What does a Construction Manager do?

Median Pay $91,370
Growth Rate 11%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A construction manager will supervise and manage contractors and laborers at construction sites. Often they meet with architects, specialized trade employees, and civil engineers on projects or upcoming builds. They must address emergencies, work delays, or other problems that affect the construction project.

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Most larger construction companies are looking for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field with courses in science, construction management, and engineering. Experience is usually expected. There are 2-year colleges that offer an associate’s degree which is often adequate with experience. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in construction science, building science, or construction engineering. They will also have courses in design, cost estimation, math, and statistics.

Master’s degrees are also available in construction management. Should you have several years experience in a construction-related field with a high school diploma, it may be possible to gain work as a self-employed general contractor. A certificate of proof of your knowledge and experience though is becoming more common.

Job Description of a Construction Manager

A construction manager’s typical day consists of supervising construction projects from it’s beginning until it’s completion. This supervision includes collaborating with engineers and architects in the building construction of several types of projects, like, bridges, roads, residential, commercial and industrial structures.

These managers consult with developers and builders and make sure the project meets deadline schedules. They may also need to consult with lawyers and government officials or inspectors to meet required regulations on a certain construction project. A construction manager prepares cost estimates, timetables, budgets, and explains any technical and contractual information to other subcontractors or construction workers.

A construction manager can be found working in a main office, but most often are found working in a field office on the job site. If they work on a few projects at one time, some travel may be necessary.

Construction Supervisor and Manager Career Video Transcript

Building above the ground is called construction. Taking materials from beneath the surface is called extraction. Both of these processes require a lot of coordination, someone to make sure that the right job is done, at the exact time it’s needed, as safely as possible.

First line supervisors and managers of construction trades and extraction workers are like orchestra conductors. Queuing each person to play his or her part. They tell equipment operators when to arrive and what their responsibilities will be and make sure there are enough workers at the site to get a job done on schedule. In addition to scheduling, training, and motivating workers, supervisors keep records to document important information. They also have to be able to manage money to keep projects on budget.

Good organizational and communication skills are a necessity. In addition to a high school diploma they might also have training in business methods such as accounting. Many supervisors work alongside the people they manage. In fact, they’re often promoted from the workforce after years of experience. Whether they work underground or high above it, first line supervisors and managers of construction trades and extraction workers do important work for a nation on the move.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Construction Manager.

National Center for O*NET Development. 11-9021.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.