Construction Project Manager: Roles & Responsibilities

A career as a construction project manager may be a good fit for those interested in building and project management. This article covers the primary job responsibilities, educational requirements, and job outlook for this position.

Career Definition of a Construction Project Manager

Construction project managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects, including setting a budget and overseeing personnel, of a building project. They can supervise the construction of residential, public, and commercial structures, along with bridges and roads. They may work for specialty trade contractors, nonresidential or residential building construction firms, or heavy and civil engineering construction firms. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 4 out of 10 construction project managers operated their own business in 2014. Construction project managers may work out of a main company office, but primarily spend time in the field at construction sites. Some managers are required to be on-call at all times to deal with emergency situations.

Construction project managers perform a wide variety of tasks related to project management. Job responsibilities can include interfacing with clients and updating them on project progress, hiring necessary personnel and managing daily activities, and ensuring projects follow all building and safety codes. Construction project managers work closely with engineers and architects assigned to a project to make sure it runs smoothly. On large-scale projects, they will hire lower-level managers to oversee specific aspects of the project, such as plumbing.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's Degree
Job Skills Strong analytical skills, effective leadership skills, initiative, excellent decision-making skills, and excellent technical skills
Median Salary (2016)* $89,300 (Construction Manager)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 5% (Construction Manager)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A construction project manager will need a bachelor's degree in construction management, construction science, or a related field. Along with a bachelor's degree, employers (like large construction firms) also require work experience in a construction-related field. Essential coursework for those interested in construction project management includes cost estimation and building codes and standards. Most in the field will be hired as assistants until they complete a training period with a manager already established in the field. Construction project managers can pursue certification through the Construction Management Association of America or the American Institute of Constructors.

Required Skills

Effective leadership skills are essential for construction project managers, since they oversee workers and subcontractors. They need strong analytical skills, as they are responsible for strategic management and solving issues that arise during a project. Initiative is an important skill for those that are self-employed in order for them to effectively market their business and secure new clients. Construction project managers need excellent decision-making skills for hiring personnel and ensuring they can respond in times of crisis. They also need strong technical skills, with a solid background in industry processes and the ability to evaluate blueprints.

Career Outlook and Salary

The BLS reports a 5% growth in employment opportunities for construction managers between 2014 and 2024, which is about the average for all occupations. The most opportunities will be available to prospective candidates with a bachelor's degree and related work experience. In addition, a large number of managers are predicted to retire in the next 10 years. The BLS reported that the 2016 median annual wage for construction managers was $89,300.

Related Careers

Those considering a career as a construction project manager may be interested in one of the below related careers. They offer prospective candidates the opportunity to oversee projects or utilize their technical skills.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?