4 steps to become an Australian Construction Manager


Ever thought about being a construction manager? It’s a high-level construction industry job with great opportunities for your career and income.

Here, we show you how to become a construction manager. We also discuss construction manager qualifications and the average construction manager salary.

The basics

What’s a construction manager?

A construction manager takes care of building and construction projects from beginning to end. They manage the early planning stages, right through to the final result.

A construction manager:

  • hires and supervises workers
  • coordinates schedules
  • coordinates subcontractors
  • estimates project costs
  • reports progress to clients and superiors
  • ensures safety codes are being met
  • keeps the project running on time and to budget

Let’s take a look at more construction manager tasks in detail.

A construction manager:

  • Works with engineers, architects and consultants
  • Reads and interprets architectural drawings and specifications
  • Liaises with stakeholders like owners and developers
  • Puts in place work programs for sites
  • Prepares contract bids and tenders
  • Organises building inspections by local authorities
  • Looks after the subcontractors’ work
  • Makes sure building standards and legislation are met

What’s it like being a construction manager?

The construction manager role can be demanding. It’s common for construction managers to be on call 24/7. They’re often expected to put in extra hours, especially when project deadlines are fast approaching.

Unlike tradies, a construction manager spends most of their time inside an office. Sometimes the office is onsite, oherwise, a construction manager may travel between the office and the project site.

How to become a construction manager

Construction manager qualifications

To become a construction manager you’ll need some sort of construction manager qualifications.

These can include:

These construction manager qualifications tend to focus more on the theoretical side of building. They are less hands-on than trades qualifications.

To be a construction manager, you don’t need first-hand experience of each trade. But many construction managers choose to work in a trade before doing their construction manager qualifications.

It’s possible to become a construction manager without formal qualifications. But to compensate, hands-on experience is essential. 

What skills and abilities do you need? 

To become a construction manager, you need specialised skills, abilities and knowledge. You get these from your qualification, discussed above.

But you’ll also need “transferable skills” aka “soft skills.” These are highly-regarded in any industry.

Construction manager soft skills include:

  • Time management 
    Efficiently managing your own time and the time of other workers 
  • Active listening
    Taking the time to hear others out and understand the situation
  • Critical thinking
    Using logic and reasoning to solve problems and devise strategies
  • Communication
    Conveying information to others clearly and concisely
  • Coordination
    Creating schedules and workflows for a group of workers doing different things
  • Monitoring
    Keeping a close eye on the project to ensure goals are met

Jobs outlook

Prior to covid-19, construction was one of the fastest growing industries in Australia. That means that, until recently, the number of construction manager jobs was increasing.

Although covid-19 has impacted the construction industry–and the economy overall–there is good news for those looking to get into construction management.

One plus side is that the Victorian government will ensure its construction projects continue throughout the crisis.

Also, because the construction industry is coming from a position of strength, it’s in a good position to recover:

“When we get to the other side of this, the biggest construction boom in our state’s history will need to be even bigger,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.

How much does a construction manager earn?

According to JobOutlook, the average construction manager salary is $3,450 per week.

Remember: this is based on pre-covid statistics. The data is not yet available to show what incomes will look like during or after the crisis.

That said, the construction industry is expected to make a great recovery after the pandemic. After the crisis, the average construction manager salary should continue to grow.

Becoming a construction manager

A construction manager is an exciting job in the construction industry. If you are interested in building and want to do managerial work, then this is a great option for you.

Like many Australian jobs and industries, construction manager job outlooks and salaries are hard to forecast during the crisis. But we’re pretty sure that an essential industry like construction is going to make a ripper come back.

At Builders Academy, we offer Certificate III, IV and Diploma courses to help you take the next step in your building career. Call us on 1300 LEGEND to find out more.