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How to become a Building Technician

building technician careers

What does a Building Technician do?

Building technicians, sometimes known as construction estimators or site engineers, carry out a variety of roles in support of construction managers, surveyors, architects and other construction professionals. Work is often a combination of office and sitework. Duties include:

Estimating - preparing costings for materials, labour, equipment and overheads to be used in bids for tenders.
Buying - working with suppliers and sub-contractors to negotiate and purchase materials, equipment and labour at the most cost-effective price whilst maintaining quality.
Planning – working with planning engineers to decide the most appropriate methods and techniques for each construction stage; and monitoring progress against agreed completion dates.
Design – draughting construction plans and blueprints using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Site preparation - preparing construction sites before work begins, for instance overseeing installation of site offices and cabins, temporary access routes, power supplies and deliveries.
Supervising – overseeing building contractors on site and liaising with construction managers on progress or difficulties.

Building technicians attend regular meetings with managers and clients to give progress updates.

What's the working environment like working as a Building Technician?

Technicians normally work up to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Evening and weekend work may be required to meet deadlines.

Work could be office-based or on-site, depending on the duties. Estimators, buyers and planners are normally office-based. Protective safety clothing, such as hard hats and boots must be worn on site. A driving licence will be useful.

What does it take to become a Building Technician?

As a building technician, you should:

  • have a thorough knowledge of the technical aspects of building methods, materials, health and safety and associated legal requirements
  • have good communication skills
  • work well as part of a team
  • be competent using information technology, particularly CAD software
  • have good analytical skills
  • be well organised and able to work to deadlines.

Building Technician Career Opportunities

There are opportunities with national and international building firms and contractors, in central and local government, and with organisations that carry out their own construction projects such as electricity, gas, and water companies, major retailers and health authorities. There may also be opportunities to work abroad with some firms.

Progression routes normally include movement in to construction management positions or further specialisation in technical roles, such as estimating, draughting or buying.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Building Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Bircham Newton
King's Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
Kings Ride
Tel: 01344 630700

National House Building Council
Buildmark House
Chiltern Avenue

Association of Building Engineers
Lutyens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Tel: 0845 126 1058

Equal Opportunities Commission

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