A clerk of works – also known as a site inspector, construction inspector or building quality inspector – inspects the workmanship, quality and safety of work on a construction site and reports their findings to the client.
The Role
  • Inspecting the work on site and comparing it with drawings and specifications. Inspections could be at heights or underground and may include specialised aspects of construction
  • Measuring and sampling building materials to check their quality – they also identify any defects and suggest ways to correct them
  • Monitoring and reporting on progress to construction managers, architects and clients
  • Keeping detailed records
  • Liaising with contractors, engineers and surveyors
  • Checking that standards, building regulations, health and safety and legal requirements are met
  • As a clerk of works, you would have a site office but would spend most of your time outside on site.
  • You may be based at one site for the duration of a project, or travel between sites to carry out inspections and meet contractors.
  • Newly trained clerk of works can earn in the region of £25,000 - £30,000
  • Trained with experience clerk of works can earn in the region of £30,000 - £40,000
  • Senior, chartered or master clerk of works can earn in the region of £40,000 - £60,000
Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.
Qualifications & Training
There are no set qualifications but you will need to have relevant experience. Most people work for several years as a craftsperson or technician in construction or civil engineering. You could also look for work as a trainee after completing a BTEC Higher National qualification (HNC/HND), foundation degree or degree in construction or engineering and then work your way up. Once you have started working you could take construction qualifications such as the Level 2 SVQ/NVQ Diploma in Site Inspection. Some employers may ask that you belong to the Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate (ICWCI). The ICWGB also offers continuing professional development courses.