Fife College: Building careers in construction
When you hear “construction”, do you automatically think “building trades” like bricklaying, roofing, painting and decorating, and joinery? Many people assume that the only professions in construction are these trades mentioned, when in fact, that’s not the case.
There are many other professions within construction that you can master such as architectural technology, building surveying and quantity surveying. These careers can be studied under the term “Construction Technical Professional” courses at Fife College. They are for those who are looking for a career in a construction-related discipline, and the majority of these professions are office based with visits to clients and construction sites.
Despite the challenges posed by the Coronavirus, the property and infrastructure market in Scotland has continued to grow, making the construction industry an attractive career choice.
One of the lesser-known professions within the construction industry, Quantity Surveyors make a huge contribution to the success of projects, from one-off houses to multi-million-pound capital projects across the world.
Their role is to manage the budget and contractual relationships of a building project, from the initial project start up to the completion stage, which requires an in-depth understanding of the complete construction cycle, and the roles of each professional and trade required to build a successful project.
The profession also affords graduates a career salary above the average industrial wage, with the UK average salary for a graduate Quantity Surveyor sitting between £25,000 to 28,000 which will rise steadily with experience.
Two Fife College students have started out on their new careers in the construction industry after studying for an HND in Quantity Surveying. Nicola King and Todd Fleming have both secured traineeships at construction firms along with entry into third year at university to study for a degree in Quantity Surveying.
Nicole, from Glenrothes, has recently been hired by Whiteburn Projects Ltd in Edinburgh as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor after completing her course at the College, and will combine this with studying a degree at Napier University.
“The Quantity Surveyor course at Fife College gave me a great insight into the construction industry and it had some amazing lectures that explained all the different elements of the role.
“In my second year, before the pandemic, I was given the opportunity to go to London to visit some of the most well-known pieces of architecture in the country which was a great life experience that has continued to motivate me in my career.
“Studying at the College also enabled me to leave school at the end of fifth year to do my HND, which then allowed me entry into third year at Napier University, which has resulted in me being a year ahead of most people.
“Although the pandemic did cause me to worry about the future of my traineeship, Whiteburn Ltd have been amazing and I am currently working from home with the occasional necessary visit to the office.”
Todd, from Cardenden, is due to complete his HND in June but has already secured a trainee position with Raeburn Construction based in Kirkcaldy and gained direct access into third year at Heriot-Watt University.
“Studying at Fife College helped me improve my knowledge of Quantity Surveying and the construction industry as a whole, which played a crucial part in me securing a job as a trainee in the industry.
“Similarly, working as a Quantity Surveyor in the construction industry has improved my work at college and made it a lot more understandable, and with the course taking up just two and a half days a week it meant I was able to secure my Traineeship.
“Although the pandemic did put everything on hold for a short time, things are now up and running again and I’m looking forward to starting my course at university alongside my work at Raeburn Construction.
“Hopefully not too long after qualifying I’ll be able to be the lead Quantity Surveyor in a team.”
Martina Brady, a Built Environment Lecturer at Fife College said: “We are delighted that Todd and Nicole have used the knowledge they gained at Fife College to secure jobs as Trainee Quantity Surveyors, while also continuing their studies at university.
“Our articulation agreements with Napier University, Heriot Watt University & Robert Gordon University enable all HND students to progress onto the third year of the degree course, with many employers keen to fully support students throughout.
Anyone who wants to learn more about the opportunities on offer should get in touch with us to find out more – Quantity Surveying is offered on a full-time and part-basis at the College, so there is definitely an avenue that we can explore with you.”
At Fife College, you can study both Construction Trade and Construction Technical Professional courses, visit the Built Environment page to find out more.