The Careers Clusters in a building site

Find out more about the different roles you might find on a building site in this Workplace Spotlight.

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While tradespeople might be the first people that come to mind when we think about building sites, there are actually many different people that make construction possible.

Building sites are the place where physical construction takes place – but it takes a lot of planning and a variety of roles to get to that stage, as well as to see a project through to completion. This includes surveying and inspecting the initial site, to designing and planning, transporting materials and putting it all together, ensuring everyone stays safe, and finally selling the finished property.

While all building sites are different, here are some common things you can expect:

  1. Working on your feet – some of the work can be physical, and you’ll be on your feet for some of the day.
  2. Teamwork is key – you’ll need to work with lots of different people to ensure projects are completed quickly and smoothly.
  3. Safety always comes first – there can be some hazards on a building site, so ensuring everyone stays safe is vital.

Key Outcome – construct and repair buildings and amenities

The focus of building sites is to construct all different kinds of buildings and amenities efficiently and safely, from stadiums and shopping centres to houses, roads, and bridges.

Key Tasks –

  • Determine initial site suitability
  • Design, construct, and repair buildings
  • Oversee workers and site safety
  • Manage expenses and budgets

Industry – you can find building sites in the construction industry

Building sites are found in the construction industry. They can vary in size from the site of a small home all the way through to massive skyscrapers and long stretches of highway.

Work Environment

You can expect regular hours and on-site work

Regular work hours  |  Work on-site  |  Jobs in all locations, including metro, regional, and rural  |  Strong job growth

If you work on a building site you might be expected to start early in the morning, but this also means you get to finish early too. Many workers work regular hours, with options for longer periods of time off to rest and recharge. If a deadline is coming up you might need to put in some overtime to get the work done.

Most of the work on a building site needs to be done on-site, so there is not much opportunity to work from home.

Wherever infrastructure exists, you’ll need people to design and build it, so you can find building sites all across the country. Generally, the more densely populated a place is the more buildings you need, so you might find it easier to find roles in larger cities.

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a building site

People from all Clusters are needed for a building site to run effectively, but the most common Clusters you’ll find are Makers and Innovators.


The Makers on a building site include tradespeople, who physically construct the buildings and use a variety of tools to assist with the job. There are also people who operate heavy machinery, like diggers and cranes, and drive trucks to transport materials to and from site.

  • Builders/Plumbers/Electricians/Painters, etc.
  • Heavy Machinery Operators
  • Truck Drivers

The Linkers are the people who help sell the finished property, such as real estate and property agents. Construction companies will also often have receptionists to act as a first point of contact for people to make inquiries.

  • Real Estate/Property Agents
  • Receptionists

Coordinators are responsible for managing and supervising workers on-site, ensuring things are running smoothly and people are working up to standard. They might also be in charge of managing project timelines and budgets, and assessing and managing any potential risks.

  • Construction Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Accounts Managers

Some Informers on building sites include surveyors, who take measurements and provide site specifications before construction can begin. Other Informers can advise on regulatory and legal requirements, while environmental specialists might also come in and advise on whether there are any native flora or fauna that need to be protected before construction can begin.

  • Surveyors
  • Environmental Impact Officers
  • Property Developers

The Innovators are the people who put in a lot of the work before construction can begin, developing plans, designs and specifications. They will often make site visits and work with Informers to finalise plans, before passing them on to and working with Makers to see a project through to completion.

  • Engineers
  • Urban Planners
  • Architects

Guardians are responsible for keeping people on building sites safe and minimising risks. They might advise on which personal protective equipment is necessary and write up reports of any incidents. They can also make unannounced site visits to ensure safety measures are up to scratch and workers are informed of rules and procedures.

  • Workplace Health & Safety Advisors
  • Compliance Officers

How do we expect working on a building site to change in the future?

The way we build and construct things has changed greatly since the industrial revolution, with machines and tools becoming more and more sophisticated. Today, there are even machines that have completely automated some of the processes.

Into the future, we can expect that more of the physical labour on building sites will be done by machines instead of by people, or at least assisted by machines. This not only increases the efficiency of the process, it also makes it much safer. People will still be needed to design, maintain, and in some cases operate these machines – some machines may even be operated remotely, meaning people no longer need to be on-site.