The main objective of every construction project is to deliver structures that are efficiently built and safe to use. For safe and high-quality buildings, you need to engage a professional with technical know-how and industry experience in this area. That professional is a construction project manager.
With the global construction industry experiencing a boom, there has been an increase in the need for project managers on construction sites, creating thousands of new jobs. Becoming a construction project manager is no doubt a rewarding career path.
Before we move further, let’s understand the construction project management role better.
Who is a Construction Project Manager?
A construction project manager is a professional that uses management tools to plan and execute a construction project from pre-design to completion. He or she works with and manages other key professionals – engineers, architects, surveyors – on a construction project to deliver an efficiently built structure within the specified time.
The construction project manager is charged with overseeing other professionals on a project and is expected to manage the project’s quality, cost, and delivery time. He or she is experienced in the different construction methodologies and has good analytical and organisational skills.
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Four Key Responsibilities of a Project Manager in Construction
Designing and Planning
The project manager is tasked with researching the feasibility of the project and the funding required from start to finish. He or she must also create a roadmap that highlights the different phases of the construction and the delivery time.
The construction project manager also doubles as a hiring manager because the position is tasked with recruiting professionals for the team. He or she must assemble a cross-section of teams required to make the project a success. Furthermore, the project manager provides leadership while the project is ongoing by managing the teams and allocating tasks to them.
Every structure requires human, financial, and material resources to move from ideation to completion. The project manager plans and budgets the resources needed for the completion of the project and also distributes the resources to the required teams.
The project manager monitors the progress of the construction at different phases. He or she ensures that the timeline for completion of each phase is met and that the budget is strictly adhered to. The project manager must document the progress at each phase and communicate this report to the owners/stakeholders of the project.
Career Path Of A Project Manager
Deciding to become a construction project manager is only the first step. Understanding the career trajectory of the profession is another step of the journey. Project managers are in high demand in the construction industry, and there are different routes available to join the profession and rise to the top of the ladder. Here are a few of those routes:
Get A University Degree
A university degree provides the graduate with the skills and experience required to handle responsibilities on a construction site. It also empowers them with the knowledge of trends and innovations in the industry.
Most employers prefer to hire construction project managers with a degree in construction management, construction science, or related fields. This is because the employers handle different projects ranging from buildings construction to home renovations. More on how to get started without a degree in this field later in this article.
Although there is no international licensing programme for construction project managers, professionals like civil engineers and construction managers may get professional certifications in the field. These certifications depend on the level of their education and experience.
Two well-known professional certifications in the construction project management sub-industry are the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) certificates.
Work In The Industry
Professionals like civil engineers, structural engineers, and construction managers who work in the construction industry can switch to project management positions. This is because they have prior experience in the industry, enabling them to carry out the responsibilities of the role.
They can directly apply for construction project manager jobs or get professional certifications in the field to prepare them for the roles. They are at an advantage in becoming middle-level construction project managers jobs compared to new graduates. This is because they have the “relevant years of working experience” often required by hiring companies.
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Salary Range of a Construction Project Manager
The average salary of a construction project manager is $84, 571 annually.
In the United Kingdom, the average base salary is £45,169. The starting salary for an entry-level project manager is £28,000, while the salary for a senior project manager is £69,000.
The Best Courses For A Construction Project Manager
The top degree courses available for people interested in the construction project management field are:
- MSc in Construction Project Management – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- MSc in Construction Science and Management – University of Lincoln
- Masters in Construction Engineering and Management – Stevens Institute of Technology
- MSc Project Management for Construction – University of Portsmouth
- MSc in Building Information Modelling and Management – Oxford Brookes University
- Master in Construction Management – Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology
- Project Management in Construction Works with BIM – Politecnico di Milano
- Master of Science in Construction Management (MSCM) – Fordham University
- Masters in Sustainable Building Projects – University Jesuita de Guadalajara
- MSc in Construction Management – College of Engineering, City University of Hong Kong
How To Become A Construction Project Manager Without A University Degree
Another option for people interested in the industry is apprenticeship. Apprenticeship entails learning under an experienced construction project manager for a duration (4-5 years) to learn the responsibilities of the profession. By becoming an apprentice, professionals gain hands-on experience and knowledge in the industry. Apprentices gradually progress from construction workers to construction supervisors to project managers.
Apprentices learn safe practices, regulations, and skills required to succeed in the industry. They also get to network with other professionals and build their work portfolios in preparation for future job roles. Apprentices can also take certification courses to increase their knowledge of the profession and boost their employability.
Besides university learning and apprenticeships, two other ways to foster career growth as a construction project manager are to get a mentor and be up to date on trends in the industry. A mentor would provide the necessary guidance for advancement up the construction management ladder.
To stay knowledgeable about innovations in the industry, check out planradar.com. PlanRadar is a tech company that exists for B2B and B2C firms in the construction industry. It provides clients and contractors with a project management platform that boosts their efficiency and productivity. The management software allows owners to monitor the progress of their projects from the comfort of their homes or offices.