How to become a Construction Manager

Construction Manager

A construction manager is an integral part in the organisation of any building project. Responsibilities range from planning work schedules and ensuring projects stay on budget, to managing suppliers and relationships with the general public.

A construction manager, sometimes referred to as a site manager or construction engineer, is one of the most important roles on a building site.

Construction project managers oversee building projects. They are involved with all aspects of a building’s production, from the initial blueprints to the final reports, and must manage a large team of people along the way.

Construction project managers can work in the residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructure or environmental fields, with an option to specialise in one of these as they progress up the career ladder.

Being a construction project manager will involve:

  • Planning projects, which will consider the budget, timescale, health and safety aspects and staff members required
  • Hiring staff for the project and acting as their manager throughout its duration, including supervising and inspecting work.
  • Constantly ensuring that health and safety expectations are being met.
  • Communicating with other professionals involved in the project, such as contractors, architects and surveyors.
  • Keeping the customer updated throughout the project.

The path to becoming a construction project manager is varied. Candidates can either do so through education – for example, a degree in surveying or engineering and then construction management specific qualifications – or by vocational methods. The latter would involve candidates taking on apprenticeships or other construction jobs and working their way up, however, they would still need to take some construction management qualifications before reaching the position.

People learning how to become a project manager should have a solid grounding of health and safety initiatives, as well as a deep understanding of the construction industry. They should exhibit strong leadership skills and great attention to detail.

The profession often involves travel between sites and unsociable hours of work, so some sort of flexibility in the employee’s lifestyle is needed. The salary is competitive and increases with experience, as well as sometimes offering perks such as a company car and travel allowance.

What degree is most commonly held by a Construction Manager?

  • Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelors Degree in Science (Civil Engineering Major)
  • Master of Civil Engineering
  • Bachelors of Architecture
  • Master of Architecture
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering
  • Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
For specialists in their field, the opportunity to work abroad is high. Many companies are seeking experts in a particular niche for certain projects, and will happily hire internationally for the duration of that project - which could lead to full-time employment. For those seeking construction project manager jobs abroad, it is recommended to focus on one specialism and gain relevant experience.

What is the Salary of a Construction Manager?

ExperienceAverage salary | year
Assistant Project ManagerStarting$80,000£46,591$85,000
Construction Project Manage1-4 Years$106,000£71,256$130,000
Construction Project Director5+ Years$132,000£323,394$590,000

What skills are needed to become a Construction Manager?

  • Project Management
  • Construction Management
  • Construction
  • Contract Management
  • Project Planning
  • Management
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Procurement
  • Value Engineering
  • Project Estimation
  • Hiring / Managing Contractors
  • Microsoft Office
  • Construction Safety
  • Cost Management / Budgeting
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Engineering
  • Customer Service
  • Leadership
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Civil Engineering
  • AutoCAD
  • Project Control
  • Construction
  • Commercial Management
  • Strategic Planning

Construction Manager Courses

Explore courses from leading academic and cultural institutions that are related to a career in construction management. These courses are designed for those people at the beginning of their career as a construction manager or those who are switching from a different career path.