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Pay and salaries for construction, engineering and surveying graduate jobs

Salary guide: how much you earn in civil engineering, construction and surveying careers

Research graduate salaries in construction industry jobs, including those in civil engineering, structural engineering, construction management, architecture, quantity surveying and building surveying.

The median graduate salary at built environment employers is £27,500, according to the ISE... but how representative is that figure?

The pay packet of many graduate construction professionals (for example, the salary of a graduate civil engineer, a graduate quantity surveyor, a graduate site manager and an architectural assistant) can be said to be broadly in line with those of many other graduate jobs – although not reaching the heights of those working in law or investment banking. We look at how much your starting salary could be in a range of construction jobs and at a range of employers. We also investigate how much you could earn as you gain more experience.

Salary guide for civil engineering, construction and surveying careers: starting salaries for leading firms | average construction industry salaries for graduates and beyond | civil engineering salaries | structural engineering salaries | building services (M&E) engineering salaries | quantity surveying salaries | estimator salaries | building surveying salaries | project surveyor salaries | construction management salaries | project management salaries | architect salaries | architectural technologist salaries | facilities management salaries | other things to consider

How much do graduate construction, engineering and surveying companies pay graduates in the UK?

Below are the starting salaries for graduate programmes at the big construction, engineering and quantity surveying employers. These employers typically pay the highest salaries. Where a range is mentioned, your salary will either differ according to location or due to your job role (engineers typically earn more, for example). NB: figures refer to 2021 salaries unless otherwise indicated; where we say ‘reported’ or ‘said’, the information has come from salary survey sites rather than the employer.

  • AECOM graduate salary: previously £24,000–£27,000
  • Amey graduate salary: £26,500
  • Atkins graduate salary: previously £27,000–£30,500
  • Babcock International Group graduate salary: £29,500–£32,500
  • Balfour Beatty graduate salary: said to be in the region of £26,000 upwards
  • BAE Systems graduate salary: £28,000
  • Barratt Developments graduate salary: £24,000 (£27,000 in London and Aberdeen)
  • Berkeley Group graduate salary: reported to be c. £24,000–£27,000
  • Costain graduate salary: previously £28,000
  • Faithful+Gould graduate salary: previously £27,000 for London and the south-east; £24,500 for the rest of the UK
  • ISG graduate salary: falls in the region of £25,000–£33,000
  • JLL graduate salary: previously £23,000–£30,000 depending on the role and/or location
  • Kier Group graduate salary: previously £25,000–£28,000 depending on the role and/or location
  • Mace graduate salary: previously reported to be in the region of £25,000–£30,000
  • Mott MacDonald graduate salary: previously £28,000–£31,000
  • Network Rail graduate salary: £26,500
  • nucleargraduates starting salary: £26,000 in the first year; £27,000 in the second
  • Skanska UK graduate salary: reported to be in the region of £25,000–£32,000
  • Transport for London graduate salary: previously £27,000.

How much can I earn as a graduate and how will my salary increase as an experienced hire in the construction industry?

The Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE’s) 2020 annual survey of its members cited the median graduate salary at built environment employers as £27,500. This is in line with many of the salaries at the top employers listed above, but the ISE membership comprises the biggest recruiters. So, this figure might not be representative of the entire industry.

Graduates interested in pay might find the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 survey more useful: it compiled salary data from candidates placed in jobs by the recruitment agency Hays in 2019. The results are below.

What does a civil engineer make?

  • The typical salary of a graduate civil engineer ranges from £24,000 in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, north-east England and south-west England to £30,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a civil engineer ranges from £30,000 in Northern Ireland to £40,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior civil engineer ranges from £37,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber to £53,500 in London.

How much does a structural engineer get paid?

  • The typical salary of a graduate structural engineer ranges from £23,250 in north-east England to £30,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a structural engineer ranges from £31,000 in Northern Ireland and in Yorkshire and the Humber to £41,250 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior structural engineer ranges from £39,000 in Northern Ireland to £55,000 in London.

What is the salary of a building services engineer at a consultancy?

  • The typical salary of a junior design (mechanical and electrical) engineer ranges from £22,250 in Yorkshire and the Humber and north-east England to £31,000 in London
  • The typical salary of an intermediate design (mechanical and electrical) engineer ranges from £27,500 in Yorkshire and the Humber to £40,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior design (mechanical and electrical) engineer ranges from £42,000 in Northern Ireland to £57,000 in London and south-east England
  • The typical salary of a director ranges from £53,500 in north-east England to £92,000 in London
  • The typical salary of an experienced sustainability consultant ranges from £37,750 in Northern Ireland to £56,000 in London.

What is the salary of a professional quantity surveyor (PQS) at a consultancy?

