Construction managers are responsible for all operations involved in construction projects. They plan, oversee, orchestrate and budget these projects. These managers lead construction projects for all types of edifices and infrastructures. They act as the overall supervisors for a project, with tasks such as recruiting personnel, negotiating with contractors and scheduling work of all project crew to match the construction phase. Construction managers are in charge of all workers, but don’t perform actual construction work themselves. Also known as project managers, construction superintendents, project engineers or general constructors, construction managers may be salaried or self-employed.
Construction managers orchestrate and supervise a construction project from its conceptual development stage through final construction within schedule and budget. They interact with owners, engineers and architects who are part of the operation. Large construction projects are broken down into phases site preparation, building construction, and building systems. Construction managers find market for materials, research on the best and most cost-effective way to procure them, set deadlines for projects, use data systems to research for the most efficient construction technique and determine labor requirements of the project. They are also responsible for supervising work crew, obtaining all necessary permits and licenses, ensuring everyone adhere to all building codes, rules, ordinances and regulations, supervising construction logistics such as delivery of materials, equipments and tools, and enforcing safety regulations for all workers.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a construction manager, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree in construction management or science, building science or civil engineering. Most employers prefer construction managers to have work experience. Another route one can take without needing a bachelor’s degree is an associate’s degree plus years of related work experience. No certification is required for this job.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
The ability to multi task together with good analytical, computer, communication, leadership and teamwork skills are needed to enable the manager to perform his tasks well.
The field serves as the office of construction managers. They travel extensively when the site is far from home and if they are managing multiple construction sites. Some managers follow a standard 40-hour workweek, but most of them are on call 24 hours a day. Extended work hours are expected on the job, particularly when meeting project deadlines. Although the construction manager does not directly work on dangerous tasks, the site location may lead to injuries and accidents, so safety precautions must be followed.
A construction manager makes $61,000 annually on average. Factors such as size of company, location, nature of the industry, benefits and experience may cause salaries to vary considerably among construction managers.