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How to become a Construction Manager

construction manager careers

What does a Construction Manager do?

Construction managers, also known as site managers or site agents, supervise and direct operations on a construction project to ensure it is completed safely, on time and within budget. This may be the construction of a new building or buildings, or the maintenance and refurbishment of existing ones. On smaller sites, managers may carry sole responsibility for the whole project; on larger sites, they may be in charge of a particular section, reporting to the senior site manager. Senior construction managers may oversee several construction projects at the same time.

Duties typically include:

  • liaising with architects, planners, estimators and buyers prior to commencement of building work
  • planning a work schedule for the project using management software packages
  • supervising the preparation of the construction site including hire of labour, installation of temporary offices and overseeing delivery of materials
  • liaising with the site workforce
  • monitoring building progress, in particular, quality of work, compliance with regulations, costs and speed of stage completion
  • reporting regularly to the client.
Construction managers work closely with other professionals including architects, engineers, technicians and surveyors, and also act as a point of contact for the public. They have frequent meetings with subcontractors and daily contact with the site workforce.

What's the working environment like working as a Construction Manager?

The working week is usually 39 hours, Monday to Friday, but evening and weekend work may be required to meet deadlines.

Work is mainly on site in all weather conditions. Some work will be at heights, working from ladders or scaffolding. Protective clothing is required including safety boots and helmets. Travel between sites and to meet clients is common, so a driving licence is normally essential.

What does it take to become a Construction Manager?

As a construction manager, you should:

  • have excellent interpersonal skills to communicate with people at all levels and to motivate staff
  • be well organised and have planning and problem-solving skills
  • be prepared to take on responsibility and be decisive
  • have a good numeracy and IT skills
  • have in-depth knowledge of all aspects of building
  • have a good knowledge of Building Regulations and health and safety
  • be physically fit.

Construction Manager Career Opportunities

Construction managers work for construction companies or specialist subcontractors. There are also opportunities with local building contractors, central and local government, utility companies, and larger organisations such as major retailers.

There are opportunities to become self-employed on a consultancy basis, particularly in specialist aspects of the work, and opportunities to work abroad may be available.

Experienced construction managers may progress into contract management, or become company directors. There are also opportunities in teaching and research, as well as support services such as health and safety.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Construction Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Bircham Newton
King's Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
Kings Ride
Tel: 01344 630700

National House Building Council
Buildmark House
Chiltern Avenue

Association of Building Engineers
Lutyens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Tel: 0845 126 1058

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Tel: 0870 417 8777

Equal Opportunities Commission