Clerk of Works monitor the work of companies that carry out construction contracts for their employer or client.A Clerk of Works makes sure that work is carried out to the client's standards, specification and schedule. That includes making sure that the right materials are used and that the work is of good quality and value for money.

A Clerk of Works should have a wide understanding of the building industry, including knowledge of materials, trades, methods and legal requirements; be physically fit and enjoy working outdoors.

Employers include local authorities, health authorities, government departments, large industrial and retail companies, architectural practices and consultancy firms. There are no set qualifications to become a clerk of works but relevant experience is essential. It is usual to become a clerk of works after some years' experience at craft or technician level in construction or civil engineering.

Entrants may work towards NVQs/SVQs in site inspection at levels 3 and 4. Clerk of works may also work towards different levels of membership of the Institute of Clerks of Works (ICWCI).  Progression is possible to site management or other management roles in construction.

Clerk of works on the job duties and responsibilities

  • 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.

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.

Clerk of Works expected salary

Salaries range from around £30,000 a year for a new entrant to over £50,000 a year for those with experience.

Contact the Construction Division Team

Email the Construction Division at

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