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Image of the Guardian UK 300 and the rankings of the most popular construction employers

Who are the most popular construction, civil engineering and quantity surveying graduate employers?

See which employers came out top in the trendence Graduate Survey and gain insights into choosing which employers to apply to.
Also consider employers beyond this list and think about whether a smaller employer might be better for you.

Over 52,000 students and graduates voted in the trendence UK Graduate Survey, revealing which construction, civil engineering and quantity surveying graduate employers they're most interested in working for. The survey also decides the winners of the TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards and the top 300 employers as featured in The Guardian UK 300, available from your careers service and online as an e-magazine.

The top ten construction, civil engineering and quantity surveying graduate employers as voted by you are:

  1. Arup is a firm of designers, engineers, planners, technical specialists and consultants with offices in 37 different countries. It offers graduate roles across a range of its business areas including engineering and consulting. A 2.1 or higher in a relevant subject is usually required and, for the engineering programme, an MEng or masters is preferred.
  2. Atkins is a design, engineering and project management consultancy. It has offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific. It recruits graduates to work in areas including aerospace, design and engineering, security and technology, defence and energy. A degree in a relevant subject is usually required.
  3. AECOM is an engineering design firm providing professional design, technical and operation support to a range of markets. It has nearly 100,000 employees operating in over 150 countries. A range of graduate positions are offered including design and planning, building surveying, engineering, construction, ecology, quantity surveying and project management.
  4. Mott MacDonald is a management, engineering and development consultancy with around 16,000 staff working in 180 offices worldwide. Between 250 and 350 graduates are recruited each year in the UK. A minimum of a 2.1 degree is required and specific degree disciplines are needed for some schemes.
  5. Balfour Beatty is an international infrastructure group. It offers opportunities in areas such as engineering, building and construction management, quantity surveying and commercial management for graduates with a 2.1 in a relevant discipline.
  6. Barratt Developments is a residential property development company. Its three main brands are Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes and Barratt London. The company operates throughout Great Britain and employs just over 6,000 people. The company offers a year-long graduate programme and a two-year one
  7. BAM Construct UK is part of the worldwide construction and property services company Royal BAM Group. Graduate programmes run in a variety of disciplines, such as construction management, quantity surveying, architecture, design management and sustainability. Candidates should have either a construction-related degree or come from a non-construction background with sufficient transferable skills.
  8. CH2M is an international engineering company with more than 20,000 employees. It provides consulting, design and design-build services, and management services in operations, project and construction. There are no structured graduate schemes, but graduate jobs are available in a range of engineering fields and require relevant degree subjects.
  9. Kier Group is a construction, property, residential and services group that employs more than 24,000 people in the UK, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Hong Kong. The three-year graduate development programme is typically open to graduates with a relevant accredited degree that is a 2.1 or above.
  10. Laing O’Rourke is an international engineering company with over 10,000 employees, specialising in engineering, construction and asset management for public and private organisations. Its graduate programmes include engineering, quantity surveying and construction management. These programmes typically accept applicants from related degree disciplines with at least a 2.1.

Look beyond the big graduate employers in construction, civil engineering and quantity surveying

Remember that these may be the ten most popular employers in construction, civil engineering and quantity surveying but they’re not the only ones. There are other large construction organisations who haven't made the list. Yes, there are lots of benefits to working for a large employer, such as high-profile projects, structured training schemes and a greater chance of working abroad. But the flipside is that you may only be involved in a small part of those high-profile projects and you might not be able to travel until you’re more experienced.

There are many jobs to be found with other, smaller organisations. Consider whether a smaller employer might be better for you – they may not have such prestigious projects but they have other benefits, such as more responsibility at an early stage, an insight into the whole organisation, better geographic stability and more opportunities to specialise or apply the specialist knowledge you already have.You can find smaller organisations through checking out the opportunities offered by STEP,  through asking your careers service for local contacts, and through checking local business listings.

You could also find work with client organisations – infrastructure providers, such as Network Rail, water supply companies and local authorities all hire graduates for built environment roles.

How to choose the right graduate employer

Nicola Young, student liaison officer at BAM Nuttall Ltd, suggests that you ‘choose the company that offers you a graduate training programme accredited to the professional institution you want, the most varied career opportunities and the best flexibility in terms of location.’ To do this, make sure you thoroughly research the employer via the information produced on the TARGETjobs employer hubs and on the employer’s website. You can meet recruiters at careers fairs and events, too, and if you have questions that remain unanswered, call the HR department to ask. Recruiters are always happy to provide more information – as long as it’s relevant and not something that can be found on their website.

One of the best ways to investigate the fit of a company is to gain work experience during a summer vacation or placement year. Don’t forget to use interviews and assessment centres to get underneath the corporate culture too. If you feel comfortable with the people at an interview or in an assessment situation, then it’s likely that you’ll feel comfortable working with them.