Construction and the Built Environment

What's it all about?

The three main areas in construction are designing, planning and on-site.

From house extensions to high-rise flats, motorways to stadiums, the construction industry works tirelessly to meet the growing needs of modern life and has a wide variety of different jobs.

As you will see there are lots of different types of careers in construction.


All buildings and their surroundings need designing. Professions in this sector include architects, technicians and landscape architects. Geologists, civil engineers and geotechnical specialists investigate the ground conditions so that architects and engineers know what sort of foundations to design.


Architects design the buildings, technicians help turn the plans into reality, and landscape architects design the surroundings. Structural engineers make sure the walls and columns are big enough to hold the building up, while building services engineers design the heating, cooling, energy saving, electrical, plumbing, security and communications systems that make a building work for people. Quantity surveyors and cost consultants make sure we can afford to build what everyone else has designed. Civil engineers design and build things like roads and bridges and foundations. No construction can take place without surveyors and engineers being involved. Planning is essential to pull it together, and is done by project managers, building surveyors, civil engineers, technical surveyors and quantity surveyors. These people oversee the work, monitor the contracts and keep everything on budget.


On-site means just that – every construction trade that is involved in the building process itself. Trades covered include; carpentry, roofing, stonemasonry and bricklaying, plant, interiors and finishing, demolition, scaffolding and steeplejacks. Most of these involve skilled craftspeople like bricklayers, carpenter/joiners, crane drivers, electricians, fencing contractors, heating and ventilation fitters, painters and decorators, plasterers, plumbers, roofers/tilers, scaffolders, sales managers – even site managers, site agents, contract managers and builders’ merchants. Without these highly trained people the building just wouldn’t go up.

Building services engineering plays an important part in all our lives – almost every building contains some form of electrical power, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration and plumbing.

Although in the past most workers were men, almost 200,000 women now work in construction. With increasing expansion, the construction sector is actively looking to recruit women. If you have the potential and skill, go for it!

Compare jobs you like and see if they are predicted to grow

To find out what you will earn in different jobs (you can put in up to three) and see other facts including whether this job is predicted to grow in the UK, use the Careerometer which is on the left of each Job Sector page (yellow box).

Is this a predicted growth area in the South of England?

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been asked to predict which job sectors will grow. This information could help you develop your skills and gain qualifications for specific job roles, sectors or particular places where there are likely to be opportunities. No growth doesn't mean there are no jobs but growth does mean there are likely to be more jobs!

Construction is seen as a growth area across the South of England and includes house building for an increased population, infrastructure projects including transport and energy (nuclear and renewables).

Oxford and Thames Valley - there will be growth in future infrastructure projects such as HS2 and new homes for increasing populations.

Solent - there will be growth including new homes and other buildings for population increases.

South West - there will be growth including major projects such as Hinckley Point C and Network Rail are engaged in electrifying the line between Paddington and Bristol. All areas are building new homes for population increases.

Find out more about growth industries in the South of England.

Find out detailed information about employment in the West of England 2015 for CONSTRUCTION.

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