WHAT’S INVOLVED IN BEING A CONSTRUCTION MANAGER?
Construction managers are responsible for overseeing building and construction projects from the early planning stages, right through to the implementation and final result. Not only is it their role to hire and supervise the construction workers, but they must also coordinate work schedules and subcontractors, estimate project costs, report progress to clients and superiors, ensure safety codes are being met and keep the project running to a set timeframe.
It is not uncommon for a construction manager to be on-call 24/7 and work extended hours, especially when project deadlines are approaching. Majority of their time is spent within an office as opposed to on the construction site itself, although some construction managers may have a site office as well, which they travel between depending on the project. For larger scale projects, a construction manager may be required to travel between construction sites quite regularly on a day-to-day basis.
What does a construction manager do?
Construction managers oversee and supervise most parts of the construction process. They are responsible for planning, organising and directing the construction of a building project.
Tasks and responsibilities
- Coordinating all labour resources
- Arrange the ordering and delivery of building materials and equipment
- Consulting with engineering professionals, architects and other speciality or technical trade workers
- Reading and interpreting architectural drawings and specifications
- Negotiating with building owners, subcontractors and property developers involved to ensure all projects adhere to time and budget restrictions
- Implementing coordinated work programs for individual sites
- Preparing contract bids and tenders
- Organising building inspections by local authorities
- Overseeing the progress and standard of subcontractors’ work
- Ensuring building standards and legislation are adhered to for quality, cost and safety reasons
- Building under contract and subcontracting specialised building services
How can I become a construction manager?
Unlike some building and construction trades which don’t necessarily require qualifications, becoming a construction manager typically means obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field, a Diploma of Building and Construction, or a Certificate IV in Building and Construction. These qualifications are designed to familiarise yourself with the theory side of building and construction as opposed to the actual skills and hands-on knowledge required to work solely in specific trades. Whilst being familiar with all aspects of building and construction is an essential component of being a manager, having firsthand experience with each trade is not.
It is still possible to become a construction manager without formal qualifications if the individual has extensive experience and the necessary skillsets, however these workmen are usually qualified to then become self-employed general contractors. A worthwhile point to keep in mind is the fact that to successfully manage and oversee a worksite, a construction manager needs the cooperation and respect of the workers themselves. If a manager has not had hands-on experience themselves, and doesn’t know enough about each trade to do their job effectively, this will make it difficult to tell more experienced tradies what to do. Many successful construction managers opt to work in a particular trade for a number of years before pursuing the necessary course qualifications to upskill into a managerial role.
What skills are required in Construction Management?
To become a construction manager, certain knowledge, abilities and skills are needed to ensure you can carry out the associated obligations to a satisfactory standard. While having an understanding of the worksite and specific trades is important, there are other characteristics that a candidate must have. Some of these skills, just to name a few, include:
- Time management – the ability to efficiently manage your own time and the time of those you’re responsible for.
- Active listening – taking the time to absorb what others are saying to best utilise the information provided and understand the situation.
- Critical thinking – utilising logic and reasoning to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of certain actions and weigh the approaches to problems strategically.
- Verbal communication – conveying information to others in a clear and concise manner.
- Coordination – structuring schedules and workflows to account for the actions of others.
- Monitoring – keeping a close eye on the performance of yourself and others to ensure goals are being met, and implementing corrective actions if they are not.
Are construction managers in demand in Australia?
According to statistics collated on a yearly basis by Job Outlook, job openings for construction managers are anticipated to be high leading up to 2025. Employment in this category has been strong over the past years with a steady increase.
As experienced construction managers are needed on a wide variety of domestic, commercial and industrial building and construction projects, whether for roads, bridges, memorials, homes or factories, there is always the need for skilled professionals who fit the right criteria.
Open Career Pathways to the Building and Construction Industry
Whether you’re thinking about a career change or a career progression, you can begin your journey with BAA’s building and construction courses.
Once you’ve become a qualified carpenter, you can enrol in the CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building. This course will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of building projects to be able to lead residential and commercial construction projects.
You can then take your career to the next level with the CPC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). In this course, you will gain the diverse range of skills necessary to oversee a building site’s operations from start to finish. This course is your next step towards running a small to medium business within the construction industry.
Once you have successfully completed these nationally recognised courses, you will develop your competence in leadership and managerial roles to pursue a career in the building and construction industry, such as a project supervisor, building manager, site supervisor, estimator, project manager or foreperson.
Ready to take that next step in your career with our building and construction courses? Contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a callback and we will get back to you with all the information you need!
This article has been updated and republished on 16th March 2023.