How to become a builder
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How to become a builder

Are you good with your hands? Does the idea of working outdoors appeal? Do you prefer your tea on the strong side? If the answer to these questions is yes, then a fabulous career in the building trade awaits you!

There are many benefits to becoming a builder. Thanks to the UK’s current construction boom, builders are in high demand, which means there is plenty of work to be had, and it’s varied; jobs range from residential and commercial building, to civil engineering and service to trade. Then there’s the teamwork and banter that building projects can provide, making for an enjoyable working day. And finally there is the pride to be had when looking at a completed build and knowing that you contributed to its success.

But just how do you go about becoming a builder? Do you have to go to building college? Is there a test? And where exactly do you buy a left-handed screwdriver?

We’ve put our heads together, carried out some detailed research, and whittled the options down to this essential list.


One in five construction employers uses apprenticeships to recruit new blood, which makes these schemes a reliable route to employment for inexperienced jobseekers.

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to learn while you earn, meaning you get paid to train on the job, and at the end you get a useful qualification to show for it. There are many levels of education available through apprentice schemes, and the better your experience and qualifications, the greater your opportunities.

As an incentive to employers, the government offers grants to help companies meet the costs of providing apprentice schemes. Its website also has a useful search function for finding an apprenticeship.

Building courses

If you’d rather just concentrate on the studying side of things, you can get your qualifications before you find work. Institutions like City & Guilds offer a wide range of courses that teach everything from essential skills like plastering and decorating, to specialist trades such as heritage construction. Along with the variety of subjects and the value of a certified qualification, the benefit of these courses is that they provide students with a theoretical understanding of a trade before they head out to test it in the world of work.

Just have a go

There’s a lot to be said for jumping in at the deep end; it’s the quickest way to learn. For those that prefer to get stuck into work straight away, they need only go online or scan the jobs pages of their local paper for entry-level building positions. Granted, they will probably find themselves performing menial tasks at first, but they’ll soon get to try their hand at a range of more skilled jobs, and there really is no substitute for hands-on experience. If you’re willing to learn, you’ll soon find yourself picking up a whole host of skills that will form the basis of your new trade. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere.

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure you’ve got a professional-looking CV and a couple of good references. If you’re just starting out these can be from a teacher or a family friend in a reputable position. For help creating a CV, check out this site:

If you’re in need of further advice on how to embark on a career in construction, then why not pop in and bend our ear about it? We deal with members of the trade on a daily basis, so when it comes to the latest goings-on in the industry, we’ve always got our finger on the pulse. Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and they’re always happy to help – they’ll even show you where we keep the left-handed screwdrivers. Get in touch here.

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