The construction industry is an important contributor to Surrey's economy, with 4.9% of the county's workforce employed in the sector. Construction across the south-east of England has been hit hard by the recession and thousands of jobs have been lost, but there is reason for cautious optimism.
A CITB report predicted average annual growth in the sector of 1.1% between 2013 and 2017, creating increased demand for construction workers. The staff with the most in-demand skills are likely to be carpenters, joiners, glaziers, plant operatives and site labourers.
Balfour Beatty, the UK's largest construction company, has located a number of its specialist divisions in Surrey and regularly has employment opportunities for civil engineers and rail infrastructure experts. Other major construction firms with bases in the county include BAM Nuttall, which has its headquarters in Camberley, and Morgan Sindall.
Many of the biggest projects in Surrey are awarded to the major contractors, but that can create jobs for local workers, as they often hire experienced engineers and tradesmen on a temporary basis via construction recruitment agencies. There are also opportunities with local firms that specialise in smaller contracts and maintenance work.
Salaries for construction jobs in Surrey are typically in line with the national average. Packages for civil engineers are in the range of £35,000 to £50,000, while quantity surveyors can expect to be paid around £40,000 a year, and bricklayers usually earn £500 a week.