Construction project managers are crucial in overseeing construction projects to their completion. These professionals plan all parts of the project, from working with the entire team to tracking progress. To be a successful manager, you need knowledge of the best practices in construction management and the right skill set to handle multiple elements simultaneously.
So what do you need to know to become a construction project manager, and is this role right for you? Read more to understand how to become a construction project manager and determine if you’re ready to step up to the plate!
The Role of a Construction Project Manager
Becoming a construction project manager is an advantageous career choice for many people. Still, before you take action to become a manager, you need to understand the roles and responsibilities you’ll be expected to take on.
Project managers are expected to oversee every element of a project. They act as a liaison to the field, responsible for jobs related to finances, scheduling, and technical issues. This individual or team of employees are responsible for bringing in specialists when in-house employees cannot complete a task. Your duties will include the following.
- Planning the project
- Having a concrete schedule and overseeing milestones to ensure this schedule is adhered to
- Budgeting for different expenses
- Overseeing and managing supplies and inventory to ensure the team has everything they need for success.
- Communicating with vendors, contractors, subcontractors, and clients
- Assigning tasks to everyone involved
Most construction project managers require a bachelor’s degree in construction, business, or engineering. Education includes courses involving construction methods, design, control and management, cost estimation, and more. Many managers benefit from additional courses like communications and business management.
Some construction managers have an associate’s degree and relevant work experience rather than a bachelor’s degree in construction management or technology. Some managers can work with a high school diploma and several years of work experience, but these individuals are more likely to operate as self-employed contractors than work for an organization.
Licensing and Certification
Along with relevant education, you will be more successful as a construction project manager if you have licenses and certifications that show your expertise. Some states require you to be licensed to work as a construction manager, so determine appropriate regulations for your area before pursuing this career.
You can also pursue certification from the American Institute of Constructors or the Construction Management Association of America. While these aren’t required, they show your expertise and can help you perform your best as a construction project manager.
Developing Essential Skills
Construction project managers require advanced skills to operate efficiently and effectively. Let’s explore three skills you need if you want to be the best manager possible.
1. Leadership and Team Management Skills
One of the essential skills to possess as a construction project manager is leadership and team management capabilities, as a big role you’ll be taking on as a manager is handling a large team of employees dedicated to a specific project.
As a manager, you’ll be expected to motivate your team to perform their best, provide guidance when team members encounter problems, and set clear goals and expectations for individual team members to complete tasks efficiently. Knowing how to lead by example and having the self-confidence to take on a leadership role are all integral to a successful project.
2. Time Management Skills
Completing everything on time is one of the most critical parts of successful construction. Project managers are expected to handle the timeline effectively, prioritizing and assigning tasks while setting realistic deadlines for team members to adhere to.
You can navigate difficult and complex projects without overlooking key details by possessing time management skills. Time management allows you to efficiently allocate resources and equipment to guarantee everything stays on schedule and in-budget.
3. Problem-Solving Skills
No matter how much you prepare, sometimes things go wrong on construction projects. A knowledgeable construction project manager must have sufficient problem-solving skills to address issues and mitigate risks as soon as they arise to ensure minimal disruption.
To harness your problem-solving skills, you need to be able to think analytically and break down problems into smaller, manageable pieces to address the root causes. This also requires you to be comfortable making decisions, as you’ll have a say in approaching problems that arise.
Construction Project Manager Environment and Demands
Knowing how to become a construction project manager goes beyond understanding the education requirements and skill set necessary to succeed in this position. Understanding the work environment you’ll be operating in and the potential demands you’ll have to meet can solidify whether this position is right for you.
Construction project managers sometimes work from field offices on construction sites to oversee progress and guide the team toward completion. Some demands of this work environment include the following.
- Working overtime hours to meet deadlines, respond to emergencies, and manage problems
- Remaining on-call 24-hours-a-day
- Working with construction equipment and tools safely
- Adapting to different worksites, both indoors and outdoors
- Working surrounded by other people
- Interacting with clients, teams, vendors, and contractors to facilitate seamless communication
- Using computers, telephones, and other technical equipment to complete projects
- Wearing protective clothing and equipment to perform jobs safely
- Traveling to construction sites to manage different projects
MegaKC is a 100% employee-owned commercial general contractor based in Kansas City. If you think you’ve got what it takes to join our team, reach out to us and inquire about our career opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you!