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Housebuilders Rake It In

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Building Magazine

Follow link for full story - this version edited for important points...

Young, gifted and in the black

2006 issue 12

By Sonia Soltani

It might seem like an unglamorous option, but housebuilding is becoming the sector to work in. Increasingly young executives are enjoying increasingly fat pay packets and perks, according to the first ever Building/PSD housebuilders' salary survey.

The housebuilding industry, with its cycle of boom and bust and somewhat fusty image, is not necessarily the most attractive career choice for bright young things. However, they might think twice after having read Building's first housebuilding salary survey, conducted by recruitment consultancy PSD Group. "People don't realise how quickly - if you're good - you can go up and make a lot of money in the housebuilding sector. You can be in your early thirties and have your professional aspirations satisfied," says Mark Heald, director at PSD.

PSD's survey reveals that average salaries in UK housebuilding range from £50,000 a year for a sales manager to a whopping £201,000 for a managing director (including bonuses). The average age for sales managers is just 32 and a youthful 45 for managing directors. Several top jobs have an average age of under 40, including sales directors, who on average earn £98,000, senior land managers on £61,000, commercial managers on £55,000 and technical managers on £54,000. There is little regional variation, although salaries in London and the South-east are higher - a managing director in this area can expect to earn £240,000 and a senior land manager £70,000.

What the authors of the study also point out is that there is scope for young people to climb the career ladder rapidly. The research revealed that employees were reaching the boardroom far quicker than ever before - the average age at director level is much lower than it was five to 10 years ago. For sales directors, it is just 38 and the average age for a managing director is 45.

As far as salaries are concerned, it's all good news for employees too: PSD has identified an "ever-increasing spiral" of salary and packages on offer in the housebuilding sector, which outweigh those found in other comparable areas of the property market. Heald says employers are keeping up to date with salary benchmarking because of the difficulty of luring people from elsewhere to join the property sector. There are more positions available than qualified people, so any unsatisfied employee can easily find another job with a higher salary.

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