In the housebuilding and construction industry, there are a range of career paths available for every skills set, from hands-on roles that help create communities from the ground-up, to background positions that carefully plan the finer details of new developments. To take you through some of the options available, Alan Cadenhead, Group HR & employee development manager for Miller Homes discusses some of the roles in the industry.
A land buyer's main responsibility is sourcing suitable locations that require new housing. Within this, you will have to negotiate with the local authorities and have a strong understanding of the local market's needs. Again, this is a role that does not require any specific qualifications, but a degree in a property-related subject will be the best starting point.PlannerWorking alongside local authorities and landowners, planners are responsible for assessing land acquisitions and devising creative solutions for the development that will keep every involved party happy. For this role, a degree in urban planning and management is usually your best route, but it is not always necessary. Other courses such as architecture and economics will also give you the foundation of experience needed to hit the ground running after you graduate.
As an architectural technician, you will play an integral part in every stage of the construction process, using your creative mindset to produce sustainable designs. Working collaboratively with the design team, you will use your technical experience to offer detailed specifications on the materials and processes that should be used during construction. After graduating with a degree in architectural technology, or other similar degrees, people in this position must continue their development under one of the many courses supported by the Charted Institute of Architectural Technicians (CIAT).
In the housebuilding industry, regional marketing managers organise the overall promotion of new developments, including organising print and online advertising, marketing literature such as brochures and content for the website as well as managing flagship showhome launches for potential buyers. Usually, this career path is open to any graduate, but the role usually calls for a certain level of digital media experience, key communication skills and the ability to work within deadlines.
Buyers are responsible for the overall procurement of the materials and labour needed for development construction. This position requires a keen eye for numbers as you will be expected to work on a strict budget when negotiating with suppliers. A buyer is one of the many roles within construction that can be reached through any related degree such as architecture, geography or economics, for example.
A numerical mindset is key, and with a degree in a subject such as geography, you can apply your skills to manage the financial aspect of new build developments. With this role you will be in charge of ensuring a project completes within budget, and producing reports to illustrate that work is meeting planning standards. A degree in quantity surveying is the most straightforward path to this role, but for those who don't have this and are interested in this position, there are postgraduate conversion courses to gain the knowledge that is necessary.
Contract managers are the driving force behind the building phase of any new development, ensuring that all work is completed on time and as planned. In this position, you will be responsible for safety, construction delivery, quality and financial performance. While this position is usually obtained through promotions from other roles, such as site manager, employers usually require HNC/HND qualifications.
Customer service inspection manager
Once a development has been constructed, the customer service team is required to make sure every homeowner is satisfied with the final product. Customer service inspection managers help nurture the development into a thriving community, looking after customers once they have moved into their new home.. Experience is an important quality for this position. Alongside a degree, you will need to produce in-depth proof about your communication and teamwork skills.Development sales managerFinally, development sales managers are often the face of housebuilding firms, helping house hunters find their perfect home. Working through every stage of the buying process, these managers work closely with the customers, updating them on the build process and answering any questions they may have. Key attributes are good communication skills and negotiation capabilities.