Why should you become a Construction Manager?
The construction industry is a robust and dynamic field that is constantly evolving, with new building technologies and project management strategies emerging regularly. A pivotal role in this industry is the Construction Manager, who is responsible for coordinating and supervising the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. If you have an eye for detail, strong leadership skills, and an interest in architecture and building science, a career as a Construction Manager may be a perfect fit for you. This post will explore the path to becoming a Construction Manager, including key responsibilities, educational requirements, career prospects, wages, and job growth.
What does a Construction Manager do?
Construction Managers, also known as Construction Project Managers, oversee all stages of the construction process. Their duties involve preparing cost estimates, budgets, and work timetables. They also interpret contracts and explain technical information to other professionals.
Education and Training
To become a Construction Manager, you typically need a Associates degree in construction science or construction management. Although, bachelors degrees are also available in these areas they may not be necessary to gain employment. These degree programs cover a broad range of subjects such as project control and management, design, construction methods and materials, value analysis, cost estimation, and contract administration.
Experience is also vital in the construction industry. Many Construction Managers have considerable experience in construction roles before stepping into managerial positions. This is a great career choice for veteran NCO’s, Commissioned Officers, or Journey level construction trade workers how are looking to transition their careers. For anyone looking to start from scratch experience can be gained through internships, cooperative education programs, or on-the-job training.
Certification and Skills
While certification is not required, it can enhance professional standing and is often preferred by employers. The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) offer certifications that validate knowledge and skills.
Key skills required for a successful Construction Manager include strong communication, analytical and decision-making abilities, initiative, leadership, and a good understanding of construction methods and technologies.
Construction Manager Salary and Job Growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for Construction Managers was $98,890 in May 2021. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $56,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $164,790. Keep in mind these figures might vary significantly based on location, level of experience, and the complexity of projects handled.
Job growth for Construction Managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected due to the ongoing need for infrastructure to support a growing population and the necessary updates or replacement of an aging infrastructure across the U.S.
Benefits of Becoming a Construction Manager
Choosing a career as a Construction Manager comes with several benefits:
- Opportunity for creativity: Every project brings unique challenges that require creative problem-solving.
- High earning potential: As discussed, Construction Managers earn a comfortable wage, and with experience, you can increase your earning potential.
- Job diversity: From the construction site to the boardroom, this role is versatile, and each day is different.
- Demand: With a higher-than-average projected job growth, opportunities in the field are expected to be plentiful.
Drawbacks of Becoming a Construction Manager
However, like any profession, there are some potential drawbacks:
- Stress: High levels of responsibility, tight deadlines, and budget restrictions can lead to stress.
- Unpredictable schedule: Construction Managers often work beyond the typical 40-hour work week, especially when project deadlines need to be met.
- Safety risks: Although safety standards and regulations are strictly enforced, the construction site can pose potential hazards.
- Economic downturns: Construction tends to ebb and flow with the economy. During times of economic downturn, construction projects can get postponed or cancelled, impacting job security.
Becoming a Construction Manager is a rewarding career path for those who enjoy leading teams, problem-solving, and the process of creating physical structures. Though it comes with its challenges, the high demand, robust salary, and the ability to see tangible results of your work are major perks for those in this profession.
It’s important to remember that the path to becoming a Construction Manager requires a combination of education, on-the-job experience, and occasionally, certification. As a growing field with a brighter-than-average job outlook, it’s an investment that can lead to a fulfilling and prosperous career.
Remember, every career has its pros and cons, and the key is to find what aligns best with your interests, values, and long-term goals!