How to Become a Project Manager in Construction
The role of a project manager is essential to the success of any construction project and requires a particular kind of skill set. If you have found yourself wondering about the possibility of pursuing a career in construction management, you need to first determine if you align well with the role.
In this article, we’ll look at the responsibilities, skills, characteristics and educational requirements that go into making a great project manager. If you see yourself fitting in with these roles, you might be ready to begin working towards a career in project management.
What is a construction project manager?
First, it is important to define exactly what a construction project manager is. Essentially the project manager is responsible for overseeing the building process from beginning to end. This means successfully budgeting, organizing, implementing, and scheduling an entire construction project.
Duties and responsibilities
The specific duties of a project manager are vast and often change during the different phases of the construction project.
Some specific responsibilities include:
- — Planning
- — Budget Management
- — Staff Management
- — Resource Allocation
- — Negotiation of Contracts
- — Securing of Building Permits and Licenses
- — Monitoring Construction Progress
- — Monitoring Worker Productivity
- — Compliance with Building and Safety Codes
To be a successful and effective project manager, you also need to have a certain set of skills. Possessing and demonstrating these abilities will show potential employers that you have what it takes to thrive in the project manager role.
These skills include:
- — Time Management
- — Communication Skills
- — General Construction Knowledge
- — Health and Safety Regulation Knowledge
- — Financial and Budget Management Skills
- — Organization and Planning Skills
- — Problem Solving Skills
- — The Ability to Motivate Others
Personal characteristics also come into play when determining whether a career in project management is the right path for you. The life of a construction project manager can get a bit crazy and requires juggling of various different tasks. These traits will help you manage the challenges and obstacles that can come with being a project manager.
Some personal characteristics include:
- — Passion for the construction industry
- — Responsible
- — Leader
- — Team-oriented
- — Positive
- — Level-headed
- — Action-oriented
- — Assertive yet approachable personality
In recent years, project managers are increasingly expected to have a bachelor’s degree in order to pursue a career in the construction field. Undergraduate degrees usually include those such as building science, construction management, project management or engineering, in addition to years of hands on construction experience. Experience in the construction environment is usually gained through internships at construction firms or by working as a craft worker on a construction job. A master’s degree can also serve as extremely beneficial if you wish to work at large or competitive construction firm. There are still possible routes to a career in project management outside the traditional academic route, such as apprenticeships in construction, but this route is becoming less and less common.
Is this the right job for you?
After looking through the responsibilities, skills, characteristics and education that goes into becoming a project manager it is up to you to determine if you see yourself fitting into the position.