Opening Your Eyes to the Incredible Range of Careers in Housing
There are lots of sectors across the economy that you might be considering joining, like digital, technology or the media. Maybe you want to join the trades by becoming an electrician or plumber. Or maybe you don’t have a firm idea what you’d like to do in the future at all!
It’s totally fine whether you have a strong sense of where you’d like to end up or not. What’s important, though, is that you’ve considered all the different areas of the world of work that are out there. This means researching and thinking about some of the jobs that you might not have realised even exist.
To help, we’ve written this blog packed full of info on some of the jobs in the housing sector that you might not know about. Or, you might have heard of many of these jobs, but you might not know that they’re available within the housing sector.
This article is written in partnership with the Housing 2023 Jobs Fair, taking place on Thursday 29th June 2023.
Routes into the housing sector
Before we move on to talking about the huge range of jobs that are available, we also wanted to briefly discuss your options for routes into the housing sector. As an industry, there are a huge range of routes into the housing sector, particularly focusing on early career entry points like apprenticeships.
Check out this video to hear from 2 apprentices from the Great Places Housing Group.
The Range of Careers in Housing
So, what kinds of jobs make up the huge range of careers available in housing? Read on to find out and discover the incredible variety of jobs that make up the sector. Some of these might be more obvious, other less so – but taken together they demonstrate the huge breadth of careers in housing.
Construction is one area of a housing career that might seem obvious. However, even amongst this set of careers there are still jobs that might surprise you. Of course, there are the jobs you’ve probably already thought of like being an architect or labourer working on building new houses, but there are also jobs in development and surveying to examine and agree sites for new developments and finance to weigh up whether a scheme is viable. Plus, there’s a big push on retrofitting at the moment – it is estimated that in the next five years there will be 430,000 new jobs created in retrofitting, and 130,000 will be in the housing sector alone. The work involves improving the environmental performance of older homes by improving insulation and fitting heat pumps to reduce emissions by up to 21% and save households an average of £430 per year. Longer term, there is a 28 year plan to retrofit every household in England, which at its core would create 1.2 million direct jobs and 1.5 million indirect jobs. So – jobs in construction within the housing sector aren’t just about building new houses!
Housing and property management
Another area that you might already know about is jobs in housing and property management. Social Housing is about renting homes to those in housing need. In Greater Manchester 21% of the population live in social housing – that’s 243,000 households. All those homes have to be maintained by plumbers, joiners, electricians, roofers, all the green spaces around them need the grass cutting and the borders and trees looking after and some of the communal areas need caretaking. People who live in those properties pay rent – this needs collecting and in some cases the tenants need advice on how to manage their money and benefits. Neighbours fall out, which often needs expert mediation and sometimes legal processes have to be instigated to evict tenants causing problems. Housing Officers deal with all this and more. They are sometimes called the ‘fourth emergency service’ because that what they are to many tenants. For the people delivering those services it can be demanding but also very rewarding. Giving someone the keys to their new home is one of the best jobs in the world!
Customer service, care and support
An area of the housing sector you might not have thought about is the range of roles available in customer service, care and support. Of course, there are standard customer service roles such as working in a contact centre, taking calls from tenants that need a repair or help with paying their rent, but there are also a range of roles available in customer care and support. This includes things like supporting older people living in sheltered accommodation, people with drug and alcohol challenges, young single mums, people escaping domestic violence and roles in homelessness prevention – the housing sector forms a key part of the response to homelessness, so this is another rewarding area of the sector that you could look into joining.
The trades are another area of the housing sector where you might already be aware of the range of opportunities. These include a huge variety of trades, like plumbing, joinery, electrician, plastering, roofing, painting and decorating, bricklaying, and many more. Many tradespeople choose to work with large housing companies either as a member of staff or contracting in to work on certain jobs.
As with many other large companies, there are lots of roles available within business support in the housing sector. This includes things like finance, HR, legal support and governance roles. For many people, housing associations and other businesses in the housing sector are opportunities to pursue their career in finance or HR in a fulfilling area of the economy where they feel they are doing good things. Many people speak of the rewarding nature of careers in housing, as they give people good homes to live in.
IT and tech support
Housing providers are big organisations, with much of their work being delivered out in neighbourhoods. This creates challenges to make sure everyone has the information they need, when they need it, whether in a customer’s home, in their vans or in community centres. Customer Relationship Management or CRM systems as well as huge databases holding tenant information are critical to keep track of every customer contact. There are also finance, HR and health and safety systems which all need to be working smoothly. All housing providers have IT teams making all this happen. The help staff when they forget their passwords etc, maintain all they existing systems and also designing, building and implementing new systems. They also have to make sure the systems infrastructure is robust and secure. Protecting systems from hackers or accidental release of data is a growth area of opportunity. If you are interested in tech, take a look at Cyber Security as a career.
Communications and marketing
Similarly to business support, roles in communications and marketing are popular within the housing sector. This includes a wide range of roles across the marketing industry – from digital to print to websites. As with business support, many people see it as an opportunity to work in marketing but within a fulfilling area of the economy.
Find out more about roles in the housing sector at the housing show, or by visiting the Great Places website. You can also find out more by reading our LMI poster on the construction industry.