Become a Construction Coordinator
Construction coordinators, also known as construction managers, organize and coordinate building projects. They manage work quality and budget costs throughout a project. Construction coordinators usually oversee the work of supervisors and construction personnel who are performing the physical labor at a building site.
They confer with architects and engineers on the building process and prepare work schedules for contractors and laborers. They are also responsible for properly estimating construction costs and ensuring work crews meet building deadlines, which can be stressful tasks to oversee. Some of these professionals are self employed, which can give them scheduling flexibility. Construction coordinators may need to travel often to different construction sites, and many of these workers put in long work weeks.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree typically required|
|Degree Field||Construction science, building science, construction engineering, or other related field|
|Experience||2 to 5 years or more of construction experience generally required|
|Certification||Optional certification available|
|Key Skills||Analytical, communication, time-management, decision-making, and managerial skills; ability to use project management software|
|Salary*||$87,400 per year (2015 median salary for all construction managers)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine, Online Job Postings (August 2015)
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is required for most construction coordinator positions. In some cases, those with an associate's degree or no formal training along with several years of experience may become construction coordinators. However, those who have earned a bachelor's degree related to the construction industry are high preferred, especially among large firms. Students may obtain a bachelor's degree in construction management, engineering, or building science. Program coursework may include construction practices, building materials, construction administration, contracts, safety, estimating, and project management. Specialty areas may include industrial and commercial construction or bridge and highway construction.
While working on a degree, students may want to complete an internship or co-operative work experience. Some bachelor's degree programs offer students the chance to complete an internship or co-op program. Given such an opportunity, students can gain real-world experience with the common tools and computer software used in the industry and begin to develop the necessary skills.
This is also when ambitious professionals should begin to sharpen essential business and communication skills. Business and communication skills are very important for aspiring construction coordinators. This type of manager may be required to create construction plan documents and budgets, as well as communicate verbally with teams of contractors and workers. Some bachelor's degree programs offer business communication courses that may be helpful to students.
Step 2: Gain Experience
In order to gain a position as a construction coordinator, at least 2 years of relevant experience is usually necessary. Experience in the field may be gained in a number of ways. Students in bachelor's degree programs may find internship or other work experience opportunities available to them. Otherwise, experience may be accrued by working in other construction positions, such as a mason or contractor, or by working as an assistant to seasoned construction managers.
Step 3: Consider Certification for Career Advancement
Obtaining voluntary certification may improve a construction coordinator's job prospects by showing knowledge and experience in the profession. The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) offers the Associate Constructor (AC) and Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) designations. In order to qualify for the AC credential, an individual must have 4 years of experience or be a graduate or scheduled graduate of an accredited construction-related program.
To qualify for the CPC designation, an individual must have earned the AC credential and have 4 additional years of experience, education, or a combination of the two. The Construction Management Association of America (the CMAA ) offers the Certified Construction Manager designation, which requires a combination of education and experience, as well as successfully passing an examination. These certifications may provide a construction coordinator with the credentials to advance his or her career.
In summary, a career as a construction coordinator will likely require a bachelor's degree in building science or a related field along with several years of relevant work experience and professional certification. These professionals work long hours managing and collaborating with the workers, coordinating schedules, and organizing the budget for construction projects.