Two people building a wooden framework that could be for a partitioning or stud wall

There are a number of factors to consider when thinking about a new career. Things like job satisfaction, earning potential and progression opportunities all need to be taken into account before making a decision.

Job security is another major factor, and one that for many will be decisive when settling on a career path.

While it’s impossible for any sector to guarantee job security, there are certain industries that stand out in terms of long-term prospects and opportunities. Given the ongoing demand for qualified workers, and further skills shortages predicted in the coming years, construction is a sector that should fall into this category. 

Construction output hits record levels

Monthly construction output is estimated to have increased by 0.8% in terms of volume in October 2022, the fourth consecutive monthly growth, and October’s level of construction output (£15,248m) is the highest since records began in January 2010.

At the sector level, five out of the nine sectors saw a rise in October 2022, with the main contributors to the monthly increase seen in private new housing, and non-housing (such as shops, offices, schools and roads) repair and maintenance, which increased 2.9% and 1.7%, respectively.

250,000 additional construction workers required

Earlier this year, the Construction Skills Network released its latest Industry Outlook report. The organisation found that an additional 250,000 qualified construction workers will be needed by 2026. This equates to 53,200 workers per year, up from last year's figure of 43,000. 

This is due to predicted UK-wide growth over the next four years, with private housing, infrastructure and repair and maintenance expected to be the biggest contributors to this. The largest increases in demand are expected to be for carpenters/joiners and construction managers, along with a range of technical roles including electronics technicians, civil engineering technicians, estimators and valuers and office support staff.

Due to this, the CNS report predicts that developing a highly-skilled workforce to meet demand will be the biggest challenge construction contractors face over the next five years. With that being said, anyone entering the industry with these sought-after skills and qualifications will likely be doing so in a strong position. 

Commenting on these findings, CITB CEO Tim Balcon said: “Recruitment and developing a highly skilled workforce will be by far the construction industry’s biggest challenges over the next five years. However, industry has a lot to offer and needs to use its many strengths to attract and retain top talent in a competitive recruitment landscape”. 

Above-average earnings

According to Total Jobs, the average annual construction salary is £42,500, higher than the average full-time UK salary of £38,131

This combination of high-earning potential and demand for skilled workers means the prospect of a career in construction is a uniquely appealing one, and anyone contemplating taking their first steps towards the industry is likely doing so at a good time in terms of long-term career prospects.