How to become a builder  Necessary skills  Builders insurance   Professional associations


Apprentice builder tasks

No matter whether you’re in the UK or abroad, the apprentice builder tasks are about the same. It makes no difference if you’re male or female; you still get assigned the same types of work. As in most occupations that employ apprentices, you start at the bottom of the career ladder and slowly work your way up to the top. For apprentice builders this means becoming a master builder or master of some related trade.

Apprentice builder employment opportunities

As an apprentice builder, you may work with a large construction firm or a small building subcontractor. You may find yourself assisting in the construction or maintenance of hospitals, schools, factories, offices, tourist resorts, hotels, or some type of housing unit.  The type of construction will depend mostly on the firm or contractor you are employed by.

You also have the options of specialising when you become an apprentice builder and the choices are very side: for example you may choose to use your apprentice builder experience to train for job positions such as an electrician, plumber or steel fixer. Perhaps you would rather use the apprentice experience to train for job positions as a scaffolder or concrete worker,  carpenter’s assistant, bricklayer’s labourer. Everything depends upon your own ambitions and capabilities, and the type of work your employer undertakes.

Commonly performed tasks

If you think apprentice builders have an easy life, you may want to reconsider your career choice! Apprentices work very hard and work very long hours. The job may require you to load, unload, carry, and store various building materials. This means you will have to do some very heavy lifting at times. The work may also involve crawling among the spiders, sloshing through mud, and working in very confined spaces.

Another commonly performed task is digging. This may be done using hand tools or mechanical diggers. You may also have to place and compact quarry material. Cleaning various surfaces for the workers, and hauling away rubbish and debris are always tasks performed by the apprentices. Part of your job may be to mix and spread concrete or prepare plaster or bricklaying mortar for the tradesmen.

It may also be your responsibility to help erect and dismantle scaffolding, barricades, catwalks, warning lights, and ramps. You most likely will also be spending lots of time handing other people tools, materials, and simply providing an extra pair of hands wherever and whenever needed. You may be sent off on errands, such as to go to pick up a forgotten item or to bring water to the workers.

Is it worth the effort?

By now, you are probably asking yourself if it’s worth all that effort. The answer is yes, if you enjoy doing manual labour and working outdoors. Although you can become an apprentice builder at 16 without formal training, it’s highly recommended that you don’t do this. The professional builders associations advise people to go to college and get builder National Vocational Qualifications before starting out in a building career.

According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), there are over 175,000 building companies in the UK. They estimate that there are over 20,000 registered builders in the UK. The FMB also claims that 13,000 of the 175,000 companies are registered members of the FMB. According to their surveys, the FMB members have an average annual turnover varying from 100,000 pounds up to 5+ million pounds. So whether or not being an apprentice builder is worth all the effort largely depends on your ability to become a master builder. You’ll never know whether you will make a good master builder until you have attempted to perform each of the apprentice builder tasks.

Remember that every insurance policy is different. ALWAYS read the policy carefully to make sure that it has the right cover for you!


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