At school, I always had an interest in technical drawing. At first I liked the idea of architecture, but my careers advisor told me to look at building surveying. I was attracted to the idea of doing refurbishments where I could actually see my work making a difference.
When I finished my GCSEs, I did a diploma in Building Studies at my local college. My interest in the field led me to take a degree in Building Surveying at Salford University. I now work as a Building surveyor for Nottingham University, project managing work on halls of residence. I manage a budget of a million pounds, write specifications, look after engineers and am responsible for pretty much everything.
The best part of my job is the variety. I can plan my day and am my own boss because I can manage my workload as I see fit. I’m always on the move so I never get bored.
It’s a good time to get into the construction industry, because there is a high demand for all kinds of people. There’s also more to the work than meets the eye, it’s not just people on site with hard hats. You get to work anywhere and there are lots of different sides to the job. Just within building itself, you can specialise in project management, the legal side, conservation and lots of areas.
Plus, you don’t just qualify in one area and stop there. There are lots of training opportunities. For example, I’ve just finished a City and Guilds interior design course, which could lead to all sorts of opportunities in the future.
I really enjoy it and honestly don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t doing this. If you’re thinking about going for a job in construction, don’t be scared – if you work hard, you’ll succeed.
First published on the Know Your Place web site