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Clerk of Works Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Clerk of Works. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Clerk of Works
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Clerk of Works Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Clerks of works inspect the work of contractors involved in erecting buildings, constructing roads, installing pipelines, and maintaining estates. Their main responsibility is to make sure the work is carried out to the clients standards, specification and schedule.

Clerks of works are either on site all the time, or make regular visits to it. They have to keep detailed records of various aspects of the work and put this information in a weekly report to give to the architect, planner or client.

If the work involves maintenance, alterations or additions to buildings by directly employed workers, the clerk may be responsible for supervising them. It is possible for clerks of works to specialise in particular areas such as building, civil engineering, and mechanical and electrical installations.

Hours and Environment

Clerks of works normally work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Weekend and evening work is common, particularly when deadlines are imminent. Part-time work and flexible hours may be possible.

They are based in site offices, normally in temporary structures. However, most of their time is spent out of doors in all weather conditions. Inspecting building work usually involves climbing ladders and scaffolding and possibly going underground.

As building sites may be far away from home, they have to spend time travelling and staying in lodgings.

Skills and Interests

As a clerk of works you will need:

  • a wide understanding of the building industry, including knowledge of materials, trades, methods, and legal requirements
  • excellent communication and negotiation skills
  • good written communication skills, for completing paperwork and compiling reports
  • the ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with a variety of staff
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • physical fitness and the ability to cope with working at heights.


Entry

There are no formal entry requirements. Clerks of works usually enter the profession after some years'' experience at craft level in the construction industry. They may have done a craft apprenticeship.

The traditional way of becoming a clerk of works has been through City & Guilds or equivalent qualifications in plumbing, carpentry or practical building trades, or through BTEC/SQA national awards in building studies or civil engineering.

NVQ/SVQ levels 3 and 4 in Site Inspection, New Works, or Maintenance are becoming increasingly important for entry.

There are no upper age limits for entry to the profession, and adult entry is common.

There are special routes for entrance to Membership Grade of the Institute of Clerks of Works of Great Britain (ICWGB) for experienced clerk of works candidates, which may involve doing a special written and/or oral examination.

Training

The Institute of Clerks of Works (ICWGB) is the recognised industry-specific body for the profession. You do not have to take its qualifications, but they are increasingly required by employers and are recognised world-wide.

There are different grades of membership of the ICWGB, but the one preferred by employers is full membership. There are different routes to this grade. The final examinations for membership are in several parts, and people can be exempted from some or all of them depending on their age, experience and qualifications. The examined subjects include construction technology, materials, measurement and specification, professional practice and legal aspects. Trainees may study part-time (by day-release or evening course) over three years for ICWGB qualifications.

Opportunities

A wide range of public organisations employ clerks of works. They include local authorities, public services such as the water industry, government departments and HM forces. Private companies that employ clerks of works include large industrial concerns, some architectural practices and consultancies. Self-employment is common.

Annual Income

This section is intended as a guideline only.

Salaries start at around £18,000 a year.
More experienced clerks of works may earn up to £25,000 a year.
Senior clerks of works may earn up to £30,000.

Further information

Institute of Clerks of Works of Great Britain
28 Commerce Rd
Lynch Wood
Peterborough
PE2 6LR
Tel: 01733 405 160
www.icwgb.org


Other Useful Clerk of Works Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Clerk of Works job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Clerk of Works Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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