Career Development

What Does a Construction Controller Do?

Find out what a construction controller does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a construction controller.

Construction managers are responsible for overseeing the construction of large projects. They ensure that all aspects of a project—from planning and design to materials procurement, scheduling, and execution—are completed in a timely and efficient manner.

Construction managers must be able to juggle multiple competing demands at once. They may need to coordinate with architects, engineers, subcontractors, vendors, and other stakeholders on any given day.

Construction Controller Job Duties

A construction controller typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Meeting with clients to discuss project details, including scope, schedule, and budget
  • Monitoring construction progress by visiting job sites regularly to inspect progress, resolve issues, and ensure compliance with government regulations
  • Preparing weekly reports summarizing project status and financial performance of projects
  • Reviewing and approving invoices for payment based on the terms of the contract or purchase order
  • Preparing analyses of costs and profit margins to determine whether construction costs are reasonable
  • Obtaining bids from subcontractors for supplies needed for the project
  • Communicating with architects, engineers, suppliers, and subcontractors to ensure that all materials and equipment are ordered in a timely manner
  • Monitoring material inventory levels and ordering additional materials when needed to ensure that construction tasks can be completed on time
  • Calculating payroll costs for workers on the job site based on hours worked, overtime hours, and payroll deductions

Construction Controller Salary & Outlook

Construction controllers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the company they work for, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $92,500 ($44.47/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $135,000 ($64.9/hour)

The employment of construction controllers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Construction projects are often large and complex, requiring careful planning and budgeting. As these projects continue to grow in size and complexity, the need for construction controllers will increase.

Related: Construction Controller Interview Questions and Answers

Construction Controller Job Requirements

A construction controller typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Construction controllers need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in construction management, construction engineering or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in construction management.

Many construction controllers pursue a bachelor’s degree in a field such as business administration, finance or accounting. These degrees provide a strong foundation in business and finance principles that are useful in this role.

Training & Experience: Many construction controllers learn the specific skills and knowledge they need for their role while on the job. Training may last for a few months and may include shadowing an experienced construction controller or an experienced project manager. Training often includes performing basic tasks under supervision before performing them independently.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement as a construction controller, but they can help you become a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

Construction Controller Skills

Construction controllers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Timekeeping: Timekeeping is the ability to track the time you spend on tasks and the time you need to complete those tasks. As a construction controller, timekeeping is an essential skill that allows you to manage the project’s budget and schedule. You can use timekeeping skills to track the time you spend on tasks and the time you need to complete those tasks.

Organization: Construction managers and construction controllers need to be organized to ensure they complete all of their tasks on time. Organization skills can help you manage your workload, prioritize tasks and keep track of important documents. Organization skills can also help you delegate tasks to other members of your team.

Communication: Construction managers and other construction professionals often use written and verbal communication to convey information to their teams. Effective communication can help you convey your expectations, answer questions and resolve issues. You can also use communication to build trust with your team members.

Problem-solving: Construction managers and construction controllers often work with other professionals to complete a project. Sometimes, unexpected issues arise that require you to think of solutions to overcome them. Your problem-solving skills can help you find solutions to issues that arise during a project.

Mathematics: Construction managers and construction controllers use mathematics to calculate and estimate costs, determine the amount of materials needed for a project and determine the amount of time it takes to complete a project. Mathematics is also important for reading and understanding blueprints and other construction documents.

Construction Controller Work Environment

Construction controllers work in the construction industry, overseeing the financial aspects of construction projects. They work with project managers, architects, engineers, and other construction professionals to ensure that construction projects are completed on time and within budget. Construction controllers typically work full time, and some may work overtime to meet deadlines. They may work at construction sites, in office settings, or in a combination of both. Construction controllers may be exposed to noise and dirt from construction activity, and they may be required to wear personal protective equipment, such as hard hats and safety glasses.

Construction Controller Trends

Here are three trends influencing how construction controllers work. Construction controllers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

The construction industry is becoming increasingly technical, which is leading to a greater need for construction controllers who have the necessary skills to manage projects.

As construction becomes more complex, construction controllers will need to be able to understand and manage the many different aspects of a project. This includes everything from managing budgets to ensuring that all the necessary permits are in place.

More Collaboration Between Design and Construction Teams

The trend of increased collaboration between design and construction teams is happening because it is helping to improve the quality of buildings being built.

Construction controllers can take advantage of this trend by developing strong relationships with both design and construction teams. This will allow them to better understand the needs of each team and help to ensure that they are working together towards a common goal.

Greater Use of Technology in the Construction Industry

The use of technology in the construction industry is increasing rapidly as contractors look for ways to streamline their operations and make them more efficient.

This trend is having a significant impact on the role of the construction controller, who is responsible for overseeing the use of technology in the workplace. As construction companies adopt new technologies, construction controllers will need to learn how to use them effectively in order to keep up with the competition.

How to Become a Construction Controller

A career as a construction engineer can be rewarding and lucrative. However, it’s important to consider the many factors that will influence your success in this field.

One of the most important things you can do is to get certified. This will demonstrate your knowledge and skills and help you stand out from other candidates. There are several certifications available, so choose one that matches your interests and experience.

You should also stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and methods used in the construction industry. This will enable you to offer your clients more innovative solutions.

Finally, network with other professionals in the industry. This will give you access to new opportunities and allow you to learn from their experiences.

Advancement Prospects

Construction controllers typically advance in their careers by taking on larger projects and more responsibility. As they gain experience, they may also move into management roles, overseeing the work of other controllers. Some controllers may eventually start their own construction consulting businesses.

Construction Controller Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re committed to being the best in the business, and that starts with building the best team. We’re looking for an experienced construction controller to join our team and help us achieve our goal of being the premier construction company in the area. The ideal candidate will have experience in all aspects of construction accounting, from job costing and project management to financial reporting and analysis. They will be a strategic thinker who can see the big picture and make sound decisions that will help us achieve our business goals.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the liaison between construction management and accounting, ensuring that all financial aspects of the project are managed effectively
  • Oversee the development and implementation of cost-control systems, including budgeting, forecasting, and reporting
  • Monitor project expenditures against the approved budget, providing regular updates and variance analysis to construction management
  • Prepare monthly progress billing for submission to the client, working with the Project Manager to ensure accuracy and completeness
  • Review and approve vendor invoices for payment in a timely manner, ensuring that all required documentation is included
  • Manage the payroll process for all construction personnel, ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
  • Maintain accurate records of all project costs, both actual and forecasted, for use in future projects
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with vendors and subcontractors, negotiating favorable terms and conditions
  • Assist in the preparation of project proposals, including cost estimates and schedules
  • Identify opportunities for cost savings and process improvements within the construction organization
  • Provide training and mentorship to less experienced staff members
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Construction Manager or Senior Management

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, or related field
  • 10+ years proven accounting experience
  • Professional accounting certification, including CMA, CGA, or CA
  • Working knowledge of finance law and regulatory standards (GAAP)
  • Strong understanding of economic and banking processes
  • Extensive experience with construction accounting software programs

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • 5+ years experience as a senior-level accounting or finance manager
  • Strong working knowledge of detailed financial data analysis
  • Proven payroll experience, with a focus on streamlining accounting processes
  • Exemplary history of financial project management
  • Working knowledge of federal, state, and local tax compliance regulations and reporting
  • CPA highly preferred


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