The construction industry is varied and complex and, as a result, overseeing all the disparate elements that go into the building process requires the investment of a lot of time, energy, and resources. These requirements have led to the development of several different construction management positions that the industry has come to rely on to keep employees both productive and safe while on the job.
Are you interested in what these different construction management jobs entail? Whether you’re simply curious or you’re thinking of pursuing a career in construction management yourself, here’s a long, hard look at the different construction management jobs you can find people doing on the typical jobsite.
What is Construction Management?
The construction management field is all about overseeing building projects. Professionals in this field can work in any number of specific positions, all of which can relate to a different stage of the construction process. This means that construction managers may aid in initial design planning, set deadlines and budgets, or supervise a team of construction workers directly.
Working as a construction manager means you’re in a leadership position. This routinely means that individuals in these roles have either extensive experience, education, or training to provide the necessary leadership. This typically means at least an undergraduate degree in construction management, architecture, or engineering for larger projects. For smaller projects, it may be possible to work in construction management with a high school diploma or an associate degree.
Certifications and Other Accreditations
In many instances, it may be a requirement for a prospective construction manager to be certified or otherwise accredited. These certifications are sometimes optional, but any construction manager with certifications on their resume is more likely to be hired than those who are not. Some of these accreditations include:
- Associate Constructor Certification: Provided by the American Institute of Constructors, this certification provides evidence that you’ve received specific construction management training.
- Certified Construction Manager (CCM): Offered by the Construction Management Association of America, this certification showcases your training in not just construction management but also budgeting methods and cost estimation.
Construction Management Career Paths
There are few limitations on the different types of specialization in the construction management sector. Here are a few of the most common career paths that the majority of construction managers usually choose.
Professionals who solve problems and analyze project efficiencies, field engineers can be found in a number of industries, not just the construction sector. Field engineers that specialize in construction act as intermediaries between clients and engineering teams, aid in creating large project designs, and assess building processes and systems for projects. Field engineers also often make suggestions to improve overall project efficiency.
Construction superintendents are there to oversee the daily work being done on building projects. A construction superintendent are often present at jobsites in order to provide oversight on building tasks, routinely write construction project cost estimates, and provide work scheduling for construction personnel. Construction superintendents may also be tasked with checking that safety guidelines are being met by newly constructed buildings.
A sustainability consultant is an environmental expert who are concerned with analyzing the energy consumption of companies and suggesting alternatives. Like field engineers, sustainability consultants work in many industries including the construction sector, where they aid in designing buildings that will be environmentally friendly. A sustainability consultant’s role may be client-side where they advise on sustainability, or they may research trends in construction or analyze building materials.
A position that most people think about when they hear “construction management”, construction managers provide oversight over a project’s construction stage. They often share similar duties to a construction superintendent, as they can create cost estimates, order building materials, and manage construction workers directly. Construction managers interact with clients or project owners and also negotiate subcontractor activities as well.
Construction Project Manager
Don’t let the similar name fool you: a construction project manager’s role is much larger than that of a simple construction manager. Project managers are involved in every stage of a building project, as they are responsible for everything from design through final delivery. Construction project managers work with clients to create timelines and deadlines, manage project budgets, hire workers, and monitor progress. These managers also handle all project estimates, including land and marketing costs.
Site engineers are specialists who are responsible for managing specific parts of the construction process. In performing their primary job duties, they collaborate with land surveyors and review building plans. They also ensure that building projects meet any and all relevant safety rules and regulations. Site engineers also work in an advisory capacity, providing clients with recommendations on project designs and site location.
Construction professionals known as general contractors are the direct overseers of construction crews. General contractors work on any number of building projects, both residential and commercial, and responsibilities can be just as varied. Typically, a general contractor will be responsible for buildings meeting local safety guidelines, hiring subcontractors for specific task completion, and on-site team management. General contractors are also often involved in the building permit application process.
Construction Project Director
Construction project directors are most often employed on large construction projects with lots of moving parts. A construction project director’s responsibilities include managing each and every department and team. This includes having other construction managers reporting directly to them. Other responsibilities that construction project directors may be tasked with include delegating project components to different teams, creating an overall construction timeline, and subdividing larger projects into smaller components.
No matter what angle you approach the position, construction management involves taking responsibility for crucial components of construction projects. Whether the scope is narrow or all-encompassing, construction management professionals play an important role in the success of the construction industry as a whole.