What do Construction Managers Do?
Any successful construction project has a competent construction manager overseeing each and every detail. In this position, you plan and direct construction activities, often delegating tasks to managers in specific trades, such as plumbing, carpentry or electric. This job includes many facets, including budgeting, scheduling and creation and implementation of the construction plan. There is expected to be 16 percent annual growth for this position nationwide, resulting in 15,460 openings each year. The majority of these openings are forecast to be in nonresidential construction, with residential construction following.
Construction Managers Skills and Abilities
To successfully manage construction projects, you need to have a broad set of skills, ranging from an expertise in building and construction practices to a firm grounding in administrative and management principles. Effective communication skills, along with the ability to solve complex problems, are crucial to excelling in this position.
Construction Managers Duties
It is the job of the construction manager to ensure that a building project progresses smoothly. That begins with planning the project, creating a schedule and coordinating individual jobs to meet project deadlines. As the project moves forward, you would be tasked with submitting budget estimates, tracking costs and providing progress reports. Additional duties include:
- Using data to improve business decisions
- Preparing reports and other relevant documents
- Supervising employees
- Inspecting work
- Managing the project budget
Construction Managers Tools and Technology
Construction managers use a variety of technology and tools to do their work. In this position, you’ll use a desktop or laptop computer more often than you’ll swing a hammer. And a smartphone is crucial for communication when you’re off-site. When you are on-site, proficiency with measuring tools, such levels and lasers, helps you inspect work that has been completed or is in progress. Computer programs commonly used by construction managers include:
- Analytical software
- Scheduling software
- Document management software
- Project management software
Education and Training for Construction Managers
More than a quarter of people in this position have bachelor’s degrees. You can become a construction manager without work experience; however, you can expect a fair amount of one-the-job training once you begin. Beneficial coursework when in school includes:
- Business administration
- Construction engineering
- Construction management
- Operations management
Construction Managers Salary
Depending on your location and experience level, the salary for this job can vary significantly. The lowest-paid 10 percent earns $51,000 per year, while the most highly paid construction managers make more than $150,000 annually. The nationwide median pay for the job is $85.600. At a median annual salary of $65,200, construction managers in Iowa are among the lowest paid in the United States. You’ll likely be paid the most in Alaska, where the median salary is $119,500 per year.
Construction Managers Jobs by Geography
Demand for construction managers is highest in Nevada, Washington and Arizona. The need for construction managers is in decline in New Mexico, Mississippi and Maryland.