Would you like a job where you can see the results of your hard work on a grand scale? You might like using your practical skills, or have ideas about how public areas should look. Or, you could be interested in technical skills or using machinery, or even planning how something could be built. Either way, the vast and rewarding construction industry has something to offer everyone.
Construction projects are often complex, where there can be up to 60 different jobs involved in one building project. They all have to be done properly, and in the right order, if the building – or structure – is going to be fit for purpose and safe.
In 2022, the Scottish construction industry employed around 231,400 people.
There are over 150 occupations in construction and the built environment, in areas including: architecture, building technology and management, civil and structural engineering, construction crafts, landscape architecture, surveying and town and regional planning.
Jobs range from management to technician and craft roles, all requiring a wide variety of skills, and offering a wide range of opportunities and experience.
To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.
Possible employers include:
According to the ‘The skills construction needs’ report from the Construction Skills Network (CSN) and CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), the construction industry is predicted to grow from 2024 through to 2027, with commercial, infrastructure and industrial sectors set to fare best.
The CITB states that 224,900 additional workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2027 and if projected growth is met, construction employment will reach almost 2.67 million. For Scotland, they forecast an extra 19,550 workers by 2027.
For the five year period 2023 to 2027, the highest Annual Recruitment Requirement (ARR) figures are: Other construction professionals and technical staff (5,870); Wood trades and interior fit-out (3,730); Other construction process managers (4,100); Electrical trades and installation (3,500); and, Labourers (2,710).
In Scotland, infrastructure and repair and maintenance is strong. Projects include the new River Clyde Bridge, improvements to the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful, A9 dual carriageway works, offshore wind developments, Scottish Water’s £5bn investment plans, Scottish Gas Networks £200m mains replacement and the £25m project to develop a hydrogen demonstration network in Fife.
Scotland’s response to the climate emergency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2045 has highlighted the ‘Retrofit Skills Gap’, a major shortfall of specific trades and professions for the task of ‘decarbonising’ existing building stock. It is estimated an extra 22,500 people will be needed for retraining and creating new roles by 2028: this includes 4,300 plumbers and HVAC engineers for the installation of heat pumps, as well as over 4,600 project managers, and 1,900 building envelope specialists (including insulation installers).
CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) is the Sector Skills Council for construction industry. You can find more information about the sectors it covers and related careers and training pathways on the CITB website.