Career Detail

Construction Manager
“We make sure it gets done.”
Construction managers plan, direct, and coordinate a wide variety of construction projects, including the building of all types of residential, commercial, and industrial structures, roads, bridges.
The Job
Construction managers are salaried or self-employed managers who oversee construction supervisors and workers. They are often called project managers, constructors, construction superintendents, project engineers, program managers, construction supervisors, or general contractors. Construction managers may be owners or salaried employees of a construction management or contracting firm, or may work under contract or as a salaried employee of the property owner, developer, or contracting firm overseeing the construction project.
Work Environment
Working out of a main office or out of a field office at the construction site, construction managers monitor the overall construction project. Decisions regarding daily construction activities.
College Majors
Bachelor's Degree in Construction Science
Minimum Qualifications
For construction manager jobs, employers increasingly prefer to hire individuals who have a bachelor's degree in construction science, construction management, building science, or civil engineering, plus work experience. Practical construction experience is very important.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Construction managers should be flexible and work effectively in a fast-paced environment.
Quick Facts
  • Construction managers must be available-often 24 hours a day-to deal with delays, bad weather, or emergencies at the jobsite.
  • Employers prefer jobseekers who combine construction industry work experience with a bachelor's degree in construction science, construction management, or civil engineering.
  • Although certification is not required, there is a growing movement toward certification of construction managers.
Compensation and Outlook
Earnings of salaried construction managers and self-employed independent construction contractors vary depending upon the size and nature of the construction project, its geographic location, and economic conditions. In addition to typical benefits, many salaried construction managers receive bonuses and use of company motor vehicles. Median annual earnings of wage and salary construction managers in May 2006 were $73,700. The middle 50 percent earned between $56,090 and $98,350.
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