Construction managers oversee projects from start to finish, often working out of a field office as they monitor day-to-day operations. They map out the budget and timeline of each project, coordinating with contractors and suppliers to get the job done within a specific timeframe. The position entails long hours and quick thinking, as crises must be dealt with immediately and efficiently. Construction managers also have to ensure that all workers comply with safety codes and that the worksite itself is running properly. A successful construction manager combines business knowledge and practical experience to keep his or her clients and employees satisfied.
Most construction managers have at least a bachelor's degree in construction science, management, engineering, or a related field. In rare cases, a high school graduate can gradually advance to the position, but most firms prefer candidates with some specialized education in the field. A construction manager with an associate's degree and work experience may be assigned to smaller projects, while managers with four-year degrees are usually given more complex, long-term projects. Construction managers often have years of prior experience as contractors, masons, or carpenters. They understand the business thoroughly at every level, enabling them to communicate effectively with the employees working on the project. They are responsible for coordinating with sub-contractors for specialty home improvement jobs, actively seeking new clients, and interacting with the public. Construction management is a multi-faceted, demanding job with tangible, real-world rewards.
When hiring construction managers, it can be very helpful to learn as much as possible about an applicant's behavioral profile and work styles. Many employers use personality tests such as the Employee Personality Profile (EPP) to assess a person's behavioral profile as it pertains to the position. For example, the EPP might tell an employer that a candidate is extremely assertive, or that he/she would not react well to stress. The EPP also contains benchmarks for specific jobs, so that an employer can determine, for example, if a person's personality matches up well with a managerial role. Employers are also encouraged to analyze the aptitude and skills level of a candidate through a general skills test such as the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), which measures verbal and math ability, attention to detail, and communication skills. Candidates who lack these basic skills are likely to struggle in construction manager positions.
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Rank in HireSelect:
85 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 227,710
Education level of Construction Managers: