Engineering Construction Craft Careers

How to become Engineering Construction Craft

What does a Engineering Construction Craft do?

Engineering construction craft workers build processing plants, manufacturing units and 'fit' associated infrastructure in a variety of industrial sectors: oil and gas refining (including pipelines and offshore rigs); water collection, treatment and distribution; environmental waste disposal and recycling; food production, storage and distribution; power generation; chemicals processing; and pharmaceutical production.

Practical skills required for these areas include:

  • steel erecting - putting up and fixing girders and sections that make up the plant's structure
  • pipefitting - positioning, shaping and fixing pipework in accordance with design plans
  • welding - using a variety of techniques to cut, shape and join plate and sections
  • plating - cutting, shaping and assembling sheets of metal plate
  • mechanical fitting - assembling, installing and maintaining machinery
  • electrotechnical installation - installing and commissioning control panels, motors, valves and pumps.
Craftspeople use a range of hand and power tools to carry out their duties and must adhere to strict health and safety guidelines at all times.

For more detailed information about some of these areas of work, see the profiles for Steel Erector/Fixer, Mechanical/Electrical Engineer, Welder and CAD Draughtsman/woman.

What's the working environment like working as a Engineering Construction Craft?

The basic working week is 38 hours, but this varies depending on the type of work and deadlines. Overtime may be available. On offshore rigs, shifts involving twelve hours on and twelve hours off for two weeks are common, followed by a two or three-week rest period ashore.

As a craft worker you may work in a company fabrication shop or an engineering construction site. Craft workers normally move from job to job, and can be based anywhere in the UK or overseas for many months at a time. Much of the work is done outdoors in all weather conditions; sometimes work is underground or at heights. The work can be physically demanding.

What does it take to become a Engineering Construction Craft?

As a craft worker in engineering construction, you should:

  • have an aptitude for practical work
  • have good problem solving skills
  • work well as part of a team and alone
  • be able to work to high standards of accuracy
  • be able to follow technical drawings and plans
  • be physically fit
  • have good maths and computer skills
  • be aware of health and safety issues.

Engineering Construction Craft Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities are good for skilled craft workers.

Progression options include moving to a chargehand or supervisor post. With additional training and qualifications, workers can gain technician status. See the technician job profiles in the Manufacturing and Engineering family.

Further information

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

Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)
Blue Court
Church Lane
Kings Langley
Tel: 01923 260000
NASEC Administration Team: 01923 402155

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

The Engineering Careers Information Service (ECIS)

Women into Science and Engineering
22 Old Queen Street
Tel: 020 7227 8421

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878

Facts and Stats:

  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel was only 5ft tall and wore a top hat to make himself look taller
  • Engineering generates more than 40 per cent of the UK¿s national wealth
  • The Box Hill tunnel, part of Brunel¿s Great Western Railway, took five years to dig and at two miles long was the longest tunnel in the world at the time

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