A construction manager is in charge of all personnel on a construction site. They may need to manage and delegate tasks to different types of construction workers, laborers, and specialty subcontract workers, depending on the type of construction job they’re working on. Construction managers are responsible for ensuring the entire project is completed correctly and on time, which includes planning the budget, coordinating work, complying with legal codes, and responding quickly to emergencies or problems.
When planning and overseeing a job, a construction manager may be responsible for meeting with:
- Civil engineers;
With so much responsibility, it’s no wonder a construction manager is required to have certain qualities, skills, education, and experience. Learn more about what most construction companies look for when hiring a construction manager to find out if it’s the right job for you.
Construction Manager Qualities and Skills
To be successful as a construction manager, there are many qualities and skills you need to possess, including:
- Attention to detail;
- Experience in construction;
- Math skills;
- Excellent communication;
- Customer service skills;
- Supervisory and management skills;
- Mathematical and business experience;
- Analytical skills.
Many of these skills are developed while gaining experience in the construction industry but the motivation to fine-tune and sharpen these skills is crucial to the success of a construction manager.
How Much Do Construction Managers Make?
Construction managers earned an average salary of $95,260 in May 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest salaries were earned in the heavy and civil engineering and the nonresidential building construction fields.
It’s projected that employment for construction managers will grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. These construction manager job openings may be focused on:
- Infrastructure improvements.
- Residential building construction.
- Commercial building construction.
With constant improvements in technology, construction managers are expected to keep up with fast-moving trends to successfully accomplish the most advanced jobs.
Construction Manager Requirements
Construction managers are generally expected to have completed higher education and possess experience in the construction industry. When you consider the education and experience that most companies require before hiring a construction manager, it can take a few years to qualify for the position.
Construction managers who plan to work for a construction company are usually required to earn a bachelor’s or two-year degree in a related field, such as architecture or construction science.
With a two-year degree, graduates must prove they have several years of experience in the construction field before they’re hired. Some universities also offer master’s degree programs in construction management. Courses in these specializations mainly focus on statistics, management, design, and math.
Aspiring construction managers who don’t have a higher education may still enter the field. However, they’re most likely to be general contractors working for themselves. Workers in the construction field who want to move up to a management position are more likely to be promoted if they’ve obtained higher education and years of experience in the industry, especially managing other workers.
Work Experience and Training
Some construction companies may hire construction managers as soon as they earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree. However, they may still be required to complete on-the-job training with an experienced manager for months or years, depending on the company.
Graduates who enter into an internship or apprenticeship after completing their higher education may have a shorter training period before becoming a construction manager. Jobseekers who have not completed higher education but who have years of experience in the field may still be hired but will require more extensive mentorship and training before they can perform the job unsupervised.
Construction Manager Licenses and Certifications
Some states require that construction managers are licensed as general contractors to legally perform their jobs. A general contractor license must be kept up-to-date for a construction manager to manage a job. Self-employed construction managers should also learn about the business license types they may need to carry to legally operate in their state.
While certifications are not mandatory, getting certified is a good way for construction managers to stand out to potential employers and clients. A construction manager can become a Certified Construction Manager (CCM) through the Construction Management Association of America.
To earn this certification, applicants must have either a bachelor’s degree, a two-year degree with at least four years of experience in the field, or no degree with at least eight years of experience. Additionally, applicants must prove they have at least 48 months of experience in an in-charge position on at least one construction project, across multiple phases. Once they’ve proven they meet these requirements, they must pass a technical exam to earn their certification, which may require the completion of a self-study course.
To earn the Associate Constructor (AC) or Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) certifications through the American Institute of Constructors, managers must meet certain educational and experience requirements and pass mandatory exams. These certifications show their commitment to the industry and prove they have the knowledge, experience, and skills to handle complex construction management jobs.
Examples of Construction Management Jobs and Titles
In 2019, 38% of all construction managers in the U.S. were self-employed. If you’re self-employed and want your small business to succeed, becoming a construction manager may be helpful.
As a construction manager, you may be responsible for several projects, which require you to manage different aspects of a construction site. Depending on the types of jobs you take on, your job title could be one of the following:
- Project Manager;
- Project Engineer.
Depending on the project you’re working on, you may also be responsible for various job duties, which may include the following:
- Cost Estimator;
- Landscape Planner;
When you learn how to perform these different jobs within the construction industry, you expand your skills and knowledge. This makes you more attractive to potential clients as a self-employed construction manager and more appealing to potential employers within the industry.
Learning more about the job duties and requirements associated with a construction manager position will help you determine if it’s the right career for you. If you have a passion for the industry and the desire to manage construction projects, you may want to consider striving to become a construction manager.