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Construction Project Manager

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: $84,800 per year
Job Outlook: Very good

A construction project manager will typically oversee a construction project all the way through. The manager will be responsible for certain roles during the planning phase of the project, particularly for budgeting both money and time needed for the project. The manager is often responsible for sorting through bids from contractors on framing, electrical, plumbing, and other construction project specifics, and he is also responsible for communicating frequently to ensure these contractors are on schedule and on budget.

The construction project manager must also inspect the actual construction sites, track and file necessary documents for the project, keep the project on schedule, and ensure that the project stays within the allowed budget Often times, the construction project manager is a liaison between the clients and the crew, communicating with the clients and making sure the project meets their expectations before handing it over to them. Construction project managers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills as well as knowledge of all things construction in order to do their jobs effectively.

Education and Training Requirements

Because the construction project manager is in charge of many vital aspects of the construction project, this person normally needs a bachelor’s degree in construction, civil engineering, or a similar field. A higher degree or extra certification in construction-related fields can also be helpful. Also, construction managers need to have several years of on-site experience to draw from when applying for a job.

Getting the Job

Organizations like the International Construction Project Management Association offer lots of certification and ongoing education opportunities for construction project managers. These can help with career maintenance and advancement, since the rules and best practices in construction are constantly changing.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Construction project management jobs are expected to grow at a faster than average rate in the next decade or so, though the availability of jobs is dependent on the state of the economy. Since nearly every construction project needs a project manager, job outlook is expected to be good, and construction project management candidates can expect to find jobs all around the country.

Many construction project managers stay in this position for the duration of their careers. Those who do advance will often start their own construction or consulting companies and may contract out their management skills for a higher fee. In larger companies, construction managers can often move into upper management or partner positions after gaining plenty of experience in the field.

Working Conditions and Environment

Construction project managers typically work in a combination of an office and a construction site environment. If the office is far away from the construction site, extensive travel may be necessary. In some cases, the mobile office is set up right on the construction site.

Construction project management can be a somewhat stressful position, since project managers have so much responsibility for the success of a project. During certain phases of construction, they may work more than forty hours a week, and they are normally on call twenty-four hours a day throughout the duration of a project in case they’re needed for trouble shooting.

Salary and Benefits

Construction project managers can make anywhere from about $64,000 to about $103,000 per year, but the average is $84,800. Managers who have more experience and who work for larger companies and on bigger construction projects are more likely to make more than the average income.

When construction project managers work for large companies as full-time employees, they normally get health and vacation benefits, though vacations must normally be planned around upcoming construction projects. Some construction project managers may be eligible for bonuses based on individual and company performance.

Where to Go for More Information
To learn more about becoming a construction project manager or taking certification or continuing education classes, check out these resources:

Association of Construction Project Managers
PO Box 653141
Benmore 2010
Republic of South Africa
+27 11 884 9164

International Construction Project Management Association
C/O Recoport S.R.O.
Havlovska 1195/41
160 00 Praha 6
Czech Republic

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