A building technician gives technical assistance to the professional staff, such as engineers and surveyors, on construction projects.
They may also be called assistant site managers or technicians.
You could be:
- drawing up plans – probably using computer-aided design (CAD) – for the senior construction and surveying staff
- calculating basic costs and passing them to the quantity surveyor to make the final estimate
- working with suppliers and negotiating prices to buy materials, equipment and labour
- making sure that the site complies with all health and safety regulations
- discussing local planning regulations with the building control surveyors from the local council
- supervising the craft workers and the operatives on site
- checking that progress is within planned completion dates and to budget
- attending, and sometimes chairing, meetings between contractors, building inspectors and clients
- perhaps specialising in one aspect of work, for example purchasing, while working under the supervision of the company buyer.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
Starting salary for building technicians is around £18,000 to £22,000 a year, rising with experience to between £25,000 and £40,000 a year.
- You would spend most of your time in an office, which may be based on a building site, but you would also spend time visiting the site to oversee construction work.
- You may have to climb ladders or scaffolding.
- You would wear protective gear on site: hard hat, safety boots, overalls.
- You may have to work some evenings and weekends to meet project deadlines.
- Occasionally, you may have to live away from home.
- You might have to travel to different areas of the country.
Workforce Employment Status
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There are several routes of entry.
- As a school leaver, you may enter through a Modern Apprenticeship with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). You may need subjects at National 5 including English, Maths and science or technological subjects, or Skills for Work Construction Crafts at National 5.
- Enter a construction company with a suitable HNC or HND. For entry you usually need 1-2 Highers including Maths and a science subject.
- You need to hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a construction site.
- You need good knowledge of, and sometimes a qualification in, health and safety.
- A driving licence is useful, and sometimes essential.
Look for jobs with building contractors, property developers, surveyors, civil engineering practices, local government, the Civil Service and health authorities.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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What Does it Take?
You should have:
- good communication skills
- good IT skills and knowledge of CAD
- technical skills
- accuracy and ability to pay attention to detail
- a sense of responsibility
- a good knowledge of health and safety regulations, as well as building methods, materials and law
- good teamworking skills.
You need to be able to:
- work to deadlines
- work within budgets
- manage people
- plan and organise resources.
- Training is usually on the job alongside an experienced technician.
- You can study, while on the job, for the SVQ Construction Site Supervision (Construction): Building and Civil Engineering at SCQF Level 7.
- You might complete the National Examination Board in Occupational Health and Safety (NEBOSH) National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety.
- Depending on your area of specialism, promoted positions might include construction manager, estimator and company buyer.
- You could study part time for a degree qualification in civil engineering or another relevant area.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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