels 4 and 5 in Project Management or levels 3, 4 and 5 in Business Improvement Techniques. There are also NVQs at levels 3, 4 and 5 specific to project management in construction.

You could start as a member of the project support team, or manage smaller projects as part of another job and progress to managing larger projects full time.

You can work towards professional qualifications in project management at various levels from any one of the following organisations: the Association for Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). The Information Systems Examination Board, which is part of the British Computer Society (BCS) offers courses in project management for those working in IT.

To become a senior project manager, you will need to hold a qualification from one of the following organisations: 

  • Association for Project Management (APM)
  • Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Once qualified with experience you can also become chartered. Becoming chartered means you have proved that you are highly experienced and skilled at doing your job. It is comparable to a bachelor’s degree and is recognised all over the world. Becoming chartered can enhance your career, increase your salary and boosts the professionalism of your organisation.

You can achieve chartership through the relevant professional institution for the career you are following however a full range of management roles within construction can gain chartered status through  The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Site Supervisor

  • Liaising with clients and reporting progress, professional staff (such as architects and surveyors) and the public
  • supervising contracted construction workers
  • meeting subcontractors
  • making safety inspections and ensuring construction and site safety
  • checking and preparing site reports, designs and drawings
  • maintaining quality control checks
  • motivating the workforce throughout the project
  • day to day problem solving
  • using specialist construction management computer applications
      • Assistant/trainee construction jobs in site management can earn in the region of £25,000 – £35,000
      • Trained with experience site managers can earn in the region of £35,000 – £45,000
      • Senior or chartered site managers can earn in the region of £45,000 – £50,000

      Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.

As a school leaver, you can apply for an apprenticeship in construction  and progress to become a site manager, or you could apply for a higher apprenticeship in construction management.

Another way would be to have gained a degree or, a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or a Higher National Diploma (HND), in a relevant subject. This could be in construction, civil engineering, construction management, architecture or building surveying.

You can progress your career and achieve chartership after several years experience at The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

You need to hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a construction site. You will need to pass a health and safety test and have a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) certificate.

Trainer Assessor

Working within a training centre environment and out on-site, a Trainer/Assessor will be required to deliver high-quality technical training to candidates on construction courses. The primary role of the Trainer/Assessor is to support workers undertaking work-based learning qualifications, usually NVQs.

The salary can vary from £25,000 to £35,000, depending upon workload and experience.

A Trainer/Assessor must have experience of working in the construction industry, either domestic or industrial, and must hold a D32/33 or A1 Assessors Award. Vocationally qualified to at least NVQ Level 3 or equivalent in a specific discipline, they must have experience of assessing trainees and providing feedback.