Working as a construction manager allows an employee to use leadership skills in the construction industry. Construction managers often enjoy good job security and competitive pay. As with any position, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding if a construction manager is the right career for you. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of each and provide you with a list of tips you can use as you pursue a career as a construction manager.
What is a construction manager?
A construction manager is a leadership position that manages contractors on a job site. Construction managers may plan upcoming projects, ensuring they have all the resources and skills necessary to meet the client’s goals. They are also responsible for enforcing safety protocols and delegating tasks. The construction manager may be a part of many aspects of the project, including planning, budgeting, evaluating progress or even completing construction duties.
Pros and cons of being a construction manager
Consider these pros and cons of being a construction manager:
Working as a construction manager can be rewarding, while also providing you with good job security and salary. Here are a few pros of being a construction manager:
There is room for career advancement
Construction managers who continue their training or education may be eligible for promotions. They may advance or transition to other careers within the construction industry, including management advisor or agent. Working as a construction manager also gives you the opportunity to develop many desirable skills, including management and leadership, that may transfer to another career altogether.
They often have good job security
Construction companies are likely to always have a demand for managers, and increasing populations and federal requirements for updating buildings lead to a consistent need for construction companies, meaning the position comes with good job security. Construction is a popular industry all over the country, which may also offer construction managers the opportunity to relocate. There may also be an option for transitioning to other construction industries while working as a manager.
They have work flexibility
Construction managers often enjoy a flexible work schedule that they can somewhat control. While they are in charge of managing contractors and overseeing the day-to-day tasks of the job site, construction managers typically have freedom and flexibility over their specific work schedules. They may be able to choose the days and hours they work. Construction managers may also be able to conduct many of their work duties independently.
The workday is diverse
People who prefer a workday that is not monotonous may enjoy working as a construction manager. A construction manager is responsible for many different aspects of the job site, which may include screening and hiring contractors, assessing safety protocols, meeting with clients and completing payroll. This leads to a versatile workday that may be exciting to some.
It’s also important to consider the challenges that may come with working as a construction manager. Here are a few things you want to consider:
The work can be long and physically laborious
Construction managers often spend a lot of their workday on-site. Many construction managers work long hours, sometimes late in the evenings or on the weekends. The work itself can be physically demanding, requiring them to lift and load heavy equipment or items. This may not be a realistic career for those with limited mobility or flexibility. Work hours may also be longer as a project nears the due date.
Many construction managers may begin as contractors before moving to a management position, which can ease some of the physical demand requirements for the position.
There is the risk of danger
Construction job sites can be risky, and it’s often the duty of the construction manager to ensure that all contractors follow the safety protocols. Even following these rules, there is always the possibility of an injury occurring. Also, most construction jobs take place outdoors, meaning construction managers may also be subject to inclement weather.
Construction managers typically receive good benefits as a part of their salary package, which can help to cover medical needs if necessary. Many companies also provide construction managers and contractors with a lot of safety training, which can help reduce some of the risks of construction work.
Lengthy training and education
The path to becoming a construction manager can be lengthy and challenging. Most certification boards require construction managers to also continue with ongoing education to maintain their knowledge. The good this is, that once you complete all the requirements, you are eligible for a wide range of construction management positions with good job security and a competitive salary.
The work can be stressful
Because the construction manager is often responsible for delegating tasks and meeting the client’s goals, they may be subject to a good degree of stress. Construction managers may also feel stress when it comes to meeting project dates, especially if access to resources is out of their control. Construction managers can develop important skills in decision-making and problem-solving to reduce some of the stresses of the position.
Tips for being a construction manager
Here are a few tips you can use as a construction manager:
Begin as a contractor: A lot of construction managers begin their careers working as hourly contractors. Understanding the duties and challenges that come with working as a construction contractor may be beneficial as a manager, giving you new perspectives on how to motivate and engage workers.
Develop important management skills: Developing certain important skills, like leadership, management, and planning is beneficial in preparation for a career as a construction manager. You may be able to develop these careers while working as a contractor, taking on shift lead or project management tasks.
Consider certifications: Not only can certifications make you a more competitive candidate, but they can also help you improve the efficiency of managing a construction site. Certain certifications, like Outreach Training Program by OHSA and Certified Safety Manager (CSM), can help you maintain safety at the site.
Stay up to date on safety training: One of the primary duties of the construction manager is to ensure all team members follow safety protocols and training. Staying up-to-date is crucial when working as a construction manager.
Learn new technologies: Construction managers use a variety of technologies to help them with hiring, scheduling and planning projects. Learning how to use different technologies can make you a more competitive candidate when applying for construction management positions.
Get experience in different industries: Having experience working in different construction industries can also help with job security and career options. A few industries you may consider include residential, commercial, industrial or even infrastructure or heavy construction.
I hope you find this article helpful.