  • The typical salary of a graduate quantity surveyor ranges from £21,500 in Northern Ireland to £29,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a newly chartered quantity surveyor ranges from £33,000 in north-east England to £45,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior quantity surveyor ranges from £41,000 in Northern Ireland to £64,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a partner or director ranges from £62,000 in north-east England to £100,000 in London.

How much does a quantity surveyor working on site make?

  • The typical salary of an assistant quantity surveyor ranges from £25,000 in Scotland to £37,500 in London. NB: We think this is for someone with around two or three years’ experience
  • The typical salary of an intermediate quantity surveyor ranges from £40,000 in north-east England to £50,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior quantity surveyor ranges from £50,000 in north-east England to £72,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a commercial manager ranges from £62,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber to £98,000 in London.

How much does an estimator earn?

  • The typical salary of an assistant estimator ranges from £26,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber to £38,000 in London
  • The typical salary of an estimator ranges from £42,000 in north-east England to £59,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior estimator ranges from £50,000 in north-east England to £77,000 in London
  • The typical salary of an experienced estimator at a building services contractor ranges from to £63,000 in south-east England to £36,500 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

How much does a building surveyor make at a consultancy?

  • The typical salary of a graduate building surveyor ranges from £19,500 in Northern Ireland to £29,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a newly chartered building surveyor ranges from £32,000 in north-east England and Northern Ireland to £45,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior building surveyor ranges from £36,000 in Northern Ireland to £58,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a partner or director ranges from £55,000 in Northern Ireland to £99,500 in London.

How much does a project management surveyor make at a consultancy?

  • The typical salary of a graduate project management surveyor ranges from £21,000 in Northern Ireland to £27,500 in London
  • The typical salary of a newly qualified project management surveyor ranges from £30,000 in the East Midlands to £50,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior project management surveyor ranges from £43,500 in Northern Ireland to £65,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a partner or director ranges from £64,000 in Northern Ireland to £100,000 in London.

What is the salary of a construction manager?

  • The typical salary of an assistant site manager ranges from £29,000 in Northern Ireland to £42,500 in London. NB: We suspect that this is the salary of an experienced assistant manager on a large project
  • The typical salary of a site manager ranges from £42,000 in Northern Ireland to £55,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a senior site manager ranges from £44,000 in Northern Ireland to £68,000 in London.

What is the salary of a construction project manager?

  • The typical salary of an experienced operational project manager ranges from £47,500 in north-east England to £70,500 in London
  • The typical salary of an experienced project manager at a building services contractor ranges from £40,000 in Northern Ireland to £70,000 in London
  • The typical salary of an experienced design manager ranges from £45,000 in Wales to £75,000 in London.

How much can an architect earn?

  • The typical salary of a part 1 architectural assistant ranges from £16,000 in Scotland to £22,500 in London and south-east England
  • The typical salary of a part 2 architectural assistant ranges from £22,500 in north-east England to £31,500 in London
  • The typical salary of a recently qualified architect ranges from £28,500 in Northern Ireland to £38,500 in London
  • The median salary of a senior architect ranges from £38,500 in Wales to £53,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a partner/director ranges from £52,000 in Northern Ireland to £76,000 in London.

What is the salary of an architectural technologist?

  • The typical salary of an architectural technologist ranges from £22,500 in Wales to £38,500 in London. NB: We think this is a salary for those with three or four years’ experience
  • The typical salary of a senior architectural technologist ranges from £33,250 in Wales to £49,000 in London.

How much can you earn from a facilities management career?

  • The typical salary of a facilities assistant ranges from £19,000 in Northern Ireland to £25,750 in London
  • The typical salary of an experienced facilities manager ranges from £35,500 in Northern Ireland to £50,000 in London
  • The typical salary of a facilities management director ranges from £58,500 in Scotland and Northern Ireland to £95,000 in London
  • The typical salary of an experienced mechanical/electrical engineer specialising in facilities management ranges from £30,000 in Northern Ireland to £35,500 in London.

Where these figures are lower than the salaries for the specific employers listed above, it reflects the fact that agencies work with construction companies of all types and sizes, not just the leading names offering the highest salaries.

When reviewing construction, surveying and engineering salaries…

When investigating and comparing salaries, it’s not always wise to immediately go for the employer that offers the highest amount of pay. Take into account other factors such as:

  • the living and commuting costs in the area
  • the additional benefits that come as part of the package, such as a company car, life assurance and private healthcare
  • the training and development opportunities and support on offer (for example, most large employers will pay your professional fees and training costs, but some smaller employers won’t; some run their own in-house training courses, while others will allow you to attend sessions run by your professional body).

You may well find that an employer who pays a lower salary makes up for it in the overall remuneration package or the work/life balance they offer you.

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