2018 median Pay for Construction Management
The median annual wage for construction managers was $93,370 in May 2018.
For those managing multiple projects, frequent travel between sites is required. Work Schedules Most construction managers work full time. However, the need to meet deadlines and to respond to delays and emergencies often requires construction managers to work many additional hours. Many construction managers may also be on call 24 hours a day. About 1 in 3 construction managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2016.
Number of Jobs for Construction Management
Number of Jobs in 2018 was 403,800
Job Outlook for Construction Management
Employment of construction managers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Construction managers are expected to be needed to oversee the anticipated increase in construction activity over the coming decade. Those with a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, or civil engineering, coupled with construction experience, will have the best job prospects.
Job description of Construction Management
Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.
Construction managers typically do the following:
- Prepare cost estimates, budgets, and work timetables
- Interpret and explain contracts and technical information to other professionals
- Report work progress and budget matters to clients
- Collaborate with architects, engineers, and other construction specialists
- Select subcontractors and schedule and coordinate their activities
- Respond to work delays, emergencies, and other problems
- Comply with legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations
Construction managers, often called general contractors or project managers, coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of public, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, as well as roads, memorials, and bridges. Either a general contractor or a construction manager oversees the construction phase of a project, but a construction manager may also consult with the client during the design phase to help refine construction plans and control costs.
Construction managers oversee specialized contractors and other personnel. They schedule and coordinate all construction processes so that projects meet design specifications. They ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Some construction managers may be responsible for several projects at once—for example, the construction of multiple apartment buildings.
Construction managers work closely with other building specialists, such as architects, civil engineers, and a variety of trade workers, including stonemasons, electricians, and carpenters. Projects may require specialists in everything from structural steel and painting to landscaping, paving roads, and excavating sites. Depending on the project, construction managers may interact with lawyers and local government officials. For example, when working on city-owned property or municipal buildings, construction managers sometimes confer with city inspectors to ensure that all regulations are met.
For projects too large to be managed by one person, such as office buildings and industrial complexes, a top-level construction manager hires other construction managers to be in charge of different aspects of the project. For example, each construction manager would oversee a specific phase of the project, such as structural foundation, plumbing, or electrical work, and choose subcontractors to complete it. The top-level construction manager would then collaborate and coordinate with the other construction managers.
To maximize efficiency and productivity, construction managers often perform the tasks of a cost estimator. They use specialized cost-estimating and planning software to show how to allocate time and money in order to complete their projects. Many construction managers also use software to plan the best way to get materials to the building site.
How to become Construction Management
Construction managers typically must have a bachelor’s degree, and learn management techniques through on-the-job training. Large construction firms increasingly prefer candidates with both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field. Although some individuals with a high school diploma and many years of experience in a construction trade may be hired as construction managers, these individuals are typically qualified to become self-employed general contractors.
Although there are various ways to enter this occupation, it is becoming increasingly important for construction managers to have a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering. As construction processes become more complex, employers are placing greater importance on specialized education.
More than 100 colleges and universities offer accredited bachelor’s degree programs in construction science, building science, or construction engineering. These programs include courses in project control and management, design, construction methods and materials, cost estimation, building codes and standards, and contract administration. Courses in mathematics and statistics are also relevant.
More than fifty 2-year colleges offer construction management or construction technology programs. An associate’s degree combined with work experience is typical for managers who supervise smaller projects.
A few universities offer master’s degree programs in construction management.
Jobseekers with a high school diploma and several years of relevant work experience may qualify to become a construction manager, although most are qualified to become self-employed general contractors.
New construction managers are typically hired as assistants and work under the guidance of an experienced manager. This training period may last several months to several years, depending on the firm.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
If the typical education is not obtained, practical construction experience is important for jobseekers, because it reduces the need for initial on-the-job training. Internships, cooperative education programs, and previous work in the construction industry can provide that experience. Some construction managers become qualified solely through extensive construction experience, spending many years in carpentry, masonry, or other construction specialties.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although not required, certification is valuable because it can demonstrate that a person has gained knowledge and experience.
The Construction Management Association of America awards the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) designation to workers who have the required experience and who pass a technical exam. It is recommended that applicants for this certification complete a self-study course that covers the professional role of a construction manager, legal issues, the allocation of risk, and other topics related to construction management.
The American Institute of Constructors awards the Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) designations to candidates who meet its requirements and pass the appropriate construction exams.
Some states require licensure for construction managers. For more information, contact your state licensing board.
