What Construction Managers Do And How To Become One

Editorial Team

What Construction Managers Do

The Construction Managers plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate construction projects from the moment of their conception until their completion, attending to the execution time, specifications and established budgets. By this, they guarantee that each job is executed efficiently by coordinating activities, resources, equipment, and information.

In addition to directing and executing construction activities safely and productively, the Construction Masters organize groups of workers and assign them the tasks to be performed. They also supervise the works to ensure that the work of the staff is following the highest standards.

1.    Roles and Responsibilities of a Construction Manager

Here are the most common functions of a Construction Manager:

  • Manage contracts and obtain the different permits and licenses that are required.
  • Prepare and deliver budget estimates for each project and monitor the resources that are designated during its execution:
  • Manage income and implement monthly and annual planning.
  • Control the expenses of the work carried out so that it stays within the established limits.
  • Review and approve invoices issued by subcontractors and manage personnel payroll.
  • Plan and set management times and construction phases and monitor progress, to determine that they have been carried out according to the established schedule:
  • Develop and maintain detailed timelines of the project in which all its phases are established, including the design, supply of materials and installation stage, as well as the administrative tasks to which it may take place.
  • Guarantee that the project requirements are met and that the different goals are achieved.
  • Meet with the other team members to discuss the effectiveness with which each project has been implemented.
  • Prepare reports to communicate to the parties involved about the progress or any changes that have been made to the original order.
  • Manage all installation or adjustment work, as well as the tasks assigned to the personnel.
  • Train, lead and launch an efficient team of employees:
  • Contract and supervise the activities of subcontractors and subordinate or worker personnel.
  • Acquire health and safety software to ensure that all team members are up to date with legislation and procedures relevant to health and safety at work.
  • Seek that individual and collective expectations are met, solve problems and deal with claims or complaints.
  • Make revisions to contracts and agreements, as well as modifications or additions that have been made jointly with architects, consultants, clients, suppliers, and subcontractors.
  • Keep clients satisfied throughout the project execution:
  • Develop and implement quality control programs.
  • Verify the progress made and the quality of work, during all phases of the project.
  • Represent the company in matters relevant to construction services and collective agreements:
  • Promote incentives, such as Employee of the Month, to motivate workers to work hard, efficiently and effectively.
  • Develop and maintain relationships, in addition to serving as a link, with policyholders, experts, and appraisers, among others.
  • Train workers regarding project control methodologies and procedures to determine the feasibility of construction.
  • Direct the purchase of materials and land:
  • Manage purchase orders such as acrow prop hire, as well as changes or returns.
  • Guarantee compliance with the legislation relevant to construction and the safety measures to be taken on and off-site.

2.    Daily Tasks of a Construction Manager

As a construction manager, you take on all organizational tasks of construction. This means you calculate the costs, monitor the process and the quality of the work on the construction site and check the progress with a view to the schedule that you have also created. You also coordinate with suppliers and ensure that the right material arrives. Also, you plan to use machines and personnel. This means that the job of a construction manager combines many things: management tasks, contact with people, fresh air and organizational challenges in the office.

  • Monitor and report on the progression and development of construction projects, guaranteeing respect for management time.
  • Update and regulate the budget provision by project, controlling income and expenses.
  • Visit the works to supervise the work of subcontractors and workers and, thus, ensure that they are working following the guidelines provided.

As a site manager, you have several years of experience on construction sites and you know the workflow. You also know which security measures are required and ensure that they are also complied with. You not only monitor the construction, or rather the organization, on-site, but also from your desk. Commercial knowledge and certain programs such as construction software or CAD help you with this. Because you also have to keep an eye on the construction costs. Otherwise, they will explode quickly and exceed the budget for the construction project. The construction industry is very international, so you should be able to speak English fluently. It is conceivable that you get the chance to realize a construction project in Japan or South America. There are usually many different people working on a construction site, to whom you are the contact person and who guide you. Leadership is not the only skill you should have, however. A sense of responsibility is also required because you are responsible for ensuring that your job is safe. Otherwise, you should be flexible in your working hours and also plan one or two overtime hours.

3.    Skills Required To Become a Construction Manager

  • Leadership and the ability to direct employees:
  • Focus and motivate others to achieve the stated results and goals.
  • Guide the team.
  • Work towards improving individual and organizational contributions.
  • Be skilled, energetic, and proactive.
  • Have a positive and optimistic attitude to establish long-term relationships, both internally and externally, to contribute to the work, alignment, and collaboration during the project.
  • Having the ability to deal with a diverse group of people in conflict situations, in addition to being empowered to handle problems as they arise in a calm, courteous, discreet and effective manner.
  • Analytical capacity and logical thinking:
  • Analyze, manage and mitigate risks, to prevent problems and resolve any inconvenience that may arise.
  • Be able to make calculations to determine surfaces and the amount of material that will be required.
  • Having the ability to work meticulously and to monitor the work done, to guarantee its quality.
  • Productive and focused on obtaining results.
  • Continuous focus on safety cost control and customer satisfaction:
  • Basic accounting skills and knowledge of billing and collection procedures:
  • Have the ability to plan and track budgets.

