At a Glance...

This sector can be split into two areas, building, and construction which are the process of creating structures, which then become the second area of property. This is an extremely important and core sector of our environment.

Careers in this area are so varied and range from general site labouring up to technical and management roles.

A construction career really depends on how much physical or technical work you want and the level you decide you want to work at.

Construction can be divided into four main areas:

Construction Craft Workers – These jobs were referred to as ‘labourers‘ and regarded as unskilled roles but in today’s society they have become more specialised. Training for construction craft workers is sometimes offered ‘on the job’ but an approved, certified course is becoming the norm. There was a depletion of careers in this sector but during recent times, opportunities have greatly improved.

Trade Craftspeople – Roles like this include:

  • Brick and Stonelayer
  • Plasterer
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Carpenter/joiner
  • Painter/Decorator
  • Tiler
  • Construction plant fitter
  • Fitter

Engineers & Surveyors – The main employers of engineers are consultants, who advise clients, develop designs and oversee projects, and contractors, who carry out building work. Surveyors are highly trained and experienced professionals who work across all aspects of the built and natural environment for a variety of employers.

Architects –  these are professionals in the sector who plan and develop designs for construction projects. Designing a building involves many steps:

  • Visiting and surveying the site;
  • Discussing with the clients what kind of building they want;
  • Developing a preliminary design for the building and refining it to make sure that it meets the clients’ needs and budget and complies with the regulations;
  • Applying for planning permission;
  • Preparing detailed drawings and specifications;
  • Obtaining quotes from builders;
  • Administering the contract between the client and the builder
  • Checking that the building is being constructed in accordance with the drawings;
  • Making sure that payments to the builder are in order.

Opportunities in the Building and Construction Sector will remain into the future, especially for those with a specialist and professional skills and qualifications.

There are three main aspects of a career in property and they are:

Commercial Property – This involves services related to the ownership and occupation of property used for commercial purposes, such as offices, shops, and warehouses. This is the biggest and most popular area but also the most competitive.

Residential Property – Services in this area include valuation, development, marketing, mortgage-broking and investment advice in housing development. This career option requires a third level education and most graduates will find a job as a Valuation surveyor, Property development surveyor, Property manager or Investment adviser.

Auctioneering – Auctioneers and Estate Agents are involved in the sale, letting, management and valuation of property. This is most suited to those interested in people and property.


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About Construction Information Services (CIS)

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Our highly qualified research team research valuable projects in great detail to ensure your business can make important decisions quickly and generate the right leads for your pipeline.


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The Construction Industry Federation (CIF), is the national and regional representative body for construction industry employers (contractors) in Ireland.

The industry in 2015 employs 117,000 people directly and in 2014 had an overall turnover of €12 Billion.

CIF is recognised by Government, client and professional bodies as the representative body and voice of the construction industry and represents the views and interests of contractors in the sector.

Key areas where CIF lobby on behalf of members include:

  • Public capital spending programmes
  • Procurement contracts, policies and procedures
  • Legislation impacting on the construction industry and construction employers
  • Taxation policy
  • Employment and Industrial relations issues.
  • Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality issues
  • Issues of concern to specific groups of members – e.g. specialist sub contractors

CIF is a members based organisation and policy decisions are made by these member companies, through an Executive Body (Board) of 34 representatives appointed by each Branch and Association. All interests, both sectorally and regionally are represented in its decision making processes.

To support the operation of the CIF and provide expert advice to the Federation’s Committees, Associations and Branches, the CIF has a dedicated team of Executives and support staff who have specialist knowledge in construction matters . Offices are located in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

The CIF’s objective to to develop the construction industry in Ireland into a strong industrial sector, making a positive contribution to the development of the Irish economy by ensuring the delivery world class infrastructure, to attract inward investment and to ensure a highly skilled workforce is availble to meet this demand.

Graduates and craftspersons are employed directly by CIF members.


Career Opportunities

What are the main occupations in this sector?

Because the industry is so varied and diverse, there is a vast array of career opportunites in construction. Depending on your aptitude and abilities, there is an opportunity to work in a dynamic growing sector and in an environment that both challenges and rewards.

The main occupation categories in this sector are:  Apprentice Electricians / Plumber / Carpenter & Joiner / Stone mason / Bricklayer / Pipefitter / Painter and Decorator / Tiler / Sheet metal worker etc. – more details on the SOLAS website.

• Engineers ( all disciplines – Civil, Electrical, mechanical etc)
• Contracts / Project Managers
• Site Foremen
• Site Agent
• Site Engineers
• Architects
• Quantity Surveyors
• Technicians
• Machinery operators
• Craftworkers
• Skilled General Operatives
• Technical General Operatives


How do you get a job in this sector?

Jobs are advertised in a variety of media such as college recruitment drives, business sections of the national newspapers, local media, trade magazines, recruitment websites, college/second level career guidance counsellors etc.

People also get jobs from contacting those already employed in the industry and by contacting construction companies directly – websites such as the Construction Industry Federation ( and the Construction Register of ireland ( are useful.

In order to secure an apprenticeship, applicants need to find an employer who will take on an apprentice and is approved to do so by SOLAS. Employers may advertise in the media for such positions.

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