Analytical skills. Construction managers plan project strategies, handle unexpected issues and delays, and solve problems that arise over the course of the project. In addition, many managers use cost-estimating and planning software to determine costs and the materials and time required to complete projects.
Business skills. Construction managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Choosing competent staff and establishing good working relationships with them is critical.
Customer-service skills. Construction managers are in constant contact with owners, inspectors, and the public. They must form good working relationships with these people and ensure their needs are met.
Decisionmaking skills. Construction managers choose personnel and subcontractors for specific tasks and jobs. Often, these choices must be made quickly to meet deadlines and budgets.
Initiative. Self-employed construction managers generate their own business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients. They often market their services and bid on jobs, and they must also learn to perform special home improvement projects, such as installing mosaic glass tiles, sanding wood floors, and insulating homes.
Leadership skills. Construction managers must effectively delegate tasks to construction workers, subcontractors, and other lower level managers.
Speaking skills. Construction managers must give clear orders, explain complex information to construction workers and clients, and discuss technical details with other building specialists, such as architects. Self-employed construction managers must get their own projects, so the need to sell their services to potential clients is critical.
Technical skills. Construction managers must know construction methods and technologies, and must be able to interpret contracts and technical drawings.
Time-management skills. Construction managers must meet deadlines. They ensure that construction phases are completed on time so that the next phase can begin as scheduled. For instance, a building’s foundation cannot be constructed until the land is completely excavated.
Writing skills. Construction managers must write proposals, plans, and budgets, as well as document the progress of the work for clients and others involved in the building process.
What people in similar profession do
|Job Title||What they do||How to become one|
|Operations Management and Supervision||Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.||Typically, a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science, plus related work experience, is required. Many computer and information systems managers also have a graduate degree. Education Computer and information systems managers normally must have a bachelor’s degree in a computer- or information science–related field. These degrees include courses in computer programming, software development, and mathematics.|
|Non-Profit, Public, Organizational Management||Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They manage workers who provide social services to the public.||Social and community service managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and work experience. However, some positions also require a master’s degree. Education Most social and community service manager jobs require a bachelor’s degree in social work, public or business administration, public health, or a related field. However, some positions also require a master’s degree. Work Experience Workers usually need experience in order to become a social and community service manager, and it is essential for those with a bachelor’s degree.|
|Accounting , Accountancy||Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.||Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Certification, including the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential, can improve job prospects. Education Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.|
|Human Resources Management||Compensation and benefits managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to compensate employees.||Compensation and benefits managers need a combination of education and related work experience. Education Compensation and benefits managers typically need a bachelor’s degree for most positions. Managers usually need a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, business management, finance, or a related field. Work Experience in a Related Occupation Work experience is essential for compensation and benefits managers. Managers often specialize in either compensation or benefits, depending on the type of experience they gain in previous jobs.|
|Finance||Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.||Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, most top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience. Education Many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work. Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). College presidents and school superintendents are typically required to have a master’s degree, although a doctorate is often preferred. Although many mayors, governors, or other public sector executives have at least a bachelor’s degree, these positions typically do not have any specific education requirements. Work Experience in a Related Occupation Many top executives advance within their own firm, moving up from lower level management occupations or supervisory positions.|
|Finance and Financial Management Services||Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.||Financial managers typically have a bachelor’s degree and 5 years or more of experience in another business or financial occupation, such as an accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst. Education A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration is often the minimum education needed for financial managers. However, many employers now seek candidates with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, finance, accounting, or economics. These academic programs help students develop analytical skills and learn financial analysis methods and software. Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations Although professional certification is not required, some financial managers still get it to demonstrate a level of competence.|
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|Marketing Management||Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.||A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. These managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales. Education A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism.|
|Taxation||Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.||Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Certification, including the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential, can improve job prospects. Education Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.|
Job Outlook for other majors in Business Administration and Management -MBA
|Job Title||Number of jobs||Median Salary||Job outlook|
|Operations Management and Supervision||367600||$142530||Faster than average|
|Non-Profit, Public, Organizational Management||147300||$65320||Much faster than average|
|Accounting , Accountancy||1397700||$70500||Faster than average|
|Human Resources Management||15800||$121010||As fast as average|
|Finance||2572000||$104980||As fast as average|
|Finance and Financial Management Services||580400||$127990||Much faster than average|
|Management Information Systems||367600||$142530||Faster than average|
|Marketing Management||249600||$132620||Faster than average|
|Taxation||1397700||$70500||Faster than average|