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Qualifications And Skills For Construction Graduate Schemes

We've put together information on what qualifications and skills are required to be considered for certain construction graduate schemes.

Entry requirements for construction graduate schemes vary from employer to employer and from scheme to scheme. Some graduate schemes offer spots for school leavers, whilst others require candidates who have been educated to degree level. Below are some examples of what you will need to gain a place on a construction graduate scheme for key professions.

Graduate Quantity Surveyor

Due to the technical nature of the profession, most employers will normally require you to be degree qualified with an RICS accredited degree in a related subject, such as a BSc in Quantity Surveying and Cost Management.  

Candidates should also be:

  • Self-motivated and confident
  • Able to communicate well, both verbally and in writing
  • Able to manage their own workload and to support others when needed
  • Ablt to show initiative and act proactively
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Able to use Microsoft packages including Word, Excel and Outlook
  • In posession of a full UK driver’s license (varies from company to company based on sites and office location)

To find out what you would be required to do on a day-to-day basis, check out our Graduate Quantity Surveyor job description.

Graduate Project Manager

To help secure a place on a Project Management graduate scheme, employers often require candidates to hold an APM or RICS accredited degree in a related subject, such as a BSc in Project Management, Construction Management or Quantity Surveying.

Candidates should also be:

  • Competent with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, Earned Value and reporting tools
  • Able to work within a team
  • Able to pay attention to detail
  • Excellent at time management
  • Able to communicate well, both verbally and in writing
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • A strong problem solver
  • Highly motivated

To find out what you would be required to do on a day-to-day basis, check out our Graduate Project Manager job description.

Graduate Building Surveyor

In some cases, you may not need a degree to start training as a Building Surveyor. However, having an RICS accredited degree in a related subject, such as a BSc in Building Surveying, will help your application. Again, this will vary from employer to employer.

Some employers may also accept candidates with a BTEC or a HND/HNC in a related subject, such as Building Technologies and Surveying & Estimating.

Candidates should also be:

  • A good team player
  • Able to communicate clearly and effectively
  • Able to pay attention to detail
  • In posession of a full UK driver’s license (varies from company to company based on sites and office location)
  • Able to confidently use Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Excellent at time management
  • Knowledgeable about CAD

To find out what you would be required to do on a day-to-day basis, check out our Graduate Building Surveyor job description.

Graduate Construction Manager

Due to this position's relative seniority, employers would usually look for Construction Management candidates with a degree in Construction Management, as well as previous experience within the construction industry, which can include an internship or work placement. It's also desirable, but not essential, to hold site-specific qualifications, such as SMSTS, CSCS and first aid.

Candidates should also be:

  • In posession of excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Able to learn quickly
  • Good at problem solving
  • Knowledgable about the construction industry
  • Able to use Microsoft packages including Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Good at planning and prioritising workloads 
  • Self-motivated and confident

 To find out what you would be required to do on a day-to-day basis, check out our Graduate Building Surveyor job description.

Graduate Design Engineer

Most employers will usually ask candidates to hold an IStructE or ICE accredited degree in a related subject, such as Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering and Architectural Engineering.

However, due to the technical nature of this profession, some employers may ask for a masters degree in the above subjects as a minimum requirement.

Candidates should also be:

  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic
  • In posession of strong commercial awareness
  • Able to use Microsoft packages including Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Flexible and able to adapt
  • Able to pay attention to detail

To find out what you would be required to do on a day-to-day basis, check out our Graduate Design Engineer job description. 

Graduate Civil Engineer

Most employers will usually ask candidates to hold an ICE accredited degree in a relevant subject, such as Civil Engineering, Architectural Studies or Geology and Geographical Science. 

Candidates should also be:

  • Able to work individually and as part of a team
  • Able to use your initiative
  • Self-motivated
  • In posession of good interpersonal and communication skills
  • In posession of strong IT skills and knowledge of AutoCAD
  • A strong problem solver
  • Able to pay attention to detail
  • Able to plan and manage time

To find out what you would be required to do on a day-to-day basis, check out our Graduate Civil Engineer job description.

Graduate Structural Engineer

Most employers will usually ask candidates to hold an IStructE or ICE accredited degree in a related subject, such as Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering or Architectural Engineering.

However, due to the technical nature of this profession, some employers may ask for candidates with up to two years of industry experience, but this will vary from employer to employer.

Candidates should also be:

  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic
  • In posession of strong commercial awareness
  • Able to use Microsoft packages including Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Flexible and able to adapt
  • Able to pay attention to detail
  • Able to work individually and as part of a team
  • Knowledgeable about AutoCAD

To find out what you would be required to do on a day-to-day basis, check out our Graduate Structural Engineer job description.

Skills and Competencies Summary

Graduate schemes are a great way of getting into the industry and starting off your career as a construction or infrastructure professional. To give you the best chance of securing a place on a graduate programme, on top of qualifications, you will be required to demonstrate a wide array of skills within your CV, at an interview and in the assessment stage.

It’s important that you have examples, which will help you demonstrate your skills more effectively. Below are some examples of skills and why they are desirable for employers:

Communication

Good communication skills are vital for anyone in the construction industry, as you may be required to hand down instructions to colleagues, clients and suppliers. It is also very important for the success and safety of a project. 

Teamwork

Being able to work successfully with colleagues, external subcontractors and clients is crucial for the success of any project. It's key to remember that most employers look for someone who can lead a team, as well as work in one, so confidence is also something to keep in mind.

Commercial and industry awareness

A project is constantly being affected by the commercial strength of the industry and the economic environment. A commercially aware employee will find ways to make projects more efficient and spot any potential risks before they happen, usually helping to save time and money, which is music to employers' ears.

Time management

Complex construction projects require effective organisation and time management if they are to be delivered to budget and on time. Deadlines mean you can’t afford to let things slip, so this is a key skill.

Enthusiasm

To be successful in construction, you need to be 100% committed. If you're genuinely interested in the sector then your input will be extremely valuable for your employer, and your enthusiasm for the industry means you’ll be more likely to progress, make contacts and be happier in your job role.

Problem Solving

Every project has its problems - some large, some small - so it's important that you're able to keep calm and think logically to come to the best possible solution. This is the type of skill that can take a period of time to perfect, as some of the problems that arise will be technical.

Flexibility

As with any industry, things can change. It’s important that you're able to adapt appropriately, whether we're talking about personnel, processes, timings or procedures.

Attention to detail

With any project, it's vital that you have exceptional attention to detail, as it could delay a project and even put the safety of colleagues and the public at risk. 

What's next?

We hope that you found this section helpful. If you're looking for a bit more help with selling yourself then check out our CV advice and interview advice, which will help you to promote the skills and qualifications you've just read about. Good luck!