A GUIDE TO CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

5 min readConstruction Management – A Complete Guide

If you aren’t interested in doing a typical desk job, the construction industry could be the right choice for you. In this job, you will get to spend a lot of time outside, with a good pay package at the management level, and of course, you get to be a part of a magnificent structure constructed under your management.

The primary responsibilities of a Construction manager are to coordinate activities and supervise employees on construction sites. They not only oversee the day-to-day operations but are responsible for financing and hiring personnel. They have usually experienced construction employees who have received formal education (either an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, or another similar field to become a construction manager) and completed apprenticeship training.

But the question that arises over here is how you will know if this is the right career for you? If yes, then where do you begin? Before we answer all these questions for you, you must know that Construction managers require a specific set of skills, good character skills, and a few more qualities that not many people have.

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In this guide, we will break down everything you need to know about construction management.

Let’s begin with an overview to discuss the most common question, what does a construction manager do?

What does a construction manager do?

Construction managers play a significant role in construction projects. They are responsible for deciding components such as timeline and budget allocation. They must ensure that a construction project is successfully executed from start to finish. Unlike other construction workers, a manager would have a temporary office on the construction site, making it easier for them to monitor activities and make decisions.

Other than this significant responsibility, construction management duties include:

  • Submitting bids
  • Construction document management
  • Communicating with clients and the firm’s owner
  • Managing the workforce
  • Filing a construction daily report and more

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities for construction managers are expected to increase much faster than average from 2019-2029. The median construction manager salary was $95,260 in 2019.

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Requirements to Become a Construction Manager

Below discussed are the basic steps and requirements needed to become a construction manager. Follow these steps to begin your career.

Bachelor’s degree

The essential requirement is to have a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in construction science, construction management, or another similar field to become a construction manager. Most established construction companies want a manager with a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university.

In the bachelor’s degree, you are most likely to learn about materials, manage a workforce, develop a building project, maintain building codes, and other intricacies that come with construction management.

However, Even if you get a job in this field without a degree, you’ll be required to have one in the future if you want to apply for a big company or apply for a higher position.

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Get an entry-level construction job.

It is recommended that you apply for an entry-level job in construction in the final year of your degree. This will provide you to attain construction experience, such as flooring, masonry, and roofing, painting, or carpentry positions till the time you graduate.

Thus, giving you an excellent chance to get selected in big construction companies as a degree combined with on-the-job experience shows firms you know what goes on at a construction site. You have the expertise to manage a group of workers.

Apprenticeship 

It is the best experience you can get in the construction industry, so seek a job as an assistant for a construction manager. It will provide you with the right expertise you would require to become a construction manager. You can’t skip this step because construction firms hire people who can handle complex risk management and other aspects of this demanding position. With prior experience, you can be the right choice for a company.

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Get certified

This isn’t a mandatory requirement to become a certified construction manager, but it will be great for your resume. There are various certificates, each certificate having its specializations. Courses may occur in specific building methods or technologies, such as cabinetry and carpentry, building inspection and code enforcement technology, and construction management. These programs teach students skills like planning, directing, and monitoring the completion of a building project and inspecting each construction phase. Students learn about contracts, building plans, and construction codes. They also learn how to develop management and financial skills while studying construction processes and theory.

Choose a field

If you don’t want to be a general construction manager, you can become a civil engineer, senior claims analyst, designer, building inspector, or contract manager. Choose the career field you’re most passionate about.

Career Options

Graduates with degrees in construction management can continue to specialize in specific aspects of the construction industry or become general managers. Here are descriptions of a few career options that are available.

Cost Estimator

The cost estimator’s primary job is to predict the expense of a construction project, including labor costs, material expenditures, and possible overruns. They need to take into account all cost factors of the construction. They frequently specialize in one process or area, such as labor or equipment costs. Most cost estimators are expected to have a bachelor’s degree or extensive experience in their field or specialty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for a cost estimator was $72,960 as of May 2020.

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Construction Manager

Construction managers manage the overall completion of a project or a specialized area. These include building systems or site clearance, depending on the size of the project. Construction managers can have various job titles, including constructor, supervisor, project engineer, and project manager. Regardless of their specialization or title, they are responsible for completing the job on time and within its budget. The BLS reported that in 2020, construction managers earned a mean annual wage of $107,260.

Site Engineer

The site engineer’s job is to organize materials, ensure sites are safe and clean, provide technical advice and suggestions for improvement on particular projects, and negotiate with suppliers and vendors to ensure the best contracts. They use their skills and expertise to guide crew members and ensure the successful completion of a project. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for a site engineer was $83,540.

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Top universities for Construction Management

Arizona State University

Arizona State University, Tempe is one of the top universities for studying construction management. ASU – Tempe is a public university located in the city of Tempe. This university ranks 276th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Arizona. For those interested in something more advanced, ASU – Tempe also offers two different higher degree levels in construction management, the most popular of which is a Master’s Degree. Construction Management majors from Arizona State University – Tempe earn a boost of around $6,592 over the typical earnings of construction management majors.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is among the top schools to pursue construction management as a major. It is a public school located in the city of Blacksburg, Virginia. It has a College rank of 88 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Virginia Tech is a great school overall. In addition to its bachelor’s programs, Virginia Tech offers Master’s Degrees in construction management. Students who graduate from this program report average early career earnings of $64,200.

Roger Williams University

RWU is a small private, not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Bristol. This university ranks 300th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Rhode Island. Students from the construction management program at Roger Williams University get $2,692 above the typical graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Wentworth Institute of Technology is an excellent option for students interested in a Construction Management degree. WIT is a small private, not-for-profit school located in the city of Boston. This school ranks 445th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts. Wentworth Institute of Technology construction management graduates earn $5,792 more than the standard construction management graduate.

We would suggest that before taking any decision regarding your career, think it over twice.

Construction project management is a rewarding career, but the reward doesn’t come at the initial stage. It requires persistence and dedication to rise to the top. If you are still confused, you could take a short-term construction job to see how you like the work or Talk to a few people you know in the industry and recommend this job.