Construction managers, also known as construction project managers, oversee and allocate resources for various construction projects. A construction project manager controls the time, cost, and quality of construction projects. Projects can vary from residential, commercial, and industrial buildings to bridges and skyscrapers. Construction project managers are a part of the building process from the very beginning, working closely with engineers and architects to develop plans, establish timetables, and determine labor and material costs. They also hire and manage subcontractors and employees, gather permits, and make sure everything is up to code.
The construction manager needs to ensure that all of the work is done properly, on time, and within the projected budget. You will also need to be certain that the construction project is in compliance with all current building codes as well as any other legal or regulatory requirements. You’ll obtain the materials and equipment – from nails to bulldozers – necessary to complete the project, and negotiate contracts with vendors, architects, and contractors. When difficulties come up – and they always do – the construction project manager is the person responsible for dealing with it, and moving the project forward. Frequent challenges include inclement weather, emergencies, and resolving disputes with clients and employees. Construction project managers establish the estimates, budgets, and construction timetables for the project. You’ll also hire subcontractors and workers, direct their work efforts, and coordinate and collaborate between engineers, architects, and vendors.
Construction Project Management Software For Smooth Operations
With several hundred moving parts of an entire construction project it is absolutely crucial that construction managers remain organized. Between micro managing budgets, tracking RFIs, hiring subcontractors, renting supplies and equipment, minding building codes, delivery dates, and client expectations; it would be very easy for a project manager to lose track of something important. Using a construction project management software is the only surefire strategy to ensure a smooth project.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor’s degree is becoming increasingly necessary for construction project managers. There are quite a few university engineering programs available, with over 100 colleges offering a four-year degree in the field. A number of 2-year colleges also offer associate’s degrees in construction technology and management programs. Employers generally prefer to hire construction managers with a degree in a related field, like construction management, architecture, or engineering. While certification isn’t required to work in the construction industry, voluntary certification is valuable because it provides evidence of competence and experience. There are two industry associations offering certification in construction management: The American Institute of Constructors, and the Construction Management Association of America.
Construction project managers frequently begin as assistant construction managers, though this apprenticeship may last less than a year. Prospective managers might work as management assistants after graduation. Construction managers who rely solely on work experience may spend years working as interns, carpenters, or supervisors, before working as a construction project manager.
Current Pay and Outlook
The average wage for construction project managers nationally is $94,590, an hourly wage of $45.47. The median, representing the wage at the exact center of the pay scale, is $85,630, as of May 2014, according to the BLS. Ninety percent of all construction project managers earn more than $50,990 annually and 10 percent earn over $150,250 per year.
Related: Forecasting 2015 Construction Market
Jobs in construction management are expected to grow about as fast as other jobs, at approximately 16 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS Occupational Handbook.