Construction ManagerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Construction managers plan, organize, budget, and supervise construction projects from beginning to end. Responsibilities include managing all tasks, finances, time, contracts, quality, and safety. 

Construction managers work on residential projects, commercial projects, infrastructure projects, and specialty projects, such as oil refineries, nuclear power plants, and steel mills. These individuals will need to have excellent communication skills, attention to detail, enjoy learning new construction concepts, be good at solving problems, and they need to remain calm under pressure.

Sample job description

The construction manager’s primary role is to oversee the progress of their community by managing trade partners, vendors, and consultants in a professional manner with the expectation of high-quality standards and customer satisfaction. The ideal candidates are extremely organized and detail-oriented team players with excellent customer service skills and a can-do attitude!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Meeting regularly with engineers, architects, and contractors regarding project objectives and progress
  • Dispatching workers to construction sites and supervising site foremen and workers
  • Requisitioning equipment, supplies, and materials needed to complete construction projects
  • Managing budget costs for wages, contractors, materials, and equipment
  • Ensuring the construction process is on schedule on a daily and weekly basis
  • Conducting ongoing health, safety, and quality inspections
  • Clearly explaining plans and contract terms to staff, workers, and clients
  • Negotiating revisions, changes, and additions to contracts
  • Securing all necessary permits and licenses 
  • Determining appropriate construction methods based on site plans
  • Preparing budget estimates and tracking costs
  • Dealing with delays, bad weather, or emergencies at the construction site
  • Investigating damage and accidents on the construction site

Education and experience

  • A bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field 
  • Three years related experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Proficient in MS Office Word, Excel, and Projects
  • An effective communicator, motivator, and team builder
  • Ability to prioritize multiple responsibilities
  • Risk management
  • Complex problem solving
  • Excellent at managing financial and material resources 
  • Outstanding negotiation, organizational, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong leadership skills

Preferred qualifications

  • 5+ years of construction experience 
  • Proven management experience
  • Working knowledge of construction management processes
  • Experience with construction management software packages
  • Skilled in conflict and crisis management
  • Good time-management skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a construction manager is $97,180 per year in the United States. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education, and geographical location.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$86,979$89,064
Los Angeles, California$69,103$119,973
Denver, Colorado$89,328$97,614
Washington, DC$98,559$105,413
Miami, Florida$52,402$85,000
Orlando, Florida$60,103$81,347
Tampa, Florida$58,462$72,348
Atlanta, Georgia$66,770$80,179
Chicago, Illinois$62,000$93,107
Boston, Massachusetts$74,349$97,844
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$86,682$91,909
New York City, New York$83,615$111,383
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$69,743$79,163
Dallas, Texas$71,364$74,120
Houston, Texas$60,361$94,171
Seattle, Washington$71,457$101,696

Typical work environment

Construction managers have offices but spend most of their time in an on-site field office, monitoring projects and making decisions about construction activities. Those managing multiple projects have to split their time between different worksites. Some might have to travel out of state or be away from home for extended periods.

Typical hours

Most construction managers work full-time. The work schedule for a construction manager can vary depending on the project. If they have upcoming deadlines to meet, they might have to work extra hours. They can also be on call 24 hours a day to respond to project emergencies.

Available certifications

Here are some of the best certifications construction managers can aim for to increase career potential:

  • The Certified Construction Manager (CCM). Construction managers who have met the prescribed criteria, including formal education, field experience, and demonstrated understanding of the construction body of knowledge are eligible to receive the CCM. The certificate is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The CCM demonstrates a commitment to excellence in construction management, career advancement, and the pursuit of knowledge. 
  • Associate Constructor (AC) Institute of Constructors (AIC). The associate constructor (AC) is the first level of certification in the Constructor Certification Program offered by the American Institute of Constructors. This level of certification is for those who have graduated from a 4-Year Construction Management program or those transitioning into construction management from other industries. Individuals possessing the AC have demonstrated a high level of skill and knowledge in managing the process of construction.   
  • Certified Professional Constructor (CPC). The highest level of the Constructor Certification Program offered by the American Institute of Constructors is the CPC. Construction managers who have several years of project oversight experience can obtain this certification and propel their careers to the next level. The CPC shows verified experience and skills.

Career path

Although it is possible to become a construction manager with a high school diploma and many years of experience in the construction industry, construction managers usually need a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering. Courses in mathematics and statistics are also relevant. A few universities offer a master’s degree in construction management.

Gaining construction experience in specialties such as carpentry or masonry is an important part of the career path. Construction managers are generally hired as assistants and train under experienced managers for months or years, depending on the firm.

Certification isn’t required, but it is valuable because it demonstrates knowledge and experience and can accelerate your career. Some states require that construction managers obtain a license.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-9021

2019 Employment476,700
Projected Employment in 2029517,100
Projected 2019-2029 Percentage Shift 8% increase
Projected 2019-2029 Numeric Shift40,400 increase

The construction industry is ever-evolving, and construction companies are adopting the latest technologies, allowing them to work faster and more efficiently. 

Drones are becoming very popular in the industry by collecting real-time data at construction sites and conveying them to construction managers. They are also used for the surveillance of construction sites as a safety tool. 

Construction management software allows construction project managers to perform a wide variety of tasks quickly and efficiently, such as sharing drawings and blueprints to manage a construction site. The software greatly increases accuracy, accountability, and transparency. 

Although virtual reality (VR) has been around for years, the construction industry is trending toward using it more and more to obtain a realistic view of a project before it is materialized. VR can show construction managers possible errors, help them improve designs, and help them deliver projects timely and within budget.

Sample interview questions

  • What actions would you take if the project you are supervising was falling behind schedule or exceeding budget? 
  • What are the skills that a construction project manager must possess?
  • How would you handle a situation where some of your workers were not using the necessary safety equipment? 
  • What types of construction projects are you comfortable with?
  • How would you resolve a conflict on your construction site?
  • What would you do if a subcontractor tried to alter the terms of their contract to increase compensation?
  • How would you respond to a worker who disregards your instructions? 
  • What factors would you consider before negotiating contracts or rates?
  • What are the steps that are involved from the beginning of a project to the end?
  • How do you ensure a safe working environment on a construction site?
  • What licenses are needed to begin a construction project? How would you obtain them?
  • Which project management tools do you prefer and why?
  • How do you measure quality control?
  • What is your approach to leadership?
  • How do you negotiate the budget for a construction project? 
  • What is the most successful construction project you have directed? Why was it successful?
  • Tell us about a project that you planned. Include details about budgets, processes, and deadlines. What actions did you take to receive approval? What was the result?
  • What are the biggest obstacles you’ve faced during a project? How did you resolve them?
  • Have you ever managed two or more projects simultaneously? How did you make it work?
  • Have you ever experienced conflict with superiors? How did you handle it?

Construction Manager Jobs in Ashburn

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