How to Become a Builder


Builders construct, develop, and maintain houses, apartment blocks, offices, and other buildings. They will generally be involved in a project from concept to completion and work closely with other construction industry professionals.

Builders work in the creation of buildings. They can be involved in various projects, from private, small repairs to large-scale building developments.

A builder’s duties will vary depending on the type of project, but they can consist of: 

  • All aspects of building, from laying the foundations to tiling the roof.
  • Advising clients on the planning process if necessary. 
  • Calculating how many building products will be required and ordering them from suppliers.
  • Creating quotes and time estimates and submitting them to clients. 
  • Liaising with suppliers to ensure that the deliveries of materials match the time that they are needed.
  • Ensuring that the completed building meets regulations and requirements. 

Candidates generally become a builder through vocational means. They may do an apprenticeship, where they work for a particular company and learn on the job. These apprenticeships last typically 3-5 years and include classroom and on the job training. 

Another route into becoming a builder is to gain relevant work experience by being a labourer and applying directly to a job opening. It is also possible to take a college course to learn some of the relevant skills, but in this case, work experience would be necessary.

Some builders choose to study construction management at university – either before becoming a builder or during a career break – and enter or re-enter the field as a manager.

Builders will need to be able to work well in a team, as they will nearly always be working with other professionals. They may need to liaise with architects and quantity surveyors. They should have good coordination and excellent attention to detail – they are partially responsible for ensuring all buildings are safe for purpose, so this is essential. 

Builders often have to meet deadlines, so they should be able to multi-task and display good time management. Even if they are under pressure, they must make sensible and well thought out decisions.

Full-time builders will generally work Monday to Friday, and sometimes on Saturday mornings. Working as a builder is physically tiring, and they should be prepared to be on their feet all day and to carry heavy loads. Builders should be in generally good health.

Builders can progress through the construction sector and become site managers or move into other professions in the field. Some start up their own business, either becoming self-employed or managing a team of people.

What degree is most commonly held by a Builder ?

  • Bachelor of Construction Engineering
  • Vocational training C3 building
  • Bachelor of Project Management and Construction
  • Master of Human Resources
  • Vocational Training Certificate, Building C4

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Medium
As a builder is a skilled labourer, there may be opportunities for professionals in this vocation to work in another country. Some countries accept immigration applications for skilled labourers, or managers of some large projects temporarily draft in workers. The chance of finding employment abroad can be increased by gaining extra education and specialising in a niche type of building.

What is the Salary of a Builder ?

Experience Average salary | year
Builder 1-3 yrs $28,000 £26,300 $41,543
Builder 3-5 yrs $45,600 £29,700 $47,082
Builder 5-10 yrs $89,000 £37,000 $88,623

What skills are needed to become a Builder ?

  • Construction
  • Customer Service
  • Residential Homes
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Sales
  • Construction Management
  • Management
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Real Estate
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Microsoft Office
  • Team Building
  • Budgets
  • Renovation
  • Contractors
  • Contract Management
  • Project Planning
  • Marketing
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Investment Properties
  • New Business Development
  • Public Speaking
  • Single Family Homes

Building Courses

While a lot of builder knowledge can be obtained through practical skills, theoretical learning is also important and can help progression through the profession. We have plenty of courses on FutureLearn, including Modern Building Design.
  • Modern Building Design

    Learn how climate change technology and regulation are changing modern building design and professional practice in construction

  • Management and Leadership: Leading a Team

    Develop a business plan and build a team with this online course from The Open University and CMI

  • Business Management: National and Organisational Cultures

    Explore the concepts of national and organisational culture and build your skills in cross-cultural management

  • Understanding Systems Thinking in Healthcare

    Consider a systems thinking approach in healthcare and better understand the building blocks of global healthcare systems

  • Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education

    Build the professional teaching skills you need to provide effective teaching to healthcare professionals at all levels

  • Managing Behaviour for Learning

    Transform your classroom management by building trust and improving behaviour with this CPD-certified course for teachers

  • Salary Negotiation for Women in the Workplace

    Build the professional negotiation skills you need to secure the salary increase and self-belief you deserve at work

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

We partner with over 170 world-class universities, institutions and industry leaders to create world-class courses to help you with your career. Whether you’re just starting out, wanting to deepen your knowledge or change direction, FutureLearn and our partners can help. These are just a few of our world-leading partners.

FutureLearn aims to help everyone fulfil their potential in a changing world, by transforming access to education.

Be the first to hear about our latest courses by signing up to our mailing list.
Do you know someone else looking to become a Builder ? Then why not tell them about FutureLearn!