Why a career in the Built Environment

The term Built Environment encompasses all human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity; from offices, houses and parks to supporting infrastructure, like water supply and travel networks. Today’s Built Environment should be flexible and adaptable to future uses, resilient enough to cope with climate change, and, most importantly, must enable people to live well.

The Built Environment industry in the UK has long had an international reputation for excellence, innovation, creativity and inspiration in building. And, it’s currently experiencing a surge of growth, offering huge career opportunities for today’s young people. It’s the UK’s largest industry, employs over 2 million people, accounts for around 10 per cent of the workforce, and will grow by 70 per cent over the next decade. It’s estimated that the industry will need almost 50,000 more people over the next four years.

The Built Environment not only provides an abundance of jobs, it also brings together a wide variety of diverse and prestigious career options such as:

  • Construction Management
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Real-Estate
  • Finance and Investment 07
  • Property Development
  • Urban and Rural Planning
  • Estate and Building Management

And each of these covers a wide range of activities. Surveyors, for example, perform a critical role in making all areas of the Built Environment happen – from planning and designing to maintaining and restoring. The surveying profession offers a wide range of career opportunities within real estate management, valuation, investment, quantity surveying, building surveying and property/land development.

Furthermore, the Trade and Construction sector has seen large improvements in salaries. The average annual salary for Trade and Construction workers totals £38,704, that’s £12,204 more than the average UK salary. While, Chartered Surveyors (with RICS membership) earn an average of £48,000 a year.

A career within the Built Environment offers:

  • Diversity and variety: not only are there plenty of career choices, no two days are the same; you could be travelling overseas to another office or on a site meeting with a client
  • Innovation: the trend in digital working has heralded a wider shift in skill-sets, while a move towards sustainable operations is also helping to up-skill the workforce
  • Reputation and income: as a Chartered Surveyor, for example, your expertise is regarded in the same way as that of a doctor or lawyer
  • Job satisfaction: you could be helping someone buy their first home or working on a major construction venture such as the Eden Project or the Olympic Stadium
  • Life-long career: with the constant need for new infrastructure, construction and property professionals are always in demand.

The importance of the Built Environment has never been greater; not just to renew and care for building and infrastructure but to do so in a way that meets the needs of a new low carbon economy and economic restraint. Working in this industry can lead to being a part of a team of professionals creating something lasting and helping to shape the environment for future generations.