The job of a building technician is to provide assistance and advice to construction site managers, architects and surveyors. They would provide support on a number of matters, including building plans and designs, ensuring the quality of suppliers, and guaranteeing budget costs are abided by. The work is varied, and involves liaising with managers and clients on a daily basis to provide details on project development and status. Building technicians are sometimes called construction estimators or site engineers.
Typical starting salary is £14,000 - £17,000, which can rise to £17,000 - £23,500 after a few years experience. Those who show a real flair for the position and who attain several years experience can expect to earn £25,000 - £30,000. Salaries are dependent on the agency and individual experience, with agencies in London normally offering higher rates. This role can act as a springboard to roles in construction management or other specialist roles.
Working hours are typically nine to five, but you will need to work during the evening and at weekends on occasion, especially if deadlines need to be met. Work is mainly office-based but you will be on-site at times. Travel is necessary to visit work-sites and clients, and you would be required to wear safety equipment when working on-site.
You may be able to secure this role through the Apprenticeships Scheme that is currently running in the UK. This would give you the chance to gain real experience in the construction industry. In order to enter the scheme you need a few GCSEs, in subjects such as mathematics, or equivalent qualifications such as a BTEC (Business & Technology Education Council) National Diploma.
You can also gain access to this role through a degree, and may be able to receive funding through the ConstructionSkills INSPIRE Scholarship Scheme. Related degrees include construction and building engineering. It is also possible to work your way up to this position from a role such as bricklayer by way of additional training. Work experience in the construction industry would be advantageous and can be achieved by sending speculative applications to employers. You can also find placements through your local job centre and recruitment agency.
Building technicians will typically start out in a junior position, learning on the job from more experienced colleagues. They can then become experienced building technicians, meaning they will take on more responsibilities and play a greater role in building development. Promotion will depend on openings and individual experience. Roles are available in both the private and public sector, and there is the potential to move into construction management.
There are a range of NVQ qualifications which will further your promotion credentials. Courses include Construction Site Supervision Level 3, Construction Contracting Operations, and other informational courses. There is also the Technical Staff Development and Qualification Programme offered by the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building). This will provide education on planning and surveying skills, as well as areas you choose according to job speciality. The National House Building Council and ABE (Association of Building Engineers) can also provide information on further training.