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The construction industry

The construction industry is a fast-growing entity, in fact it recorded an all-time high since monthly records began (9 years ago) by reaching a staggering £14 billion in November 2018. Such growth has accelerated a steady increase in employment in the sector, resulting in roughly 1.32 million people in the UK.

Closer to home, strong growth in private new housing, private commercial new work and public housing repair and maintenance has seen the number of people employed in the construction sector in East Anglia alone to grow by 7.6%. Demand for new staff is becoming of paramount importance and that is why our team of dedicated recruitment consultants with previous experience in the industry are here to help across the country.​

Careers in white-collar construction​

Many hands are needed to ensure that a building project gets off the ground, literally. So, it is important that everyone knows exactly what they need to do. If you are thinking of getting a job in construction, it is worthwhile knowing who does what and what responsibilities everyone has. Take a look at our brief list below. If you can’t find what you were after, get in touch to discuss.

Project managers

Also known as: Construction Manager, Construction Project Manager, Project Co-ordinator, Site Manager, Site Agent, Contracts Manager

Project Managers are responsible for managing a project from start to finish. Depending on the size, scale and complexity of the project, this could mean managing the entire thing or it could mean working in a team of other Project Managers.

In other words, Project Managers are responsible for all the planning, budgeting, scheduling, obtaining licenses, logistics and ensuring there are enough materials and staff to keep to project deadlines.

To be a Project Manager you must be able to multi-task, have a mind for numbers and be an excellent problem solver. You will also have to liaise daily with all manner of people from Architects and Surveyors to stakeholders, so you have to be a good people person. A background in the construction industry with technical knowledge and the ability to interpret technical drawings and specifications is also a must.


Also known as: Building Estimator, Cost Estimator

No matter the project, whether it is a new building, renovations or maintenance, Estimators investigate what will be needed to complete the task. They look at the labour, materials and time requirements that will be required in order to draw up an accurate proposal of how much a project is going to cost.

Estimators have to have the ability to interpret blueprints, proposals, specifications and other related documents in order to determine the time and investment a particular project is going to take.

This is a crucial role for any construction firm, as the Estimator’s work will help to secure investors and will benchmark the timescales, materials and budget.


Also known as: Building Designer

Architects take all the structural and technical specifications for a building and they make them a reality. Architects design buildings (new and old) and the spaces found inside and around these buildings. Often Architects also make small models of the buildings in order to show investors and Project Managers their vision. The Architect of a project also creates the plans and technical drawings which are then used to reproduce the design.

Architects have to be good at maths and tend to be very methodical people who work to an excellent degree of accuracy.


Also known as: Electrical Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, Construction Engineer

Put simply, Engineers ensure that everything works. Often Construction Engineers specialise in specific areas of a project, like electrical, mechanical, public services (bridges, highways, water systems, etc).

The level of knowledge needed to ensure that a specific facet of a project is executed properly means that specialising in one area is often necessary and working in a team of other specialists is crucial. Construction Engineers work closely with Project Managers and Estimators advising them in technical matters that ensure the right materials and labour costs are accounted for.


Also known as: Urban Planner, Project Planner

Project Planners work closely with Project Managers and sometimes the role of the Project Planner becomes part of the Project Manager’s role. The Project Planner plans and tracks the costs involved in a project, they maintain schedules, keeping resources and time scales on track. They provide regular updates to higher management and maintain contact with project staff to ensure effectiveness of workforce. It is their responsibility to keep an ear to the ground and resolve any conflicts or issues.

Whilst the Project Manager takes an overview of the whole project ensuring all numbers and tallies add up, the Project Planner takes a much more hands on role, spending more time on site. As a Project Planner you have to have excellent numeracy skills and be a great people person.

Urban Planners have to have the same sort of skills, but their role is completely different. The goal of the Urban Planner is to improve the community as a whole. Their role is multi-faceted taking into consideration environmental impact, economic development, social issues, historic preservation and legal restrictions.


Also known as: Boundary Surveyor, Land Surveyor, Engineering Surveyor, Construction Surveyor, Forensic Surveyor, Geodetic Surveyor, Marine Surveyor

Surveyors hold an incredibly important role in preventing legal disputes by updating boundary lines and preparing sites for construction to begin. They take and provide relevant data concerning the exact location of specific sites, angles of the earth and measurements beneath the earth’s surface. As well as, researching land records, survey records, land titles, land and water boundaries in order to present their findings to clients and government agencies.

The data they provide is instrumental in engineering, mapmaking and construction projects. You have to be a highly analytical person with an acute attention to detail in order to be a surveyor.

Customer care managers

Also known as: Quality Manager, Contracts Manager

As you might expect a Customer Care Manager ensures that materials and construction practices meet the client’s expectations as well as the regulations. Alongside keeping stakeholders happy, the Customer Care Manager can also take on the responsibility of a Health & Safety Manager by being responsible for testing and inspecting all materials and tools on site to ensure that they meet health and safety specifications.

At Select Appointments, we recruit for all of the above roles and more, so if this page has built on your interest, please do get in touch with us today or send us your CV to find out how we can help you.

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