How to Become a Construction Manager

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Construction is one of the largest industries giving more than 8 million salary and wage jobs. Around 2 million self-employed workers and family workers who are unpaid are engaged in this industry. The majority of the construction work is in civil engineering and heavy construction, whereas, one-fourth percent of the work is involved in residential as well as non-residential construction. This industry promotes immense opportunities to workers who are employed and those who are unpaid family labors working directly for the contractors, property owners and also on small jobs like remodeling, such as additions and other various projects. The construction industry provides a wide variety of opportunities with regard to a career. One of the major roles in the Construction industry is of the Construction Manager.

The preferred job-profile for a construction manager would be someone who has experience in the construction industry with a bachelor's degree (BA) in construction science or who is a civil engineer or has a degree in construction management. Having practical experience in construction projects is essential. The candidate may have acquired this experience through an internship program or through a job in construction business. There are several colleges and universities which offer bachelor's degree in building science, construction science, and construction engineering. A large number of graduates from the fields that are related to construction like architecture are also joining in this line after gaining enough experience in construction projects.

It is important to have excellent written and oral communication skills along with leadership traits. The managers have to bring along a healthy working environment with various people involved like the designers, craft workers, supervisors, and other managers.

The job responsibilities of a construction manager are to plan, navigate, and organize various types of construction projects like residential complexes, commercial property, industrial buildings, bridges, roads, water treatment plants, hospitals, and schools. A construction manager may be involved in an entire project or may be responsible for a smaller part of the project. It is the responsibility of these managers to select and hire the specialty trade contractors, and schedule and organize the processes for designing and construction. However, they normally are not a part of the actual building of the structure.

These construction managers are also known as project managers, construction superintendents, program managers, project engineers, general contractors, or contractors. They are normally self-employed managers or are salaried people who look after various construction supervisors as well as the construction workers.

It is these managers who do the coordination and supervision of the processes involved in the construction right from the development of the concept through the construction at the final stage while ensuring that the project gets over well within time and the budget planned. They are expected to work closely with the owners of the project, the engineers, and also the architects who are a part of the construction project. Broadly speaking, the construction managers are the ones who look after the planning of the project, scheduling, and finally the implementation of the designs that have been assigned to them whether it for roads, buildings, bridges, or any other construction projects.

Sometimes for larger projects like huge industrial structures or office buildings more than one construction manager is needed to handle the project. The work is then divided into smaller sections like sewage system, landscaping, site preparation which may include earth moving and land clearing, building systems which consists of electrical, fire safety measures, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning.

The construction managers are also liable to chalk out the best possible plan to acquire the building materials to the site of the project and at the same time have to keep the cost under control. They are also to ensure that project gets over by the scheduled time. For this planning the construction managers have to do sophisticated calculations and make use of computers with specific software that are made specially made for construction industry. They are also to ensure that the other associated projects of the construction work is done smoothly by selecting general contractors and also the trade contractors for work like carpet installation, plumbing, metalworking, and painting. At times these managers also have to get involved in hiring, supervising, as well as dismissal of laborers. They take control of the progress at the construction site at times with the help of the construction supervisors and also with other managers.

The construction managers supervise the delivery as well as use of materials, equipments, and tools; safety of the worker and their productivity; and most importantly, the construction quality. It is also their responsibility to bring the necessary licenses and permits as per the requirement of the project's contractual standards, safety codes of the building, other necessary regulations and norms set by the insurance company of the project.

It is a very demanding on site job where one has to be present almost 24 hours and cater to the emergencies and take care of delays, poor weather conditions, and other exigencies. It is also a rewarding career. The salaries of the construction manager normally depend on the project, state of the economy, and also on the location of the project. An experienced manager may earn between $45,000 to $150,000 along with benefits like per Diem allowances, liberal motor vehicle, paid vacations, as well as health insurance.
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