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A day in the life of a Building Surveyor: James Bowen

Meet James Bowen, one of our Associate Building Surveyors here at Barker. James is based in our Braintree office and has a wide range of experience across the commercial and educational sector. His Job role ranges from project management, to office fit outs and refurbishment projects to management of his team.

We wanted to know more about James’ day to day life as a Building Surveyor, so we grabbed him for a quick chat to learn more:

Can you outline your typical working day?

My day is very varied and more often than not very hectic. A typical day starts off with a review of the team, I check in with how they are getting on and see if there is any important work due to be completed that day. I then tend to find myself checking specs, assisting with tender reports and drawing packages. Managing a team means I also have to ensure our apprentices have sufficient workload and any new commissions are resourced appropriately across the team. At some point in the day, I manage to squeeze in a couple of coffees and lunch and then the afternoon is often full of general administration, like checking projection forecasts and pipeline work. Oh, and not to forget those days where I am out of the office and attending site meetings.

What drew you to building surveying?

I had always grown up around building sites as my dad was a bricklayer. My chosen work experience whilst at school was at a surveying practice, this is where I established that I really enjoyed the mixture of office-based work and being out on site. Surveying is a great profession with good career opportunities, and I had always aspired to manage construction projects.

Why Barker?

I had known of Barker for a long time, dating back to my university days when they sponsored an award. When I was given the opportunity to talk to a couple of the Partners here, I took the leap from my previous role and haven’t looked back. Having predominantly worked in education projects before, moving to Barker was a good fit.

What is your favourite aspect of the job?

I really enjoy overseeing the team and assisting the apprentices to develop in their career. Watching the company grow exponentially during my time here has also been great.

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