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How to Become a Construction Administrator: Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a construction administrator. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in construction administration. View article »

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  • 0:03 Become a Construction…
  • 0:53 Career Requirements
  • 1:28 Step 1: Earn a…
  • 2:43 Step 2: Gain Work Experience
  • 3:10 Step 3: Get Certified

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Video Transcript

Become a Construction Administrator

Construction administrators are often responsible for monitoring contracts, preparing progress reports, coordinating schedules, and processing invoices. Some administrators have additional project management duties; they may meet regularly with clients and supervise other staff members. These professionals work on many different types of projects, including residential buildings, roadways, bridges, and hospitals.

Because construction administrators concentrate on the administrative tasks associated with construction projects, their job duties keep them primarily within office settings. They may work in site or corporate home base offices. Some travel to meetings with clients may be required. Construction administrators work full-time, with overtime common.

Career Requirements

Degree Level A bachelor's degree is often required
Degree Field Construction science, construction management, or related fields
Certification Voluntary certification is available
Experience Employers may require 2-3 years of experience
Key Skills Analytical, communication, time-management, and decision-making skills; familiarity with tools such as scanners and levels
Salary (2015)* $87,400 (median for construction managers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job postings (December 2012), O*Net OnLine

Let's examine briefly some of the steps to becoming a construction administrator.

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Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Many employers look for construction administrators who hold a bachelor's degree. Some employers may accept a high school diploma or associate's degree as sufficient education, as long as a candidate has enough experience in the field.

An undergraduate degree in construction management may be particularly helpful to construction administrators. These programs teach students the logistics behind construction projects, such as cost estimation and labor oversight. Coursework often covers construction materials, accounting, construction documents, safety, project management, and organizational behavior. CAD software programs may be discussed as well. In addition, internships or field experiences are sometimes required.

Success Tips:

  • Develop essential communication skills. Construction administrators must be able to efficiently communicate, both verbally and in writing. Students may wish to take courses in technical writing or communication in order to sharpen their skills.

  • Join a student club. Some colleges and universities have construction-related student organizations. Members of these clubs participate in meetings and networking events, which may be helpful as students begin their careers.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Most employers look for candidates with work experience in the construction field. In particular, aspiring construction administrators should have experience with contracts, scheduling, cost estimates, and project management. Some experience may be gained through internships or other hands-on work opportunities offered through a degree program. General construction experience may be helpful as well.

Step 3: Earn Professional Certification

While certification is voluntary for construction administrators, it may be preferred by some employers. A few organizations offer relevant certifications in this field, including the Construction Specifications Institute. Individuals can earn the Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) credential by taking an exam. CDTs who have at least two years of experience can take a test to earn the Certified Construction Contract Administrator designation.

Becoming a construction administrator usually requires a bachelor's degree, work experience in the construction field, and can benefit from certification.

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