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How to Become a Construction Manager

Bachelor's degree

Construction managers have the responsibility of ensuring their projects adhere to building codes. Candidates who have a bachelor's degree in a construction-related field and adequate experience are preferred. Certain managers who have years of relevant experience may qualify with a high school diploma; however, the majority qualify mainly as general contractors who are self-employed.

Work Experience

When entering this occupation, relevant work experience is required as it lessens the requirement for training on the job. Cooperative education programs, internships and prior work in the construction industry can offer that experience. Certain construction managers become qualified through extensive related experience. Years may be spent obtaining experience in the following fields: masonry, carpentry and a variety of construction specialties.

Education & Training

Construction managers often obtain a bachelor's degree in architecture, construction science, and engineering or construction management. As construction processes increase in complexity, specialized education is being sought after by more employers.

There are over a hundred universities and colleges offering accredited bachelor's degree programs in construction engineering, building science and construction science. Programs include courses in construction materials and methods, project management and control, contract administration, cost estimation, building standards and codes.

A variety of 2 year colleges offer construction technology or construction management programs. Managers who supervise smaller scale projects may have work experience combined with an associate's degree. Certain universities offer master's degree programs in construction management. Individuals with a high school diploma and numerous years of relevant work experience may decide to become a manager of construction; however, the majorities do this as self-employed general contractors.


New construction managers begin their careers as assistants. They work under the guidance of an experienced manager. This training period may last numerous months to several years, depending on the construction firm.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Even though certification is not required, it is becoming more vital for construction managers. Certification is essential as it demonstrates experience and knowledge.

CCM or Certified Construction Manager designation is awarded to workers who have obtained the required experience and pass a technical exam. Applicants are required to finish a self-study course that covers the professional role of a construction manager, associated risk allocation, legal issues and additional topics that are related to this field.

The Associate Constructor or AC certification along with the CPC or Certified Professional Constructor is awarded to candidates who pass the required construction exams and meet the associated requirements.

Additional licensing may be required for construction managers who are responsible for public projects.

Skills and Qualities that will Help

Analytical Skills: Most managers are responsible for strategically planning projects. They often have to rely on their problem solving skills to address unexpected issues and delays that commonly arise during construction. Cost-estimating and utilizing planning software can help determine the cost, materials and time needed to finish their tasks.

Business Skills: Construction managers supervise and coordinate other workers. They have to deal with budget concerns and have competent staff to coordinate positive working relationships.

Customer-Service Skills: Construction managers constantly deal with members of the public, inspectors and business owners. Being able to clearly communicate plans and explain delays as they occur is an integral part of the process.

Decision-Making Skills: Subcontractors and personnel are given particular jobs to complete. Many of these decisions need to be made under tight budgets and deadlines.

Initiative: Individuals who are self-employed must be proactive in seeking out new clients in order to generate their self-employed construction opportunities. Bidding on jobs, marketing their services and performing a variety of specialty services including home insulation, refinishing wood floors and installing mosaic glass tiles may be part of their scope of work.

Leadership Skills: Tasks need to be effectively delegated to subcontractors, construction workers and additional staff.

Speaking Skills: Construction managers have to explain technical information to both clients and fellow workers and be able to give clear orders in the process. It is necessary to communicate with architects and other building specialists. Self-employed construction managers need to bid on and secure their own projects; therefore, it is often necessary to sell themselves to potential clients.

Technical Skills: Construction technologies and construction methods are required to be interpreted on a regular basis along with technical blueprints and drawings.

Time-Management Skills: Strict deadlines are famous within the construction industry. Managers have to ensure each phase is finished on time so that the subsequent phase is on schedule.

Writing Skills: Budgets, plans and proposals need to be written to clearly communicate the plan to everyone. This keeps everyone in the building process aware of progress and expectations.