How to become a Construction Project Manager

Construction Project Manager

A construction project manager is an employee who supervises and coordinates the assembly of a building. As well as planning the project, they must constantly ensure the construction it is running as it should and prepare reports at the end.

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 Project Manager?

  • High School Diploma
  • Construction Level 1
  • Welding and Building VC Level 4

Career Transportability across Countries

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 Project Manager?

Experience Average salary | year
Assistant Project Manager 1-2 Years $80,000 £46,414 $85,000
Construction Project Manager 3-5 Years $106,000 £71,001 $130,000
Construction Project Director 5+ Years $132,000 £322,237 $590,000

What skills are needed to become a Construction Project Manager?

  • Project Management
  • Project Planning
  • Construction Management
  • Construction
  • Contract Management
  • Management
  • Procurement
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Microsoft Office
  • Project Estimation
  • Contractors
  • Value Engineering
  • Subcontracting
  • Engineering
  • Cost Management
  • Negotiation
  • Construction Safety
  • Project Control
  • Customer Service
  • AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Civil Engineering
  • Construction
  • Budgets
  • Leadership

Construction Project Manager Courses

People thinking about how to get into construction project management would benefit greatly by taking some extra courses about construction to supplement their education and ensure that they have a broad understanding of the field. We have plenty available online at FutureLearn.
  • Construction Project Management: An Introduction

    What creates successful construction project management Gain an understanding of the key activities principles and concepts

  • Organisational Behaviour in Construction: An Introduction

    Study organisational behaviour within the construction industry

  • Sustainable Construction and Development

    Gain valuable insight into sustainable construction and development and learn best practices from sustainability initiatives

  • Global Issues in the Construction Industry

    Explore the key issues faced by the construction industry today and discover sustainable approaches to resolving them

  • Construction Ethics and Compliance

    Find out how to stay ethical compliant and professional in the construction industry with this free online course from the CIOB

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