How to become a builder  Necessary skills  Apprecticeships   Builders insurance   Professional associations

How to set up in business as a builder

Have you ever thought about becoming a UK builder? Perhaps you enjoy using your hands and mind in a creative and productive manner. Or perhaps you simply enjoy helping people to build their dream homes. Perhaps you just enjoy working outdoors, or you are attracted to the possible lucrative annual turnover.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to become a builder may be, there are many things to consider first. When deciding on any career, you should first consider what tasks the job will require you to be able to perform. Do you have the necessary innate qualities, skills, and training that the occupation requires you to have?

Qualities and skills required

Besides simply enjoying manual labour, a builder must be physically fit and able to perform this type of work. Various building tasks may involve heavy lifting, or bending over for several hours. You may have to balance on narrow beams or do lots of climbing on ladders, crawling on your stomach, and standing up for hours without resting.

You must be able to withstand various weather conditions and climates. Builders also must not be afraid of heights or closed in spaces. Thus, a builder needs to have lots of stamina, agility, strength, and overall good physical health.

Building often requires doing things repetitiously, so you may not like this occupation for long if you get bored easily. However, builders do need agile, flexible minds in order to perform the various mental tasks involved. You need to be able to make quick decisions, adapt to changes easily, and use excellent problem-solving skills. You also must have good mathematical, mechanical engineering, and calculation skills. Moreover, you have to be artistic, creative, and detail-oriented.

It’s also highly important for you to have excellent communication and people skills. You have to be able to work well independently and with other people. You must be a good listener, be very patient, and be very tolerant of other people’s lifestyles and belief systems. Additionally, you must be able to follow directions well, take pride in your craftsmanship, have a love of learning, and be good at multi-tasking. Moreover, you must be good at managing stress, as well as managing the use of your time and other resources.

Training and knowledge required

Builders have to have an understanding of building regulations and building codes. They also must know about health and safety issues. Additionally, a builder has to be able to know how to read blue prints and building plans. A builder also needs to keep up to date on his or her knowledge of new building techniques, architectural styles, building materials, and environmental issues. A good understanding of business management, economical trends, and the finance industry also helps you to be successful as a builder.

To obtain formal training and skills as a builder, you can take college courses that help you attain the various National Vocation Qualifications (NVQ) levels. Or if you want to forego the college training, you may try gaining an apprenticeship with a building contractor who will give you on-the-job training. Some large construction companies are also willing to provide on-the-job training for new employees. However, most of the professional builder associations recommend getting your NVQs if you’re considering becoming a builder in the UK.

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