Construction managers supervise and manage construction projects to ensure safe, timely and cost-effective completion.
What does a Construction Manager do?
Construction managers supervise and manage construction projects to ensure safe, timely and cost-effective completion. Construction managers are also known as site managers. In local government, a construction manager may be called clerk of works.
As a construction manager, you would:
- discuss plans with architects, surveyors and engineers
- interpret and explain contracts and technical information
- use project management software to prepare cost estimates, budgets and work schedules
- prepare the site, ensuring all health and safety requirements are in place
- hire subcontractors and schedule and coordinate their activities
- oversee the day-to-day progress of work on the site once building commences
- monitor budgets, costs and work quality
- make sure the work meets all building codes and legal requirements
- report regularly to the client.
Key skills and interests
To become a construction manager, you would need:
- a creative approach to problem solving
- the ability to create good people relationships and motivate a team
- excellent planning and project management skills
- the ability to take act decisively
- the ability to interpret technical drawings
- good maths and accounting skills to manage large budgets
- good IT skills.
Working hours and conditions
You would work a standard number of hours per week, Monday to Friday, and possibly on Saturdays. Overtime may be necessary to meet project deadlines. Some of your time would be spent travelling between sites and meeting clients and contractors.
Construction work happens in all weather conditions. You may sometimes have to work at heights, for example when inspecting roofing. You would wear protective clothing on site, including safety boots and a hard hat.
How to become an Construction Manager?
Entry Level Education
To become a construction manager you usually have to complete a degree in construction management or construction project management, or in a discipline such as applied science, with a major in construction management. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, maths and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). Authorised training is conducted by Registered Training Organisations.
Graduates with an appropriate building degree are eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Building.
Employment of construction managers is projected to grow slightly faster than the average for all occupations. Construction managers will be needed as overall construction activity expands.
Construction managers will be needed to oversee construction and renovation of houses and apartments, offices, retail stores, and other commercial structures. Strong demand is expected for more healthcare and aged care facilities as the population ages and more individuals use healthcare services.
In addition, a growing emphasis on re-purposing and retrofitting office buildings for apartments should create jobs for construction managers. To ensure that projects are completed on time and under budget, firms are increasingly focusing on hiring construction managers.