Architecture Graduates: Kickstart your Successful Career in Design and the Built Environment through Building Control

5th July 2024



Have you just graduated from university with a degree in architecture and are struggling to get on the career ladder? It’s becoming an increasingly common struggle.

In April 2024, Architecture Social, an online content platform designed to elevate your career in Architecture, Design, Development and Real Estate, stated that “there are many more applicants than jobs in the architecture industry, making competition tough.”

On the other hand, the building control industry has a shortage of new entrants.

To bridge this gap, we have a solution… Did you know that the skills and experience you gain from working in building control will help you stand out in a populated design industry and can help you later propel your career in architecture?

Wilkinson Construction Consultants take a look at the transferable skills between building control and architecture to share the benefits and rewards.

Transferable skills

An architecture degree covers a variety of design, construction, and engineering topics, including structural engineering, architectural history, principles of environmental design, and building material studies.
With the current high competition in the architecture world, it is worthwhile considering how the skills you have learnt in your architecture degree can be enhanced by gaining valuable experience in building control, setting you apart in the future.

The Value of Building Control

Throughout the recent changes in the construction industry and, in particular, in the building control industry, it is no surprise to learn that the building control sector faces labour shortages, skill gaps and recruitment challenges. According to PCB today, the new legislation, processes, and procedures introduced due to the new Building Safety Act have led to a lot of reluctance among senior surveyors, resulting in retirement or departure and depriving the profession of their invaluable knowledge.

Less than two-thirds of the expected number of building inspectors had applied for new competence certification when the government extended the deadline in March.

A career in building control is incredibly rewarding. Geoff Wilkinson has worked in the industry for the past 40 years and shares his experience in the value of building control and how it bridges the gap for many aspects of the built environment.

Successful Career Path as a Principle Designer

Experience in building control can act as the launchpad for a successful career as a Principal Designer. A Principal Designer is a new title under the Building Safety Act. Their role is to control the pre-construction phase of any project.

According to the HSE, a Principal Designer’s roles and responsibilities include:

  • plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase
  • help and advise the client in bringing together pre-construction information, and provide the information designers and contractors need to carry out their duties
  • work with any other designers on the project to eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks to anyone affected by the work and, where that is not possible, take steps to reduce or control those risks
  • ensure that everyone involved in the pre-construction phase communicates and cooperates, coordinating their work wherever required
  • liaise with the principal contractor, keeping them informed of any risks that need to be controlled during the construction phase

This list mainly includes roles and responsibilities for building safety, health and safety, liaising and coordinating, and minimising risks, all of which are strong skills which can be learnt from working within building control. Therefore, Principal Designers who have a good understanding of building control will be highly valued by leading architecture practices.


If you are an architectural graduate struggling to secure your first role in architecture, then you should consider gaining invaluable building control experience. Building control is a fantastic career move and can greatly help with your employability in the future should you decide to move into another area of the design and construction industry.

Interested to know more about working in Building Control? Check out our website and connect with Geoff on LinkedIn.

Website: Wilkinson CC

Telephone: 01732 523466