Construction Manager Job Description
Construction managers participate in the development of construction projects by overseeing the budgeting, organization, implementation, and scheduling of the projects. They often work closely with engineers, architects, and other specialists who contribute to the success of their projects.
Construction managers may work as general contractors, or they may choose to specialize and focus their career on one type of construction. Depending on the path they choose, they may be responsible for building bridges, schools, hospitals, homes, commercial properties, or any other type of structure that needs to be built.
When working on a very large project (like a bridge, hospital, or skyscraper), it’s common that there will be many construction managers on the job, with each one overseeing a particular part of the project.
Managing and hiring workers is a very important part of this occupation. Because so many areas of construction are specialized, construction managers normally hire large groups of subcontractors and laborers on a per-job basis. It is their job to make sure that each group completes their task on time, and within the allotted budget.
Different municipalities have their own requirements for building permits and licenses, and it often comes down to the construction manager to secure the necessary permissions and ensure that the building meets all required regulations.
Work Environment and Schedule
Construction managers split their time between their office and construction sites. Frequent travel is common in this occupation, as many managers split their time between different projects.
This is a deadline-driven profession, and the pressure to deliver on-time and on-budget can be immense. Many construction managers are on call at all times, and strict deadlines often require working hours that go far beyond the normal 9-5 schedule.
Depending on the type of construction being performed, night and weekend work may also be required. Some projects (such as bridge repair) must take place at night to avoid causing major delays.
How to Become a Construction Manager
Some construction managers start out as construction workers, and gradually move up through the ranks until they were promoted to the construction manager position.
Increasingly, employers are requiring their construction managers to have bachelor’s degrees in a related field. Architecture, engineering, and construction science majors are highly sought after.
It’s rare for anyone to be hired as a construction manager straight out of college. Normally, there is a training period where they will act as an assistant to a manager until they learn the trade and are confident they can perform it on their own.
Certifications are available for construction managers, but are not always required. The American Institute of Constructors and the Construction Management Association of America both offer certifications.
There are currently 551,000 construction managers in the United States, with 13,770 new construction manager job openings created each year.
Construction Manager jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Construction Manager Salaries
Construction Manager salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most construction managers make between $64,100 – $112,600 per year, or $30.80 – $54.15 per hour.