On any given day, a construction manager spends time negotiating a contract, inspecting a plumbing installation problem, appraising and hiring subcontractors, or all of the above. One certain fact is that a construction manager’s day will start at dawn.
Jobs in construction courses and consecutively, construction management are beginning to attract people from many fields with similar skill sets. That includes engineering, fieldwork, and project management. Without a doubt, there is a reason for the attraction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction management employment opportunities are expected to increase by 16 percent between 2012 and 2022. Being a construction manager is a good-paying job with the lowest-paid construction managers make close to $50,000, while the top managers earn about $144,500 or more.
Breaking Down the Tasks
After completing construction courses, job descriptions can only go so far in portraying the day-to-day. Therefore, it is worth taking a deeper dive into becoming a construction manager.
There is no typical day for construction managers. One day, he or she could be meeting with stakeholders. While in the next, he or she could be at the job site investigating the source of a project delay. With that in mind, most project managers are expected to spend their days on any and all of the following activities:
- Preparing and submitting budgets
- Ensuring compliance with local & federal construction laws
- Maximizing available resources, whether material or human
- Working with architects & engineers to optimize the final product
- Negotiating contracts and representing the firm at meetings
- Keeping construction workers safe planning, organizing, scheduling, directing, controlling, and finishing the construction firm’s projects
- Hiring and managing subcontractors and staff
A Job for Early Birds
Most work on the typical construction manager schedule means that a nine-to-five schedule is not in the cards. A majority of construction managers are up and out on the job by dawn. Their days are split between planning, working with documents, meetings, and maintaining a presence on the job site. Construction managers must have high analytic skills to keep their projects running smoothly and the knack to inspire workers.
While going through construction courses, construction managers acquire a number of common traits that keep them engaged with their work and passionate about their projects. In a recent study, construction managers were found to have better job performance if they had good communication skills, depth of construction knowledge, competence in addition to leadership ability.
That includes pragmatism, empathy, and authority. Although every day is different in construction management, most hours in any given week are spent making projects run smoothly.