Construction managers drastically impact the overall success or failure of commercial projects. A talented construction manager will be able to save time and money while also reducing waste and poor quality. As illustrated below, construction managers need to have the right skills, experience and education.
Construction managers need to have excellent communication skills. They should be an active listener and capable of working effectively with others. Construction manages should have great project management skills because they must continually oversee time, task, delivery and employee schedules. Project management skills also include making presentations at meetings, working with non-technical stakeholders, re-negotiating agreements and re-prioritizing assignments. Construction manages should have sufficient document handling skills that allow them to compose professional bids, proposals and job reports. In order to do this, they must be able to interpret technical data and drawings as well as understand contract requirements and construction standards.
Many construction managers start out their careers working as hourly workers who work their way up through the ranks. Due to their limited formal education, these construction managers will pursue optional certifications that verify their skills and expertise. For example, the Construction Management Association of America’s (CMAA) Certified Construction Manager (CCM) certification is popular among construction managers. This credential demonstrates that they can properly manage time, costs and quality. Many community colleges offer undergraduate certificates in construction management. Many construction managers pursue a project management certificate through the nationally recognized Project Management Institute (PMI). This certifications will give students the basic skills needed for estimating, scheduling and project management.
A construction manager can never have enough education. Community colleges offer associate degrees in construction management and universities offer bachelor degrees in majors like construction science, engineering and architecture. A college degree ensures that construction managers have the knowledge and classroom training required for major construction projects. A two-year construction management degree program will improve the students’ project and program management skills. A building technology specialization will focus on construction materials, building methods, sustainable practices, construction mathematics and blueprint reading. A remodeling specialization will focus on managing and constructing specific things like kitchen and bathroom renovations. Construction management degree programs should be approved by national associations like the Associated General Contractors (AGC).
Construction managers should be familiar with standard construction management software tools to track budgets, projections and current progress. When hiring a construction manager, it’s best to choose candidates who have at least five years’ experience working on similar projects with different local companies.