Are you intrigued with the way things are built? Do you have an interest in math and science? Are you good at multitasking? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you might be fit for a career in construction management.
Construction managers, sometimes referred to as project managers, are responsible for overseeing the construction of buildings, bridges, offices, homes and other structures. In addition to hiring workers such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians, construction managers supervise all aspects of the constriction process, from initial designs to final inspections. Other responsibilities can include assisting with land excavation, implementing sewage systems and installing structural framework. Depending on the size of a construction project, a construction manager might work independently or as part of a team of managers where each are assigned to a specific phase of project development. For example, an architectural project manager would be in charge of making any changes to blueprints during the construction process.
If you're interested in becoming a construction manager, now might be a good time to pursue work in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this field is expected to grow 17% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). The growing population will lead to a demand for more office buildings, schools, hospitals and other establishments, which increases the need for construction professionals. The BLS also reported the average salary for a construction manager was $94,240 in May 2010.
It is possible to become a construction manager with no formal education if you have many years of on-the-job experience. However, if you have a bachelor's degree in a field like construction management, civil engineering or building science, you might be more desirable to employers. These degree programs include courses such as fundamentals of management, financial accounting, workplace communication, construction methods and materials, surveying, cost estimates and business law.
Though not required, many construction managers pursue certifications in addition to earning a degree. Certifications from respected construction organizations, such as the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), can provide you with additional career advancement opportunities. Once you have met the education and work experience requirements and passed the exams, you can earn the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) designation from the CMAA or the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) or Associate Constructor (AC) designation from the AIC.