Career Development

What Does a Construction Project Manager Do?

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

Construction project managers are responsible for overseeing the planning, execution and completion of construction projects. They work with a variety of stakeholders—including architects, engineers, subcontractors and suppliers—to ensure that each project meets its goals on time and within budget.

Construction project managers must be able to juggle multiple tasks at once while managing their team effectively. They may also need to deal with unexpected issues that arise during the course of a project.

Construction Project Manager Job Duties

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

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with clients, subcontractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders during the course of the project
  • Ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget, and according to specifications
  • Managing the project team, which may include architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and other team members as needed
  • Communicating with clients to discuss project goals, milestones, and challenges throughout the construction process
  • Overseeing the processes of managing bids, selecting vendors, and awarding contracts for materials and labor
  • Preparing weekly reports detailing project status and recommending any changes necessary to ensure completion on time
  • Managing all aspects of the construction process, including obtaining permits, managing budgets, hiring subcontractors, and overseeing operations
  • Coordinating with architects and engineers to plan the construction process and ensure that designs meet code requirements
  • Developing and implementing safety procedures onsite to protect workers from injury or accident

Construction Project Manager Salary & Outlook

Construction project managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and type of company for which they work. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $142,000 ($68.27/hour)

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

Construction project managers will be needed to oversee the planning, scheduling, and budgeting for large-scale projects, such as bridges, highways, and buildings. In addition, many new projects will be built because of the need to repair and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure.

Construction Project Manager Job Requirements

A construction project manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Construction project managers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in construction management, civil engineering, construction engineering, construction management technology or a related field. These programs typically include courses in construction methods, construction materials, construction safety, construction scheduling, construction cost estimation, construction law and construction management.

Training & Experience: Many construction project managers begin their careers in entry-level positions, such as construction laborers, construction laborers or construction helpers. These positions provide hands-on experience working on construction sites. They also provide training in the use of construction equipment and tools.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become a project manager, but they can make you a more competitive candidate when applying for projects management roles.

Construction Project Manager Skills

Construction project managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information through speech, writing or other methods. As a project manager, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your team, clients and other stakeholders. You may need to communicate verbally, in writing or through other methods such as video conferencing. You may also need to communicate complex information in a way that is easy to understand.

Leadership: Leadership skills can be very useful for project managers, as they can be responsible for guiding their team to success. Leadership skills can include the ability to motivate and encourage others, as well as the ability to inspire them to work hard and achieve goals. Effective leaders can also be able to delegate tasks and responsibilities to their team members, which can be a crucial skill for a project manager.

Organization: Organization is another skill that can help you be a more effective project manager. You may need to keep track of multiple tasks and deadlines at once, so having strong organizational skills can help you manage your projects more efficiently. Organization can also help you be more efficient with your time, which can save you and your company money.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify issues and develop solutions to overcome them. As a project manager, you may be responsible for resolving issues that arise during the project. Your ability to identify the source of the problem and develop a solution can help you to minimize the impact of the issue and improve the project’s overall success.

Budgeting: Budgeting is the process of estimating the costs of a project. As a project manager, you may be responsible for creating a budget for your project. Having strong budgeting skills can help you create an accurate budget that allows you to complete the project successfully.

Construction Project Manager Work Environment

Construction project managers typically work long hours, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends. They are often required to be on call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies at the construction site. The job is physically demanding, and construction managers must be able to lift heavy objects, climb ladders, and work in cramped spaces. They also work in a variety of weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and precipitation. Construction managers typically work in an office environment during the planning and scheduling phases of a project and then move to the construction site during the project’s duration. They may travel to multiple construction sites if they are managing multiple projects at the same time.

Construction Project Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how construction project managers work. Construction project managers 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 Diversity in the Construction Industry

The construction industry is facing a major diversity problem. According to recent data, only 2% of construction workers are African American, and only 3% are Hispanic. This lack of diversity has led to a number of problems, including lower productivity and higher rates of accidents and injuries.

To address this issue, construction project managers will need to be more proactive about recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce. They can do this by partnering with local schools and community organizations to promote the benefits of a career in construction, and by creating a more welcoming environment for all employees.

A Greater Focus on Sustainability

As sustainability becomes more important, construction projects will need to focus on building structures that are environmentally friendly. This means that construction project managers will need to be familiar with green building techniques and materials.

In addition, construction project managers will need to be able to manage teams that are focused on sustainability. This includes ensuring that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal, as well as providing training and support for those who are new to the field.

More Collaboration Between Design and Construction Teams

The trend of collaboration between design and construction teams is becoming increasingly common in the construction industry. This is because both teams have a lot to offer each other: designers can provide ideas and inspiration, while construction teams can help to bring those ideas to life.

As this trend continues to grow, construction project managers will need to learn how to work effectively with designers. This requires understanding the design process and being able to communicate clearly with designers about what is needed from the project.

How to Become a Construction Project Manager

A construction project manager (CPM) career can be a great way to enter the construction industry. As a CPM, you’ll have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and learn about different aspects of the construction process. You’ll also gain experience working with people from all walks of life, which is important in any industry.

To become a CPM, you’ll need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in construction management or a related field. Additionally, many employers require that CPMs have certification from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

Related: How to Write a Construction Project Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

Construction project managers typically advance in one of two ways: either by taking on larger and more complex projects, or by moving into a management position within their company. As they take on more responsibility, construction project managers may be promoted to senior project manager, construction manager, or even general manager. Those who move into management positions may oversee a team of project managers, a construction department, or an entire construction company.

Construction Project Manager 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 project manager to join our team and help us build on our success. The ideal candidate will have experience managing construction projects from start to finish, as well as a strong understanding of the construction process, construction materials, and construction methods. He or she will be responsible for managing the construction schedule, budget, and quality control for our projects.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact between the construction team and the client, ensuring that communication is clear and concise
  • Develop a detailed project plan to track progress and ensure timely completion of the project
  • Coordinate with all relevant parties—including architects, engineers, contractors, and inspectors—to ensure that the project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Obtain all necessary permits and licenses required for the project
  • Inspect work completed at various stages of construction to ensure that it meets all quality and safety standards
  • Resolve any issues that arise during construction in a timely and efficient manner
  • Keep accurate records of all project-related correspondence, documentation, and invoices
  • Prepare regular reports for the client detailing the status of the project
  • Manage the project budget and approve all invoices related to the project
  • Hire, train, and supervise all project personnel
  • Ensure that the project site is clean and safe at all times
  • Comply with all applicable laws and regulations

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in construction management, engineering, or related field
  • 5+ years experience managing construction projects
  • Proven experience with project planning, scheduling, and budgeting
  • Strong understanding of construction contracts and negotiation
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills
  • Thorough knowledge of OSHA regulations and safety standards

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in construction management, engineering, or related field
  • 7+ years experience managing construction projects
  • PE license
  • CCM certification
  • LEED AP certification
  • Experience with sustainable/green building practices

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