Construction Management Careers 101

By Shawn Desgrosellier

A career in construction management is ideal for those that love building, enjoy hard work and are willing to learn continually. Construction managers, also known as general contractors and project managers, plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish. They are responsible for keeping a project on schedule and budget. They must also have extensive knowledge of all the building trades. Besides the physical construction of buildings, construction managers must know the most current local building and employee laws, electrical and plumbing codes, OSHA, etc. Construction management is the perfect career for those with excellent analytical, business, communication and decision-making skills, along with a love for construction.

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The improving economy has triggered an increase in all types of construction: public, residential, industrial and commercial, along with structures, roads, memorials, and bridges. More building projects mean there is a need for more construction managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported that employment in construction jobs is predicted to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, or an increase from 6.5 million jobs to 7.2 million jobs. The need for construction managers in the United States is projected to grow by 5 percent, or 17,800 managers, between 2014 and 2024. Construction activities are projected to increase over the coming decade, as will the need for construction managers. Over the next ten years, construction management is a good occupational choice for those in the building trades.

The best jobs opportunities for construction managers are for those with a bachelor’s degree in a construction field, along with hands-on construction experience. In 2015, it was reported by the BLS that the median annual wage for construction managers was $87,400, or $42/hour for qualified candidates. However, in regions of high demand, like California and New York, the annual wage can be over $100,000. Formal education and job experience are both essential for a successful career in construction management.

Construction managers are responsible for determining the most efficient way to keep a construction project moving smoothly, on schedule and within budget. They must understand all aspects of the project, from the design phase to completion. Becoming a construction manager involves obtaining a college education and completing several years of on the job training. The need for construction managers in the United States is on the rise and a great field for those that love construction and hard work.

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