Construction Managers picture    Construction Managers image

Construction Managers

Construction managers plan, oversee, coordinate and develop budgets for a wide array of construction projects. Construction managers coordinate and oversee the construction project beginning with the conceptual development stage all the way through the final construction. They're objective is complete the project within budget and on time. Some sample job titles include constructors, project managers, general contractors and project engineers.

Construction managers are involved with the construction of residential, industrial and commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges. Construction managers may oversee the entire construction project or just one or several portions of the project, especially on large projects. They're responsible for scheduling and coordinating construction procedures including the hiring of specialty trade contractors.


  • Direct and observe the progress of construction activities
  • Determine the best way to get materials to the construction site
  • Oversee the work of trade contractors
  • Determine the most cost effective plan and schedule for completing the construction project
  • Determine the labor requirements for a project
  • Estimate the time and budget requirements to meet deadlines
  • Oversee the selection of trade contractors and general contractors
  • Try to get the construction project completed on schedule
  • Obtain all required permits and licenses

Job Characteristics

Construction managers work from a main office or from an office at the construction site. They collaborate with engineers, architects, property owners, contracting firm managers and developers. They need good communication and interpersonal skills. They also need to be able to give clear directions.

Sometimes construction managers have to travel between two different sites they are managing. They might have extensive travel when the main office is not close to the construction site. Some construction managers work in a foreign country and have a temporary residence. Construction managers are often on call 24 hours a day. They may have to deal with emergencies on the job site. They sometimes work more than 40 hours a week.

Employment Outlook

Employment of construction managers is forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to increase by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018 which is faster than average for all occupations.

The desire to make buildings more energy efficient should create more demand for construction managers that are involved with retrofitting buildings. More demand for construction managers may also occur due to replacing portions of the country's infrastructure including roads, bridges and water and sewer pipes.

In 2008 the median annual wages of salaried construction managers was $79,860. The highest paid 10 percent earned over $145,920. Some construction managers receive a salary and others are self-employed managers. Approximately 60 percent of construction managers are self-employed.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

A bachelor's degree in construction management, construction science, civil engineering or building science is becoming the norm for construction manager positions. However, some experienced construction workers may be able to move up to a managerial position, particularly those that have an appropriate associate degree or related college coursework along with construction experience. Practical experience is very important for the profession.

Construction supervisors and owners of speciality contracting firms sometimes become construction managers. However, due to construction processes becoming increasingly complex, employers are giving more emphasis to specialized education. Those with degrees in architecture and engineering that have gained experience on construction projects also enter construction management.

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs typically begin their careers as assistant project managers, field engineers, cost estimators or schedulers.

Bachelor's degree programs include classes in site planning, project control, construction methods, design, cost estimating, contract administration, building codes and standards, and value analysis. They also provide courses in accounting, architectural sciences, information technology, mathematics, statistics, business and financial management and other subjects.

Some colleges and universities offer a master's degree in construction management or construction science. Those with a master's degree and construction experience usually become construction managers for very large construction or construction management companies. Numerous two-year colleges provide construction management or construction technology programs.


Major Employers

The primary job providing sectors are nonresidential building construction, building equipment contractors, specialty trade contractors; foundation, structure and building exterior contractors; residential building construction, construction management firms, contracting companies, property owners and developers.

Schools for Construction Managers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Construction Managers

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Construction Managers jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 11,140 $100,640
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 9,280 $103,150
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 7,330 $95,620
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 5,830 $104,190
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 5,410 $126,100
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 5,000 $96,100
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 4,720 $86,490
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 4,190 $107,260
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 3,820 $93,520
San Diego-Carlsbad 3,690 $96,590

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Construction Managers

Use our handy tool to see what employment and salary numbers look like for two different metro areas

Select State
Select Metro Area 1
Select Metro Area 2

Total employment and salary for professions similar to construction managers

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Construction Managers

To find out more about building a career as Construction Managers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Construction Managers

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Construction 94,840 43% $77,890
Construction Trades 63,620 28% $79,750
Civil Engineering 24,160 10% $82,920
Professional And Technical Services 12,130 5% $85,430
Government 8,360 3% $72,580
Real Estate 4,850 2% $89,660
Business Management 3,000 1% $88,570
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
Results:  5
Matching School Ads
  • Degree - Construction Management
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
camnpus icon
Request Info
  • HVAC Technician (11-month diploma program)
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
camnpus icon
Request Info
  • Electrical Training Program
  • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
  • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
camnpus icon
Rancho Cordova
Request Info
  • HVAC/R
  • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
  • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
  • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
camnpus icon
Cathedral City
Request Info

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started


Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

camnpus icon
National City
Request Info

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Construction Managers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top