So you like what you've read, but you're not sure which of construction's many careers would suit you best? construction skills'. Kim Anderson has a few ideas for you …
Hiya Kim
I love history and art, and want to find a job where I can use my hands but also help the environment. Are there any jobs that would suit me in construction? Thank you!

Clare MacAdam, 15

Dear Clare,
A career in stonemasonry would seem to combine all your interests. It is a traditional skill involving the repair of both old and existing buildings. You would have the chance to restore interesting ancient buildings such as cathedrals and castles. Stonemasons are usually creative and practical, with an interest in history.

Another career that might interest you is building surveying. This combines an interest in buildings and how they work with how they can be maintained and restored. You would work on both old and new buildings. Building surveyors investigate how legal issues affect design, the environment and planning. They spend time on site carrying out surveys and monitoring the progress of the construction.

Dear Kim,
My interests are design and architecture – I love to draw. I'd like to know about costs, design and how a site works. I'm keen to do something in architecture; can you tell me more about what it actually involves?

Luke Ghamloush, 14

Hi Luke,
There are two main careers that might interest you: architecture and architectural technology. Sound the same? Well, they are quite different! Architects design buildings, prepare drawings and plans and sometimes get planning permission from the council.

They are creative and have a good eye for detail. Communication skills are important, as you will be dealing with clients and members of the construction team. Most architects do the majority of their design on computers, so you need to enjoy IT, too.

Architectural technologists are the next step in the process. They take an architect's design, look at how the surrounding environment would impact on that building, analyse drawings, use computer-aided design packages and sometimes help to choose suitable building materials. They work to ensure that designs on paper will work in practice. To succeed, you will need creativity, logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Both careers take a lot of training but can be very rewarding at the end of it.

I love to draw and I’d like to know about costs, design and how a site works. I’m keen to do something in architecture – can you tell me what it actually involves?

Luke, 14

Dear Kim,
Can you help me? I'm a really determined person and have a good understanding of science. I'm good at teamwork and co-operation and find it easy to get on with people. I'd like a job that's varied, challenging and has good pay. What construction career do you think would suit me?

Adam Crabb, 14

Hi there Adam,
I've a couple of ideas for you, so see what you think. One example of an exciting career that requires teamwork, co-operation and an interest in science is demolition work. Now, this is not just about going round blowing up buildings! Demolition is a very complex procedure involving specialist equipment and explosives, so you need to be responsible and aware of health and safety issues. Teamwork is very important as you will have to rely on other people and they will have to rely on you. You'd also need to enjoy working outdoors in all weathers.

Also, if you find it easy to get on with people, you might want to consider construction management. This involves being in charge of a whole building site, working with the project manager, ensuring that everything is running smoothly and that all the workers are safe. You need to be able to work under pressure and enjoy having responsibility.

Dear Kim,
I'm interested in a career in construction but I'm not sure what would suit me – and I don't really like getting my hands dirty. I'm good at using computers and I also like maths. I like knowing about how buildings work and I'd like to work in an office. Any ideas?

Keval Dhanani, 15

Hi Keval,
If you are keen to use maths in your career, a great option for you would be becoming a quantity surveyor (sometimes known as a cost consultant). A quantity surveyor works out the cost of a whole project, in terms of the design, all the materials needed, all the different services that need to be installed, and all the worker's salaries from the construction manager and the engineers to the specialist craftspeople. It then involves managing the finances of that entire project to ensure that the budget is not blown. This means quantity surveyors also need to know about legislation, materials and design.

Another related office-based career that might grab your interest is that of a planner. These people organise the sequence and timing of each stage of the construction process to ensure the project finishes on schedule. To do this, they need a great deal of knowledge about the construction process.

I’d like a well-paid outdoors job. I like making things and designing, science and IT, and working things out. I want a job that keeps me busy

Craig, 14

You need to be organised and have a good knowledge of maths. Both of these careers involve using computers, as there is a lot of great software that is used to organise project costs and build programmes.

Hello Kim,
I enjoy woodwork, computers and electronics. I'm good at working with other people in a team. I don't want a job where I'd be stuck in an office all day. I think I might enjoy carpentry. What advice do you have?

Chris Hooker, 15

Dear Chris,
You're in a great position as there's so much to choose from. Carpentry is one of the many practical trades in construction, and there is also a wide range of careers in interiors that you might also want to consider. Other examples include wall and floor tiling, ceiling fixing, painting and decorating and plastering. For all these careers, you need to be able to work as part of a team, understand layout drawings, be able to calculate accurately and work to deadlines. The work is mainly indoors but may involve travelling to different locations. You'd go from project to project, so there is certainly a lot of variety.

If you would prefer working outdoors, you could consider becoming a plant mechanic. This involves looking after and repairing all the machines used on sites, such as trucks, diggers and cranes. You need to have an interest in vehicles, be mechanically minded and enjoy hands-on work.

Dear Kim,
I'd like a well-paid outdoors job. I like designing, science and IT, and working things out. I want a job that keeps me busy but isn't too much hard work. My uncle says I'd make a good civil engineer – what exactly is it?

Craig Alexander, 14

Hello Craig,
Your uncle could be right! civil engineering offers an ideal balance of indoor and outdoor work. It involves the design and construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, dams and railways. It is well-paid – but it can involve a lot of training and hard work so you need to be sure it is really what you want to do!