The growth of the construction industry in the past century has birthed millions of new jobs, including construction consultancy. It has become the norm for clients in the public and corporate sectors to hire professionals in specific fields as consultants on their construction projects.
These consultants often possess specialised skills to manage projects from idea to completion. They work with other construction professionals such as architects, engineers, and project managers for the success of the construction project.
Who Is A Construction Consultant?
A construction consultant is a professional hired to offer expertise towards the successful and timely completion of a construction project. They are tasked with assessing the building costs and contracts for construction projects. They work with building contractors and site engineers to draw up plans and implement the design on the site.
Construction consultants often provide general and technical assistance to the project, evaluating environmental issues and potential hazards on the site. They also assist in the formulation and administration of contracts between the contractors, subcontractors, and clients.
Clients hire construction consultants for different reasons. Some want the consultant to help reduce the costs and timeline for completing the project. Others hire them to help streamline the project and ensure best practices on the construction site.
Construction consultants are specialists with a wealth of experience and knowledge in different fields. They have a background in construction engineering or construction management. Professionals such as architects, designers, site engineers, structural engineers, and project managers can work as consultants on construction projects.
What Do Construction Consultants Do?
One question that is often asked by many people interested in working in the construction industry is: what do construction consultants do?
Companies hire construction consultants to perform duties and responsibilities such as:
● Determine Project Feasibility
Construction consultants are technically project consultants. They have to visit potential worksites and research to determine the feasibility of the project. They are then expected to report their findings to the client. This duty might require them to travel to different cities and countries.
● Determine Costs For Labour and Insurance
They are expected to find out the costs of labour and insurance needed for the project. By carrying out this task, they aid the decision-making of the clients and construction firm regarding budgets and expenses.
● Liaise With Vendors To Know Potential Material Costs
Construction firms often hire construction cost consultants who would work directly with vendors. The consultants have to liaise with the vendors or suppliers to know the potential costs of inputs needed to complete the construction project.
● Determine Regulatory Issues
Construction health and safety consultants would determine regulation approvals required on the worksite and ensure that they are met for the smooth running of the project. They would also find out about the costs of the mandatory permits and ensure that the client pays for them.
● Oversee The Project
Construction management consultants also play the role of project managers. They are expected to oversee the project from start to finish, provide business and general expertise to the contractors, and work with other professionals to ensure that the project is delivered on time and without exceeding its budget.
● Present Reports To Clients
Construction consultants must present their findings to clients and stakeholders through reports. These reports would aid the clients in their decision-making process. The report should answer questions such as whether the project is a good investment or not, possible challenges, and how much should be budgeted for the project.
What Are the Qualifications of Construction Consultants?
Top construction consultants in the UK often have the following qualifications:
- Over three years of experience in the construction industry, particularly on projects that required them to handle contract negotiations, consult for firms, and manage projects. Usually, you would often need over a decade of construction experience before you can consider becoming an independent consultant.
- Have proficient knowledge of construction principles, processes and safety measures, from conceptualisation to completion stages of the project.
- Be an excellent manager of human and material resources.
- Be an effective communicator with great people skills.
- Be proficient in the use of the computer and relevant software.
Overall, construction consultants perform duties ranging from analysing and interpreting building blueprints and design plans to communicating the technical aspects of the projects to the clients in a manner that is easy to grasp. They also resolve differences between contractors and clients and provide the necessary professional recommendations or advice to clients.
How Much Do Construction Consultants Charge?
Depending on their experience or skill and the country they work in, the income of construction consultants varies. Some consultants are hired as staff of construction firms, while some run their businesses as independent consultants.
Like consultants in other fields, self-employed construction consultants determine their remuneration, which depends on the amount of work they do. They often charge hourly.
In the United States, construction consultants just starting in the industry earn $34 per hour, while those at the top of their careers can earn as high as $44. The average wage of construction consultants is put at $40 per hour.
Going freelance or setting up your own business means that you can exceed these estimates, especially if you have niche expertise to offer.
Examples Of Different Construction Consultants
Providing thousands of jobs in the construction industry, construction consultants vary in their specialisations and job descriptions. Examples of different construction consultants include:
- Construction claims consultants
- Construction health and safety consultants
- Construction cost consultants
- Construction management consultants
- Construction recruitment consultants
- Estimator manager consultants
- Construction consulting associates
- Senior construction consultants
- Process mining consultants
Generally, construction consultants are expected to use their expertise to cut down the project’s costs, manage the project, and ensure it is completed within the stipulated timeline. They also double as advisors who will answer the client’s questions and suggest possible decisions.
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