In Summary - Building Technician
The Work - Building Technician
Building technicians give technical support and assistance to professionals and managers involved in construction projects. Building technicians may work on a wide range of projects, from large-scale new building works such as office blocks and housing estates to small-scale extensions and alterations to part of a building.
The duties of a building technician combine office based work and on-site work. The amount of time spent in the office and on-site varies between employers. The building technician can work with architects, contractors, local government or industrial organisations.
In the office, building technicians use computer-aided design (CAD) packages to draw up plans and specifications for use by senior staff such as building surveyors. They draw details of foundations and overall layout and may need to produce designs for features such as doors and windows.
Using these plans, the building technician calculates the basic costs of the project, taking into account local factors such as the availability of certain building materials and the hire of specialist sub-contractors. Technicians must also use their knowledge of building materials to make sure that the range of materials can be safely combined.
When the building technician has calculated these initial costs, they are given to a senior manager or a quantity surveyor; they check the figures, allowing for additional factors, such as overheads and profit margins, in order to arrive at a final estimate. The building technician will usually be involved in site preparation before the job begins. This may involve installing site office, portable toilets etc.
As well as drawing up plans for a project, the building technician must make sure that they meet with national building regulations. Plans must also conform to local planning requirements, so the technician needs to talk to building control officers from the local council. Before new building or demolition can begin, the building technician must also check that it is acceptable to other bodies such as water, gas and electricity companies. They are also involved in materials specifications and testing. They survey and set out areas.
On the construction site, the building technician may accompany senior staff to meetings with the building contractor, sub-contractors, building inspector and the customer/client. An experienced technician may act alone, chair the meeting and play a leading role in co-ordinating the programme of work, defining areas of responsibility and discussing safety precautions.
As work progresses, the building technician visits the site to check for faults and works closely with the site engineer. In some organisations, the building technician may supervise repair work. But sometimes this is the responsibility of a building inspector who refers major problems to the technician.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Confer with supervisory personnel, owners, contractors, or design professionals to discuss and resolve matters, such as work procedures, complaints, or construction problems.
- Plan, schedule, or coordinate construction project activities to meet deadlines.
- Prepare and submit budget estimates, progress reports, or cost tracking reports.
- Inspect or review projects to monitor compliance with building and safety codes, or other regulations.
- Inspect or review projects to monitor compliance with environmental regulations.
- Plan, organize, or direct activities concerned with the construction or maintenance of structures, facilities, or systems.
- Study job specifications to determine appropriate construction methods.
- Investigate damage, accidents, or delays at construction sites to ensure that proper construction procedures are being followed.
- Prepare contracts or negotiate revisions to contractual agreements with architects, consultants, clients, suppliers, or subcontractors.
- Develop or implement quality control programs.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing and Building Teams Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Interests - Building Technician
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
As a building technician you need to be responsible, and reliable and accurate in your work. You need to be able to work well in a team and be able to work to schedule.
Entry Requirements - Building Technician
Pay & Salary - Building Technician
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 23k - 35k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.