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
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 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.
- Associated General Contractors of America
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- American Institute of Constructors
- Construction Management Association of America
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.