In addition to having the aforementioned skills and abilities, the construction managers must have a deep knowledge of the current legislation applicable to the construction, as well as any law, decree or ordinance in charge of regulating the matter. Likewise, they must have command of the procedures in construction management, the means, methods, and quality standards.

As a construction manager, you should have professional experience as a civil engineer or construction technician and are responsible for monitoring and controlling a construction site or a specific area of ​​the construction site. In this way, the site manager takes on responsible tasks by taking care of the proper implementation of construction work. The term “construction management” can mean both the job as construction manager of the client, that is, the client, and the work of the contractor, the contractor.

The Construction Managers must have a higher technical degree in Works Organization and Control, Building Projects, Civil Works Projects or a university degree in Construction, Engineering, Architecture, Business Administration or in any other related discipline. Likewise, it is valued that they have training that combines both the knowledge and the skills and abilities required in the area. Similarly, these professionals should preferably have worked in technical positions and know how to handle Microsoft Office and construction programs.

The vast majority of job offers for Site Managers require minimum experience of 10 years in the area. Additionally, having previous experience in low or high-rise structures or buildings gives added value to the candidate’s profile. By the functions to be performed, it is preferred that these professionals are in optimal physical condition, since it is required to walk and stand for long periods and, sometimes, the need arises to lift materials of approximately 20 kilograms.

4.     Training for Construction Managers

Site managers can and should be willing to attend one or the other course at regular intervals. Building law and building standards keep changing and you have to be familiar with the exact guidelines. After all, you are responsible for ensuring that everything is going right on your construction site. It also doesn’t hurt to deepen your knowledge of calculations or construction processes.

As already mentioned, there is no classic training path to become a construction manager directly after a completed test. As a rule, the candidate for the site manager must have work experience.

The second option would be to pursue an academic education to gain direct access to the position of construction manager. Academic professional fields include civil engineering, water and soil management, building technology and architecture. To obtain a bachelor’s degree in these areas, you have to enroll at a university, a technical college or a technical university.

Those who want to take the path of classic training have the opportunity to work their way up. It is important to receive further training in addition to professional experience. It would be possible to obtain a master’s degree or to complete technical training.

However, the first step on the path of classic training would be to apply for a training position as a construction technician, roofer, bricklayer or concreter, as a road builder or carpenter and to strive for the championship title after completing the training.

5.    Education Requirements

Since there is no legally regulated training course, there are no precise requirements. However, you should be aware that site managers have a lot of responsibility and should, therefore, have the appropriate qualifications. A degree in civil engineering offers a good start here. You are also expected to have business knowledge and experience in project management. You can acquire these through a course, for example. After all, you have to keep an overview of the entire construction project. As you can safely imagine by now, you have already achieved a high position as a construction manager.

In the case of academic training, the school requirements must first be met. To be accepted at a university, a high school diploma is usually required. At technical universities and technical colleges, the technical college entrance qualification is often sufficient.

As a rule, the secondary school leaving certificate is preferred for apprenticeships, but applications from applicants with higher or lower levels of education are also not excluded.

One of the personal requirements is above all a high level of responsibility – especially when it comes to complying with the prescribed guidelines and safety measures on construction sites. To inspire and lead employees, a high level of leadership competence and self-confidence is necessary.

A certain level of stress resistance and flexibility is also important to be able to complete delayed construction projects in good time. Overtime cannot be avoided, especially in summer. In winter, the working days are often shorter, which is due to the longer darkness and the colder temperatures.

Mathematical understanding and spatial imagination are important to correctly calculate construction projects and create cost budgets, as well as for the precise drafting of construction plans.

Analytical skills are also useful. These can help to think through plans in detail to the end, which should avoid delays and errors and make discrepancies as early as possible.

Accuracy and precise work are essential in this profession. Not only from a financial point of view but also because of the security aspect already mentioned.

6.    Trends And Perspectives For Construction Manager Position

Construction is currently ongoing and companies are looking for suitable specialists everywhere. A sufficiently and well-qualified site manager is, therefore, more than in demand.

Site managers can and should be willing to attend one or the other course at regular intervals. Building law and building standards keep changing and you have to be familiar with the exact guidelines. After all, you are responsible for ensuring that everything is going right on your construction site. It also doesn’t hurt to deepen your knowledge of calculations or construction processes.

Anyone interested in this profession has a good chance of finding an attractive job with appropriate remuneration. Due to the diverse training and further education opportunities, this profession can be pursued from various career paths.

Furthermore, it offers a variety of specializations and training opportunities. For example, a specialization in civil engineering, in road or bridge construction, in landscaping or hydraulic engineering is possible.